AJC: Housing recovery a few years away

There’s nothing new here for regular readers of my column or this blog, but the AJC has a good overview today about the prospects for a housing recovery in the Atlanta area: No quick recovery for metro housing market.

I frankly haven’t been overly impressed with the AJC’s past coverage of the housing market. Like so many other newspapers, they’ve done a decent job of tracking monthly changes but have not done such a good job understanding and communicating long-term trends.

From the piece:

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution read multiple forecasts and studies from banks and industry groups, talked to local and national experts and metro home owners to sort through the deluge of information and gain insights into where the region is and what its future is.

Though Barclays Capital’s recent U.S. home market study cited metro Atlanta as one of the best bets for future housing growth, it also said the region must work through a market flooded with foreclosures and achieve a larger economic rebound for housing to recover.

Jim Grissett, an Emory University real estate professor and founding member of real 
estate investment company, The Parthenon Group, put it simply.

“The answer to all of this is jobs,” he said.

The correlation of the unemployment rate and foreclosures supports that idea.

RealtyTrac, a real-estate numbers crunching firm, estimates that every 6 to 10 job losses leads to one foreclosure.

The jobless rate in metro Atlanta was 5.3 percent in 2005, when 37,605 foreclosure notices were mailed out.

The rate was 9.7 percent in 2009 and 10.2 percent in 2010, and is 10.1 percent through September — and this will be the third year in a row that foreclosure notices will exceed 110,000.

As I noted in a recent post (2016 or later before Georgia regains all jobs lost in recession, according to new study), we’re several years away from recovering all the jobs Georgia lost in the recession. And the state is one of only a handful that is still reporting year-over-year job losses.

It’s going to be a slog getting through this. Upside surprises seem unlikely, while many downside risks are waiting in the wings.