Real Estate

Atlanta home prices fall 25%

From the AJC:

The median price for a single-family home in the metro Atlanta area has fallen 25 percent over the past year, according to data released from the National Association of Realtors.

The statistics, released Tuesday, say in first quarter of the year the median price for a single-family home was $115,600, down from $154,000 over the same period in 2008.

Looks like we haven’t hit bottom yet.

25, originally uploaded by UsokChoe.

Business, Commercial Property

Atlanta’s Equitable building in foreclosure

From the AJC:

Downtown Atlanta’s Equitable building, an iconic 30-plus story office tower that once dominated the city’s skyline, has fallen into foreclosure.

A foreclosure notice said the 40-year-old skyscraper is scheduled to be auctioned on the Fulton County courthouse steps on May 5.

The building’s owners, Equastone 100 Peachtree LLC, owes $52 million on the mortgage to Capmark Bank, a Utah lender. San Diego-based Equastone bought the building in May 2007 for $56.8 million.

Some are saying that there is an impending crash in commercial real estate. This may be the first major property to fall in Atlanta.

stone vs steel, originally uploaded by romanlily.

Real Estate

Atlanta is third worst in vacant homes

 

From the AJC:

Metro Atlanta is among the nation’s leaders in vacant rental units and single-family homes, according to new Census Bureau data.

In fact, it’s the third emptiest metro area in America, behind only Las Vegas and Detroit, a Forbes.com ranking says.

Overbuilding, foreclosures and the sheer size of the Atlanta metropolitan statistical area —- 28 counties —- have all pushed Atlanta close to the top.

“Our housing stock in Atlanta right now appears to be very soft in the sense of demand,” said Frank Alexander, a real estate law expert who teaches at Emory University. “It continues to drive down rental rates and home prices. The softness is good for buyers and renters, but it is bad news for sellers.”

Dan Reuter, chief of the land use division at the Atlanta Regional Commission, says the empty-space ranking reflects foreclosure and overdevelopment problems.

The number of properties scheduled for foreclosure sales this month hit a record level. And “there’s no way it’s slowing down,” said Mark Sulimirski, chief operating officer at Equity Depot, which tracks foreclosures.

Jim Grissett, an adjunct professor at Emory and investment adviser who specializes in real estate, said, “I fear the problem that we do have is the condo market —- overinvestment in the market.”

Intown Atlanta had more than 6,000 new unsold condo units at the end of 2008, and only 645 new units sold the entire year, Haddow & Co. says.

Atlanta’s condo market is in absolute free fall.

vacancy., originally uploaded by ten minutes.

Real Estate

Atlanta condo sales take a nosedive

 

From the AJC:

Demand for condominiums in intown Atlanta has “evaporated,” with just 66 new units sold in the second half of 2008, according to Haddow & Co., a local real estate consulting firm that’s been studying the condo market since 1999.

That’s an 88 percent dropoff from the number of units sold in the first half of 2008. Just 645 new condos sold all of last year — 76 percent below the annual average of the previous eight years.

“Interest rates are very low, prices are falling, product availability is enormous, but closings are scarce,” the report says. “In the words of one observer, ‘we have a buyer’s market with no buyers.’”

The numbers are chilling for a company like the Novare Group, which is scheduled to open the Atlantic condo tower at Atlantic Station in June. The 46-story luxury high-rise will have 401 units, 27 percent of which are under contract. But how many of those contracts will actually close remains to be seen.

Novare did not respond to a request to comment.

The Haddow report also says the condo “resale market faltered in the first half of 2008 and has still not recovered.” Resales plummeted 44.2 percent last year compared to 2007 and the average sales price declined 11.6 percent.

66 sales over 6 months. That is not a lot.

66, originally uploaded by dug_da_bug.

Business

Home Depot shutting Expo stores

 

From the Real Estate Crack Up:

Home Depot is shuttering all of its Home Depot Expo stores, which turned out never to be much of a success anyway. Even with homeowners flush with equity-line cash, the stores apparently never really performed well.

7,000 jobs are to be eliminated.

The decline in Atlanta’s housing market has hit the Orange Box pretty severely.

 

3.1.06 Orange Stripe, originally uploaded by M J M.

Business, Real Estate

KB Home leaving Atlanta

 

From The Atlanta Journal and Constitution:

One of the nation’s biggest home builders, KB Home, is quitting the Atlanta market.

The Los Angeles-based company has developed seven metro communities, three of which are completed, making it one of the biggest local homebuilders.

“KB Home has made the strategic decision not to invest in additional communities in Atlanta and make a gradual transition out of its operations in the market,” company spokesperson Cara Kane said.

“We are committed to completing and delivering all of the homes that are currently under construction in our four active communities in the Atlanta area to the full satisfaction of those homebuyers,” Kane said.

The move is hardly surprising, given the glut of homes for sale on the Atlanta market right now.

, originally uploaded by moominsean.

Business, Commercial Property, Real Estate

A problem of empty malls

 

From CNN:

As the recession leaves more retail casualties
in its wake, experts warn that rising store bankruptcies and mall closures
could have devastating economic consequences for entire communities.

Major cities across America will be impacted to various degrees, said
David Birnbrey, Chairman and Co-CEO of Atlanta-based The Shopping Center Group,
a retail real estate services firm.

“In Las Vegas, the real estate downturn was led by the housing collapse
and now the retail downturn is taking over,” Birnbrey said.

“We also have too many stores in Atlanta relative to the population,” he
added.

When an overbuilt retail sector meets failing businesses, bad things are going to happen. Not only is Atlanta glutted with recently-built retail space which stands empty, but already-existing locations are struggling with an increased number of failing businesses.

 

Empty and Cold, originally uploaded by noonetohearme.

Business, Real Estate

Another Atlanta-based bank fails

 

From the FDIC:

Haven Trust Bank, Duluth, Georgia, was closed today by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T), Winston-Salem, NC, to assume all of Haven Trust’s deposits, including those that exceeded the insurance limit.

The four branches of Haven Trust will reopen on Monday as branches of BB&T. All the depositors of Haven Trust will automatically become depositors of BB&T. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their existing banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage. Customers of the failed bank should continue to use their existing branches until they receive further information from BB&T.

Over the weekend, depositors of Haven Trust can access all their money by writing checks or using ATMs or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.

As of December 8, 2008, Haven Trust had total assets of $572 million and total deposits of $515 million. BB&T agreed to assume all of the deposits for $112,000. In addition to assuming all of the failed bank’s deposits, BB&T will purchase approximately $55 million of the failed bank’s assets. The FDIC will retain the remaining assets for later disposition.

It’s the fifth bank closed in Georgia since August of this year.

Step 1, originally uploaded by  Sooma .

Business

Loganville-based Community Bank fails

      

From the FDIC:

The Community Bank, Loganville, Georgia, was closed today by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Bank of Essex, to assume all of the deposits of The Community Bank.

The Community Bank’s four branches will open on Monday, November 24, 2008 as Bank of Essex. Depositors of the failed bank will automatically become depositors of Bank of Essex. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage.

Over the weekend, customers of The Community Bank can access their deposits by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.

As of October 17, 2008, The Community Bank had total assets of $681.0 million and total deposits of $611.4 million. Bank of Essex purchased approximately $84.4 million of The Community Bank’s assets, and did pay the FDIC a premium of $3.2 million for the right to assume the failed bank’s deposits. The FDIC will retain the remaining assets for later disposition.

It is the twentty-third bank failure in the nation this year.

 

Piggy Homicide, originally uploaded by True Scot.

Business, Real Estate

Mall operator warns of bankruptcy

 

From CNN:

General Growth Properties Inc., the No. 2 mall operator in the United States, has warned that an ongoing slump in retail sales, combined with the credit market lockdown, has pushed the company to the brink of bankruptcy.

Chicago-based General Growth Properties said in an SEC filing late Monday that it has $900 million of property secured debt and $58 million of corporate debt coming up for renewal by Dec. 1. It also faces another $3.07 billion in debt that matures in 2009.

But “given the continued weakness of the retail and credit markets,” the mall operator fears it may not be able to refinance its loans at lower rates to meet its short-term cash needs.

General Growth manages Cumberland Mall, in northern Atlanta. Once upon a time, it was very funky.

 

387762119, originally uploaded by sigmaman.