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Suwanee housing market continues rebound

Staff Photo: Keith Farner The Three Bridges neighborhood in Suwanee has 13 of the 34 homes under construction in the city. There were 63 home starts in Suwanee in the first six months of the year, compared with 59 in 2011.

Staff Photo: Keith Farner The Three Bridges neighborhood in Suwanee has 13 of the 34 homes under construction in the city. There were 63 home starts in Suwanee in the first six months of the year, compared with 59 in 2011.

SUWANEE -- The slow rebound of the housing market continues, and when compared to metro Atlanta and the rest of the region and nation, Suwanee continues to grow at pace that bucks recent norms.

In data released earlier this month, there were 34 homes under construction in Suwanee in the second quarter, which is up from 20 during the previous quarter, and nine during the same period last year. The Three Bridges development, with 13, and Suwanee Station, at 12, lead the city in lots under construction by neighborhood.

There were 63 home starts in Suwanee in the first six months of this year, compared with 59 in 2011.

McGinnis Reserve, which itself has been an individual success story regarding home values, has five under construction, and only 16 platted, but vacant lots.

"It could be Suwanee's reputation, could be good schools, parks that we have," Suwanee Planning Director Josh Campbell said. "Clearly there's some sort of amenity or something about the area that people are attracted to. In these neighborhoods, basically you're talking about the same type of homes. It's just a matter of people are moving forward with buying homes."

Campbell added that anecdotal conversations with colleagues in other Gwinnett cities represent a general feel of optimism in the market.

In metro Atlanta, home values increased by 2.35 percentage points between February and May. The previous period measured, from November, 2011 to February saw a decrease of 3.68 percent, according to the Case-Shiller home price index.

Suwanee Planning Division Director Matt Dickison said foreclosure filings in Gwinnett County decreased by approximately 2 percent from the first quarter to the second quarter. The city saw an 8 percent drop.

Campbell said some obstacles that had slowed growth have been cleared up.

"Some of the other neighborhoods where the builders had various issues with their banks, they've been able to resolve those issues," he said. "Now they can move forward, and it happens to be good timing that the economy is better to build and then sell the homes."