Douglas County still ranks in the top 10 in foreclosures in Georgia, but local and national experts believe the housing market is now well on its way to recovery.
In November, Douglas ranked No. 8 in the state with one in every 568 housing units with a foreclosure filing, according to numbers released Wednesday by RealtyTrac. That's a slight uptick from October when Douglas ranked 10th in the state, but the downward trend is what continues to spur optimism.
Of the 90 foreclosures in the county last month, 65 were auctions and 25 were bank-owned sales.
Those numbers are down 8.16 percent from October when there were 98 total foreclosures. More importantly, they’re also down 47.98 percent from November of 2012 when there were 173 foreclosure filings.
“We’re on the tail end of this foreclosure thing,” said Kyle Gable, a local broker with Pioneer Land Group.
Gable said with inventory almost non existent, investors are paying 90-95 percent of what a house is worth in Douglas County. He said that’s driven resale values up a good 20 percent over the last year.
Gable said the next step is significant new building.
He said the area around Chapel Hill High School in particular is ripe for new building because of what existing houses are fetching on the market now.
“You can’t find a deal in Chapel Hill right now,” Gable said.
Gable said he wouldn’t be surprised to see new subdivisions going up in that part of the county by 2015.
Nationally, there was a 15 percent decrease in foreclosure filings from October to November, the biggest month-over-month decrease since 2010.
Georgia dropped from 10th in the country in October to 12th in November, with an overall decline in foreclosures of 6.07 percent. Foreclosures in the state are down 48.59 percent from last November.
“While some of the decrease in November can be attributed to seasonality, the depth and breadth of the decrease provides strong evidence that we are entering the ninth inning of this foreclosure crisis with the outcome all but guaranteed,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “While foreclosures will likely continue to stage a weak rally in certain markets next year as the last of the distress left over from the Great Recession is dealt with, it is highly unlikely that there will be a foreclosure comeback that poses any major threat to the solid housing recovery that has now taken hold.”
Two of Douglas County’s neighbors saw big jumps in foreclosures last month.
Carroll County now ranks No. 5 in the state after a 46.03 percent increase in foreclosures in November. Carroll ranked 26th in Georgia in October.
Paulding County jumped from 75th in October to 20th in November after a 176 percent increase in foreclosures.
Coweta County stayed close to even, rising from 30th in October to 27th in November despite a 1.61 percent decline in foreclosures from month-to-month.