Mortgage delinquencies and foreclosure rates have steadily declined in the years following the Great Recession, and they now stand at a 12-year low.
In the Charleston region, the foreclosure rate stood at 0.5 percent in July, falling from 0.7 percent a year earlier, and the delinquency rate of 90 days or longer came in at 1.4 percent, falling from 1.9 percent in July 2017, according to property information service CoreLogic.
The figures are part of the national trend in improved housing finances in the full-employment economy 10 years after the housing bubble burst, thrusting the nation into the deepest downturn in decades.
Nationally, the percentage of mortgages 90 days past due was 1.6 percent in July, down from 1.9 percent a year earlier. The national foreclosure rate held steady at 0.5 percent, but was down from July 2017's rate of 0.7 percent. The foreclosure rate has remained the same since April this year.
Supply and demand
Demand for apartments in the Charleston area exceeded supply over the past six months.
That's the latest take on the multifamily market in the Lowcountry from Charlotte-base apartment research firm Real Data.
The demand-over-supply equation worked out to cause the occupancy rate to grow to 89.9 percent and rental rates to rise 2.3 percent over the past 12 months.
California-based apartment website RentCafe reported this month rents in the city of Charleston jumped 5 percent year over year through September to an average of $1,306 a month. In North Charleston, rates rose 4.0 percent to $1,009 per month, the firm noted.
But rising rents may not be the case for long.
Throughout the region, 4,652 units are under construction and another 4,843 are proposed.
As more apartments are built, Real Data predicts supply will exceed demand through 2019, causing vacancies to rise modestly and rents to decline as multifamily communities compete for tenants through special offers.
A Charleston developer is planning a large apartment project in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The Beach Co. wants to build 151 units and a dozen townhouses, along with 16,000 square feet of office and retail space, on two adjacent lots near the city's downtown riverfront, according to the Times Free Press.
A 300-space parking garage will be constructed in the center of the larger of two lots for the new development, which will have three-, four- and five-story buildings, the newspaper said, citing The Beach Co.
A zoning panel signed off on the project Oct. 8. Chattanooga City Council could give final approval on zoning Nov. 13.
Georgia on its mind
A Charleston-based multifamily investment firm recently acquired two apartment developments in the Atlanta area.
Blaze Partners now owns the 299-unit Overlook at Huntcrest, a garden apartment community in Suwanee, and the 309-unit, four-story Stadium Walk near Battery Atlanta and SunTrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves.
Terms were not disclosed. The acquisition marks the company's third foray into Atlanta during the past 12 months.
"Since starting the company two years ago, we have been an active buyer seeking out unique investment opportunities in target, high-growth markets throughout the Southeast," said Eddy O'Brien, managing partner and co-founder of Blaze. "These opportunities certainly fit that profile, and we look forward to continuing to leverage deep industry relationships and strategic capital partnerships to further expand our footprint."