In 2010, a total of 1,393 homes — roughly one in 79 — were in foreclosure in Buncombe County, according to statistics gathered by the NC Justice Center, a low-income advocacy group. The rate is lower than the state as a whole, where about one in 63 homes were in foreclosure.
The analysis stretches back over 10 years. Back in 2000, Buncombe County saw only 406 foreclosures. The number steadily increased alongside population growth and a housing boom, but remained relatively steady — between 600 and 700 a year – for most of the decade. In 2008, foreclosures spiked to 833 along with the economic downturn, then to 1,168 in 2009.
According to the statistics, the counties with the highest rates were Mecklenburg and Union, each with one in 34 homes in foreclosure.
NC Justice Center Director of Communications Jeff Shaw cautioned in an announcement about the data that the numbers are a slight overestimation because some commercial foreclosures were included alongside residential foreclosures.
“But the figures also actually underestimate the number of North Carolina’s working families affected,” Shaw continued. “Because many apartment buildings and multi-family units were foreclosed on during 2010.”
The center’s announcement praised North Carolina’s “proactive measures to prevent foreclosure,” contrasting the state’s rate with the national average of one in 45 homes in foreclosure, and called for more public investment.
— David Forbes, senior news reporter