Some good news from Atlanta’s battered condo sector

We’ve been slowly turning a corner in housing for a while, and recent plunges in prices in the Atlanta area are almost certain to help clear some of the excess inventory.

Most of the time when I write about housing, the emphasis is on single-family homes. For the most part, condo sales and prices have fared even worse.

Now some good news. From the AJC’s Some condos finally nearing sell-out:

The 22-story Luxe condo tower in Midtown is about to close out, with one unit under contract and one left to sell out of 117, said John Huckaby, senior vice president at ST Residential.

Luxe is one of six condo properties — totaling nearly 1,600 units — the Chicago-based asset-management company co-owns and manages that were once part of Corus Bank’s Atlanta portfolio. Corus failed in 2009.

The group lowered original prices by 30 to 40 percent and has sold 450 condos in the past 18 months, Huckaby said.

“We’re seeing buyers out there that want to buy, that are qualified to buy,” he said.

Condo sales have picked up as developers have cut prices, said Eugene James, director of research firm MetroStudy’s local office. “They held out for as long as they possibly could.”

Sales of intown Atlanta condos were expected to possibly surpass 1,000 last year, compared with only 636 in 2009, with purchases below $300,000 helping to drive the market up, according to real estate consulting firm Haddow & Co.