MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The housing market may be getting better, but it's far from out of the woods. New numbers show foreclosures in Shelby County went up dramatically in June.
It paints a bleak picture for an area hit hard by the recession. A realtor says, don't believe the hype.
When a nationally known real estate information company says foreclosure filings went up 30 percent in the Mid-South, people pay attention. But a local realtor says things aren't that bad. In fact the housing market is getting better.
“I've been a realtor for 26 years and we've always had our share, actually more than our fair share of foreclosures,” said Crye-Leike realtor Carol Lott.
But, she added, there are not nearly as many as RealtyTrac claims. Lott is the President of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors. By her count, foreclosures only went up 12 percent from last year. The housing market is doing even better.
“The market is up overall 16 percent when you include new construction and existing homes, that sort of thing, it's up 16 percent and that's better than the foreclosure numbers. That tells me there's activity is out there. There's buyers out there wanting to buy and rates are helping that. Money is almost free right now,” Lott said.
RealtyTrac says more than 500 homes received foreclosure notices in June. They came after a relatively strong showing at the beginning of the year.
“We saw three straight months of year over year increases in foreclosure activity,” said RealtyTrac's Vice President Daren Blomquist.
As for the difference between local realtors' numbers, Blomquist said, “They maybe looking at foreclosures that are actually listed for sale whereas we're also tracking properties that are being foreclosed on that are not listed for sale.”
Carol Lott says even though the housing market is getting better and home values are recovering, there are still deals to be had. Just not as many as before.