In March 2012, the county was hit hard, with 338 foreclosures advertised in the Cherokee Tribune, Cherokee County’s legal organ.
This March, however, things seem to look a bit better, with 207 being advertised. In February only 196 foreclosures were advertised for sale.
Wanda Roach, a real estate agent with ERA Sunrise Realty, said Wednesday that she’s cautious in her optimism over the numbers drop.
“It could be a positive sign that more people are staying in their houses,” she said. But the decline in foreclosures could be the result of another factor at work, Roach warned.
A potential cause for the lower numbers could be more people taking advantage of short sales, she said.
A short sale is when a lender accepts less than what is owed for a home.
Many are turning to these sales, Roach said, as a means to avoid foreclosure.
Cherokee Bank President and CEO Dennis Burnette agreed Wednesday that short sales could be a cause for the numbers drop.
“We see a lot of houses that would have been foreclosed upon two and three years ago, but the mortgage lenders are more willing to accept a sale of the house that doesn’t pay the loan in full,” Burnette said. “Because it makes good economic sense.”
Another reason for the decline, Burnette said, could be the number of homes on the market now.
“Inventories of homes on the market are at an all time low, so if you’re in trouble financially and need to sell your house, it’s easier,” he said.
Roach suggested another cause of the drop in foreclosures in Cherokee County could be that lenders are holding homes, waiting for the housing market to heal so homes will have a higher value.
The listings advertised Friday will be sold on the courthouse steps in Canton on April 2.