Atlanta named America’s fourth sickest housing market
It is no secret that Atlanta, and the state of Georgia as a whole, has been struggling more than most other cities and states throughout the economic recession. To summarize, Georgia has higher rates of unemployment, bankruptcy and foreclosure than many other states in the country. This has caused the state to end up near the top of many “worst” lists, and another recently released list is no exception.
According to an analysis by the website 24/7 Wall Street, Atlanta is now ranked fourth in the top ten “sickest” housing markets. The website came to this conclusion by analyzing U.S. Census data for the 75 largest metropolitan areas in the country, and ranking the cities with the highest vacancy rates for both homes and rental properties for the second quarter of 2011. When vacancies are high, the site says, home prices are driven down, and there is little demand for new or existing housing.
The website removed any cities that showed improved homeowner vacancy rates during the last quarter or the last 12 months. The site also included an analysis of unemployment rates, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and historical median home prices, with data from the National Association of Realtors.
After comparing all of the relevant data, the website ranked the top ten sickest housing markets, placing Atlanta in the fourth spot. According to the ranking, Atlanta has a 5.4 percent homeowner vacancy rate and an 11.8 percent rental vacancy rate, which rank at 4th and 17th, respectively. In addition, the city’s unemployment rate is currently standing at 9.7 percent, significantly higher than the national unemployment rate of 9.2 percent.
The report also stated that median home prices have fallen significantly, with the average Atlanta home losing more than a third of its value (a drop in price of almost $50,000) between 2008 and the first quarter of 2011.
Source: 24/7 Wall Street, “America’s Ten Sickest Housing Markets,” August 3, 2011