Fayette foreclosures set to double

Tue, 05/06/2008 - 4:33pm
By: John Thompson

The news doesn’t seem to be getting any better for the county’s staggering economy.

In statistics released last week by equitydepot.net, Fayette’s homes up for foreclosure could easily double the 2007 number.

In 2007, 852 homes were in the foreclosure process. But through the first four months of 2008, 438 homes have already entered foreclosure proceedings. Last year through four months, 264 homes were in the foreclosure process. The pace picked up the rest of the year, and the upward trend is still continuing.

Fayette’s foreclosure numbers are the second-lowest in the 13-county metro Atlanta region that Equity Depot measures. Fayette County had 122 homes slated for the foreclosure process yesterday, while Bartow County only had 95.

The region’s highest number for April is Fulton County with 1,844, followed by DeKalb with 1,284. Neighboring Clayton had 658 scheduled for April.

The latest foreclosure news, coupled with a nearly zero growth rate, could be a low blow as local governments start preparing their fiscal budgets for 2009.

Last month, The Citizen reported this year’s tax digest is only expected to increase about 2.5 percent from $5.24 billion to $5.38 billion.

“Most of the growth is coming in the commercial area, which has done a lot better than the residential market,” said Fayette County’s Chief Assessor Joel Benton.

The rest of the growth comes from the small number of new homes built last year, and additions residents made to their homes, he added.

In 2007, Fayette County issued only 167 building permits for new residential construction.

“That’s the smallest number of new permits since we began keeping records in 1972,” said interim Administrator Jack Krakeel.

Last year, the county used a 6 percent growth figure, but this year’s much smaller figure means an even tighter year for the county’s budget.

Foreclosure figures were obtained from Equity Depot, a private company based in Alpharetta. The company was created and is managed by investors who have broad experience and knowledge in the real estate investor market. The company aggregates data from a broad set of qualified sources, according to its website.

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