Foreclosures being actively marketed

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

COVINGTON -- One in four homes for sale in Newton County is a foreclosed property, according to a review of foreclosure trends by RealtyStore, a national consumer-focused provider of residential foreclosure listings.

While that's a significant level of foreclosure saturation, there is good news: 96 percent of those properties are being actively marketed for re-sale.

Some 447 foreclosures are presently recorded but not yet re-sold countywide, according to RealtyStore. Of those, 428 are listed with a price for resale. The remaining 19 properties are considered pending for listing and comprise what is termed shadow inventory. Other markets across the country have a much higher shadow inventory. In some areas, less than half of foreclosed properties are on the market and in others, only a quarter.

"It appears banks and the government enterprise REO (real estate owned) owners are motivated to list their local properties here, more so than in other markets," said Peter Ranck, vice president of RealtyStore, pointing out that the same is true in Rockdale and Henry counties. Rockdale has 91 percent of foreclosures on the market and Henry County has 90 percent.

Ranck said that's good news because it means the owners of these properties believe the worst is over.

"They probably don't believe it will drop significantly lower than the current price. A lot of other markets are holding inventory back, waiting for the bottom so they don't put undue pressure on existing home prices and drive them even lower ... Maybe you've hit bottom," Ranck said.

Home prices in Newton were reported at a median price of $110,000. Foreclosures show a median list price of $78,950, or 28 percent lower than the market at large, RealtyStore reported. That's in line with industry estimates suggesting foreclosure list prices average 25 to 32 percent below market median prices.

Bank foreclosures in Newton show the widest range of prices, from $6,000 to $340,000, with a median price of $79,900. Bank foreclosures represent 79 percent of the county's foreclosures. The rest are owned and listed for resale by government sponsored entities such as Fannie Mae, the VA and HUD.