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5 Cities Where Home Prices Hit New Lows


  • Home prices compared to July 2007 peak: -39%

Home prices in Atlanta are at their lowest level since 1996, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller report. Prices have plummeted 39% off their peak in 2007. And there’s no sign of a recovery in sight. Over the past year, Atlanta posted a 17% drop in home prices – the biggest decline out of all the 20 metro area tracked by S&P/Case-Shiller

High unemployment is contributing to the city’s woes. The unemployment rate in Atlanta was 9% in February, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared to the national unemployment rate of 8.3% at the time. With more people out of work, fewer can afford to buy a home, lessening demand for real estate. In turn, homes in some Atlanta neighborhoods – particularly in the suburbs – have been lingering on the market for months, says Bill Golden, a realtor with RE/MAX Metro Atlanta. He says suburban home values have lost significantly more value than properties in the city’s center.

Foreclosures are also on the rise. Lenders repossessed nearly 11,000 homes during the first three months of the year, up 21% from the same period a year ago, according to RealtyTrac. These properties also impact the value of nearby non-distressed homes. On average, home property values drop about 1% when they’re within one-eighth of a mile from a residence that’s received a foreclosure filing, according to the Woodstock Institute, which researches foreclosures, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. When the home is sold – whether in an auction or taken back by the lender – homes within a quarter mile lose up to around 4% of their value, according to a separate study in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics.

Getty Images
High angle view of houses in Atlanta


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