The housing market and employment used to go hand in hand. But lately they’re like a once happy couple that hung together through the toughest of times, and then — just when things brightened a little — decided to go their separate ways, at least temporarily.
On the jobs front, unemployment in metro Atlanta has been slowly improving. After deep job losses between 2007 and 2010, the Atlanta unemployment rate improved from 9.9 percent a year ago to 9 percent in February. Georgia’s jobless rate has dipped for seven consecutive months.
But the local housing market has not even hit bottom yet. The average sales price in metro Atlanta was down 2.1 percent in January, sliding to the lowest point since mid-1997, according to Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index. In the past year, average prices have dropped 14.8 percent.
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