But not by much.
In 2011, there were 13,751 homes listed for foreclosure in Cobb, which shows a drop of 2,103, or about 13 percent, from 2010’s total of 15,854 homes.
Likewise, new home building in Cobb saw some improvement in 2011, because 888 new home permits were pulled in Cobb County last year, marking a nearly 30 percent increase over the 685 permits pulled in 2010.
Still, while some cities improved in 2011, others dropped significantly. Powder Springs, for example, did not issue a single housing permit in all of 2011, compared to the 23 it issued in 2010.
Austell, however, improved in 2011 by issuing 14 permits, doubling 2010’s total of 7 permits.
Acworth issued a fourth of the permits in 2011 that it issued in 2010, as seven were issued last year while 28 were issued in 2010.
Marietta and Smyrna attracted the most builders in 2011, and improved their numbers greatly in 2011. Unincorporated Cobb also saw a stronger new housing market in 2011 than in 2010.
Kennesaw improved only slightly, issuing 27 permits in 2011 and 23 in 2010.
Bill Poston, president of Marietta-based builder Traton Homes, said his company focuses on building in areas that are close to Atlanta to meet location demands, which might explain why Marietta and Smyrna did well while Powder Springs and Acworth suffered in 2011.
“We are cautiously optimistic that 2012, as was 2011, will be a better year than 2010 for single-family home sales, based on the fact that our market is at an all-time low for new home inventory,” Poston said.
Andrew Morgan, associate broker at Keller Williams Atlanta North and partner in The Page Morgan Team based in east Cobb, said he has seen an increase in the past year of clients seeking and buying homes built in the last five years, or lots that they use to build new homes.
“It’s not what it was in the building boom, but several builders are finally starting to build neighborhoods; they’re not just buying old neighborhoods and putting up a few new houses, but they’re actually developing full subdivisions,” Morgan said. “The Walton and Pope high school districts are especially doing well with new home purchases.”
Smyrna resident and Mercer University Professor and Economist Roger Tutterow said in his predictions for 2012 that new housing permits could rise in 2012 between 12 to 15 percent, but he added that this would not necessarily indicate a strong improvement in the struggling real estate market.
“This percentage gain is somewhat misleading as it is calculated off such a low base,” Tutterow said. “The pace of housing recovery will depend in part on how local banks progress on working through problem assets.”
When it comes to Cobb’s housing market, Tutterow said Cobb has historically enjoyed a strong housing market. As the market has matured over the past decade, Tutterow said that has allowed large, unfinished developments to not be as pronounced of an issue as it is in some of the surrounding counties.
“Of course, the backlog of existing homes is preventing many buyers from moving up into new housing, and I would not expect home prices to rise fast enough to correct that in 2012,” Tutterow said.
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