Listings indicate 592 houses are set to go up for auction on Jan. 2. That number is the lowest monthly total reported by the Journal since the financial meltdown began in 2008 and is down 34 percent from the 898 listings reported for the January 2012 sale.
Because foreclosures are calculated from February to January, the numbers wrap up the yearly cycle. A total of 11,065 foreclosures were reported to the Journal in 2012, which is down 20 percent from the 2011 total of 13,751. The 2011 numbers were down 13 percent from the 15,854 homes listed in foreclosure in 2010.
Brenda Brown, an agent with Keller Williams Realty in east Cobb, said she is seeing banks closing on homes faster because their inventory of foreclosed homes has gone down.
“There were so many homes (in past years) that they just didn’t have the manpower to process all the paperwork,” Brown said.
Brown said that the 20 percent reduction of foreclosures in 2012 sounds about right. In 2013, she expects to see far fewer foreclosures because banks are working with homeowners to have short sales, where banks price homes based on what homeowners owe in order to break even, as opposed to foreclosing.
“They usually reduce the price to get money out of the house,” she said. “They get more out of a short sale than they would taking it to sell on the courthouse steps.”
Because of the New Year’s holiday, the monthly auction will take place a day later than its traditional first Tuesday of the month. The auction starts at 10 a.m. on the steps of the Cobb Justice Center, 32 Waddell St. in Marietta.
Legal notices must be published on four consecutive Fridays before a property can be sold at auction. Not all properties advertised necessarily end up at auction.