Piece by Piece
Underwater Atlanta
Investors Crowd Out Buyers
Regaining Lost Ground
FMLS Partners with Workforce Resource
HUD FY 2014 Budget Released
ARC Regional Snapshot: Housing
House Dems as for Intervention
300,000 Zombie Properties
New Financial Literacy Program
Calendar Items: Help for Troubled Homeowners


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Piece by Piece Update

May 3, 2013





Please take note of the following news and calendar updates:


Metro Atlanta Leads Country in Underwater Homeowners



(Courtesy of AJC): In an arc that stretches from Cartersville to McDonough to Winder, dozens of metro Atlanta neighborhoods are drowning. There's not another metro area in the United States with as many concentrated pockets of mortgage holders who are underwater on their loans. The nationwide data, complied by Zillow at the end of last year, identified the worst 1 percent of ZIP codes in terms of the percentage of mortgage holders who owe more than their homes are worth. Georgia has nearly a quarter of those ZIP codes, most of them arrayed in a crescent around Atlanta's southern flank. The worst hit area is in Riverdale where 85 percent of homeowners with mortgages are underwater. In some parts of the metro, houses are selling quickly, and for more than their asking price. The number of foreclosure notices has been falling. But the improvements are not spread evenly across the city.... Another worrisome trend: Many of the hardest-hit areas have high black populations, and African Americans tend to have more of their wealth tied up in their homes, rather than, say, stocks and bonds.  


Housing Investment Boom Crowds out Individual Buyers


(Courtesy of Housing Matters and Washington Post): Single-family homes in distressed areas are a hot asset right now for Wall Street investors, with some firms snapping up hundreds of homes a day. Some analysts worry that individual buyers are being crowded out of the market. "Lower-income Americans will lose their opportunity for the American dream of building wealth through owning a home," said Jack McCabe, a Florida real estate consultant. MORE


Metro Atlanta Home Prices Regain Lost Ground 


(Courtesy of AJC): Metro Atlanta home prices have climbed back to the highest point in 18 months, as inventory drops and more buyers hit the market. Prices rose 16.5 percent in February from a year earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, a widely watched barometer. Atlanta's Case-Shiller index score has not been higher since August 2011, when the effect of foreclosures and a weak economy sent prices into a trough that bottomed out last February. Since then the index has slowly improved...Still, Atlanta joins Detroit and Cleveland as the only metro areas that still have average sale prices below where they were in 2000 - the baseline year for the index.  MORE


Workforce Resources Launches Partnership with FMLS; Connecting Atlanta Home Buyers to Down Payment Programs


First Multiple Listing ServiceŽ (FMLS) recently announced that it is integrating Down Payment Resource, a product of Piece by Piece partner Workforce Resource, into FMLS's property listing data, expanding the awareness and reach of down payment assistance programs available to Southeast area homebuyers. Atlanta-based Down Payment Resource, the nation's only web-based aggregator of homebuyer programs, provides information about down payment assistance, affordable mortgages, and rehab loans during the home search process. MORE



Secretary Donovan Releases HUD FY 2014 Budget; Deficit Pressure and Tough Times for Housing


(Courtesy of NHC) The President's FY 2014 budget follows the recurring theme in Washington of deficit reductionIn housing, the budget shows the how the overall pressure to reduce spending filters down to the program level, with cuts or flat funding for some core housing programs alongside a few increases and new proposals in key areas.   NHC provides a detailed summary of the HUD FY2014 budget here.


ARC Releases Regional Snapshot Focused on Housing


The latest edition of ARC's Regional Snapshot looks at national and local level data on home prices and finds that although prices do seem to be stabilizing, they are still well below their pre-recession levels in most areas of the region. However, in some areas, homes are selling at prices higher than those seen pre-recession, at least according to Zillow, a real estate aggregation site.  ARC Housing Snapshot Video





FHFA Extends HARP Refinances through 2015


(Courtesy of American Banker): The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Thursday extended the government's Home Affordable Refinance Program for an additional two years through 2015. The program was set to expire at the end of this year.  MORE


House Democrats Request President's Intervention on Backlog of Mortgage Relief


Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) wrote a letter to President Obama, signed by 28 other Members of Congress, requesting that he issue an executive order directing the Department of Treasury to amend their Hardest Hit Fund contracts with recipient states with the intent to increase program participation and to improve distribution of resources to homeowners awaiting promised assistance.  MORE



Study Counts 300,000 'Zombie' Properties Across U.S.


(Courtesy of Housing Matters): The U.S. has more than 300,000 abandoned homes that sit vacant in neighborhoods, often becoming targets for vandals and falling into disrepair, according to RealtyTrac. Many of these so-called "zombie" homes are left empty when homeowners move out after receiving a notice that the bank intends to sell the home, but the bank does not follow through. According to the Reuters special report, municipalities are left to deal with the mess when people move out after receiving a notice of a planned foreclosure sale that the bank then cancels.   MORE  


Georgia Watch Launches Financial Literacy Initiative


Georgia Watch is expanding its existing personal finance program to assist vulnerable populations by providing focused financial literacy education to low and moderate-income households. Georgia Watch has partnered with CredAbility, the Atlanta-based non-profit credit counseling and education organization, to carry out its goals of reaching thousands of low- and moderate-income individuals in the communities that need it most.  




Share your calendar items with us! Please email Susan Adams at sadams@andpi.org with news of your upcoming events.


May 29, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Access to Capital workshop sponsored by AHAND and G-STAND. Financial institutions will explain in-depth their underwriting criteria for acquisition and rehab loans and provide information on mortgage loans for home buyers. With financial support from Enterprise Community Partners, no fee to attend, but registration required. Registration opens May 1. (Atlanta) 


June 18, Save the Date for Performance Measures workshop, sponsored by AHAND and G-STAND.  This workshop will cover how to develop, write and manage performance measures, including 1) three levels of measures - Results, Intermediate Measures and Operational Measures; 2) difference between an outcome and an output and 3) creation of meaningful measures for funders, investors, board, community stakeholders, and staff.  With financial support from Enterprise Community Partners, no fee to attend, but registration required. Registration opens May 15. (Atlanta)


June 20 -- NHC's 41st Annual Housing Person of the Year Gala, Washington, DC.  - "Housing's Path Forward."  For more details, contact NHC's Leah Logan at llogan@nhc.org or at (202) 466-2121 x221.


September 16 - 18, NHC's Solutions Conference in Atlanta, GA. 


October 29 - SAVE THE DATE --AHAND and G-STAND will jointly host the 12th Annual Fall Affordable Housing Conference in Atlanta.  They are planning a full day of informative sessions on various aspects of affordable housing designed to broaden the knowledge and sharpen the skills of the state's non-profit housing developers and other affordable housing stakeholders.



Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator  



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