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Six-Year Low
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GA 3rd Most Distressed
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Piece by Piece Update

February 14, 2013





Please take note of the following news and calendar updates:


National Housing Conference Responds to President Obama State of the Union Address



(Courtesy of NHC): 
Representing NHC's call as the "united voice for housing", Chris Estes, President and CEO of NHC, offered a response to some of the key housing issues included in the President's  State of the Union address.  Estes noted that President Obama recognized the essential connections between housing and our country's future.  Without vibrant housing markets around the country, we cannot achieve the growth in incomes and employment we need to emerge fully from the Great Recession. NHC applauded the President's call for refinancing home mortgages and investing in communities, particularly those devastated by foreclosures.  We need to build on solutions developed through NSP to help revitalize struggling communities and prevent further damage from foreclosures.  The President's proposal to target resources toward 20 of our "hardest hit towns" is certainly a start, but there are too many communities in need to limit our efforts to a pilot program.  MORE



Investors in the Single-Family Rental Market


  Dr. Dan Immergluck (Georgia Tech) recently published his report - "The Role of Investors in the Single Family Market in Distressed Neighborhoods:  The Case of Atlanta" through the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.  Immergluck examined data for moderate- to very high REO investor communities with specific focus on three neighborhoods in the City of Atlanta.    His analysis found that in high and very high REO investor communities, the share of investor-owned homes owned by larger investors tends to be higher than in other neighborhoods.   As part of his study, Immergluck conducted comprehensive interviews with private investors, real estate agents and nonprofit staff based in Metro Atlanta.  These respondents reported that they had difficulty accessing credit for purchasing and renovating homes.  Respondents also raised concerns about the problem of dumping when investors purchase properties in bulk and difficulties posed by current appraisal and home lending practices when trying to sell to owner-occupants.  Some respondents complained that lax code enforcement was a major problem and a barrier to responsible property investment.   MORE


Heavy Private Investment Activity in Atlanta, Nationwide Ignites Media Coverage.



Big business bets billions on Atlanta's housing recovery;  Could Wall Street's plan to buy up and rent out foreclosed homes boost hard-hit neighborhoods? Or inflate another housing bubble. (Creative Loafing)  


Housing Recovery Led by Investors Not Homeowners (Huffington Post)


JPMorgan Joins Rental Rush For Wealthy Clients: Mortgages (Bloomberg)  


Is that a Condo in Your IRA? (Wall Street Journal)  


Atlanta will Rebound Faster than Other Markets -Q&A with Oliver Chang, Sylvan Road Capital; (Atlanta Business Chronicle)  



Foreclosures Hit Six-Year Low


(Courtesy AJC): Metro Atlanta foreclosure notices are at their lowest level since the middle of 2007, another sign of an improving local housing market.  This month, 4,531 foreclosures were advertised for March sale at auction across 13 metro counties. At the height of the foreclosure crisis, in 2010, there were as many as 13,834 foreclosure notices in a single month.  The latest number, while still historically high, continues the trend of recent months and means the market is less skewed by a glut of low-priced foreclosures.  It will be some time before property values rise to the point that many homeowners are no longer underwater, however. Hard-hit areas south of the city, such as Clayton and Henry counties, have an especially long way to go. Gwinnett County, which has led metro Atlanta in foreclosures, had the highest number in February as well - 913 foreclosure notices. But Clayton and Henry counties have a higher number of foreclosure notices relative to their populations.  MORE



Building American Cities Toolkit


(Courtesy of Enterprise Community Partners):  Faithful Piece by Piece readers will recall calendar items about a series of three training workshops offered in Atlanta by the Center for Community Progress.  The final training in the series is scheduled for March 14 (see details below).  This training series is based on the Building American Cities Toolkit™, an online comprehensive resource designed to help practitioners think through strategies, identify specific tools to carry out those strategies, and learn about communities elsewhere that have improved the land, buildings, and neighborhoods that make up a city's built environment.  MORE


Yale Economist and Case-Shiller Co-Creator Robert Schiller on Current Trends in Housing Market


(Courtesy of New York Times): We're beginning to hear noises that we've reached a major turning point in the housing market - and that, with interest rates so low, this is a rare opportunity to buy. But are such observations on target?  It would be comforting if they were. Yet the unfortunate truth is that the tea leaves don't clearly suggest any particular path for prices, either up or down.  MORE


CredAbility Releases 4th Qtr 2012 Consumer Distress Index; Georgia has 3rd Highest Rate of Distress in Country


(Courtesy of CredAbility): For the quarter ending December 31, 2012, US households scored a 71.8 on the Index's 100-point scale, up 1.3 points from the previous quarter. A score below 70 indicates a state of financial distress. Georgia's ranking was 66.5.  MORE






February 18-22, 2013

NeighborWorks Training Institute, Atlanta
For workshop descriptions and registration information available at www.nw.org


Wednesday, February 20, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EST.  

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty 
Free Webinar: "Eviction (Without) Notice: Renters and the Foreclosure Crisis". The report shows how, for many low-income renters, the Protecting Tenants and Foreclosure Act (PTFA) is all that stands between housing and homelessness. It also includes a nationwide survey of tenants' rights advocates and renters themselves, showing how often PTFA is violated and offers recommendations to better protect renters under the law.   REGISTRATION 




Wednesday, March 6, 2013 

Atlanta Regional Housing Forum

PLACE MATTERS: Leveraging Catalytic Opportunities for Equitable Development  
Spurred by large public and private investment, the potential for the significant transformation of a depressed neighborhood provides a rare opportunity to encourage housing and neighborhood development that is both equitable and sustainable. Various opportunities loom in the near future due to several large investments planned throughout the region, including, the Beltline, downtown streetcar, Fort McPherson, former General Motors site, and new development of the Georgia Dome and additions to Turner field. How should the surrounding communities respond?  REGISTRATION



Wednesday, March 6, 2013 

GREFPAC 9th Annual Education Conference

GREFPAC's 9th Annual Education Conference will be held March 6, 2013 at the Cobb Galleria Centre.  The agenda is being finalized, and outstanding speakers will address evolving fraud trends, as well as best practices to detect and prevent fraud.  CE credits will be available for attorneys, real estate brokers and salespersons, appraisers, and CFEs.  



March 14, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
The Center for Community Progress will conduct a seminar entitled Taking Control of and Managing Problem Properties. As a critical element to ensure there is a pathway for reuse, how do you create the systems to manage and acquire problem properties? This workshop will look at land banking, tax foreclosure, vacant property inventories and other tools for gaining control of persistent problem properties. Registration is $40. 


PLEASE NOTE:  The training is based on the Building American Cities Toolkit™, an online comprehensive resource designed to help practitioners think through strategies, identify specific tools to carry out those strategies, and learn about communities elsewhere that have improved the land, buildings, and neighborhoods that make up a city's built environment. Start your journey here.   EVENT REGISTRATION



September 16-18, 2013
Solutions 2013 National Conference on State and Local Housing Policy.  National Housing Conference (NHC) will host their annual conference in Atlanta this year.  Stay tuned for more details.



Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator  



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