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Monday, February 14, 2011

Atlanta is home to country's worst real estate slump, says NYT

The green represents Atlanta
  • The New York Times
  • The green represents Atlanta; the gray is the national average
Actually, the Gray Lady doesn't exactly come out and say that. Instead, she lets a graph do the talking. The graph in question accompanies a business story about how some major cities that weren't initially considered to be biggest victims of the real estate bubble — that dubious honor went to such boom-and-bust burgs as Las Vegas, Phoenix and pretty much any place in Florida — have turned out to be among the least able to bounce back.

Although the article itself focuses on Seattle, the aforementioned graph shows Atlanta to possess, now three years after the crash, what appears to be the most moribund of all the nation's major urban housing markets.

A handy chart lays out the cold, hard facts: While some cities have shown a modest rebound in home prices — 3% for both San Diego and Washington, D.C., for instance — and others have seen a slowing in their market slides — a could-be-worse -4% for both Dallas and Miami — Atlanta is suffering a -8% year-over-year decline in home prices.

Does this mean no one wants to move to Atlanta? No, the latest demographic data show that's not the case. I'm guessing our inability to recover from the crash has much to do with our status as one of the country's mortgage-fraud capitals. But perhaps a well-informed reader would like to jump in and explain our plight.

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