I walked out my front door this morning, coffee mug in hand, to pick up my newspapers. The AJC seemed about normal size for a Wednesday morning, but, Hmmm... the "Covington News" seemed a bit thicker than normal. The Covington News is our official outlet for legal notices in Newton County. When I turned to the "Public Notices" section the reason was evident... 17 full pages today of Notices of Sale Under Power! That's foreclosures, folks. And it's up two pages from last month. At an average of about 9.5 notices per page, that equates to about 162 homes this period. Now, I definitely am not an alarmist. In fact, I don't believe things are nearly as bad as print and broadcast media has led everyone to believe. It's definitely a buyer's market, and a lot of lenders have gone under... 146 of them since late 2006, according to mortgageimplode.com. But people with decent credit who want to buy a home can certainly find loans. There are still a lot of reputable, stable lenders out there.
Those 17 pages of legal notices also prompted me to look at our Newton County market statistics for the first six months of this year versus the same period for 2006. Here's what I found.
Solds during the first six months of 2007: 1033 (27% fewer than the same period last year)
Average Sale Price: $170,219 (Down by 2.6% over the same period last year)
Average Days On Market: 127 days (That's not too bad, but still 8.7% longer than it took to sell last year.)
Finally, there are 2715 homes currently listed as "Active" by the Georgia MLS, at an average asking price of $213, 850. That should last us awhile. (Of course, there were also a whopping 37% more expired listings this period over last also.)
I'll keep watching out for you...