New data out of Standard & Poor’s this morning painted a somewhat mixed picture of the U.S. housing market: showing home prices may have hit bottom.However one market continues to exhibit strong weakness, falling 2.1 per cent during the month and 14.8 per cent compared to year-ago levels. The city: Atlanta.
“Atlanta continues to stand out in terms of recent relative weakness,” David Blitzer, chair of S&P indices, said. “It was down 2.1 per cent over the month, and has fallen by a cumulative 19.7 per cent over the last six months. It also posted the worst annual return, down 14.8 per cent.”
Atlanta faces a number of constraints that other metropolitan areas do not, including rampant overbuilding that has left the market seemingly permanently saturated.
In 2009, a report out of SNL Financial showed that there were 149,708 finished lots in the 28 county area.
“A lot of those lots are in locations that are not too desirable and may not ever get absorbed,” Eugene James, director of the Atlanta region for Metrostudy, told SNL. “I’ve been trying to figure out some additional, new uses for some of these lots in these exurban portions of metro Atlanta. I don’t know, maybe we just dump some dirt on top and start growing trees.”
Financing has also been an issue in the region. Since 2000, more banks have failed in Georgia than any other state, including Florida and California, an analysis of data provided by the FDIC shows.
Below, the most recent report from Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller.
Photo: Standard & Poor’s
Coming in a relatively distant second is Las Vegas, which is down 9.0 per cent compared to last year. Other metro areas, like Denver, Detroit, and Phoenix, have started to rebound from year-ago levels.
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