Rausch has been the business editor since September 2008, previously serving as senior business reporter. He joined the Chronicle in April 2007. He has written for newspapers in Napoleon, Ohio, Moline, Ill., and Lima, Ohio. He holds a bachelor of science in journalism from Ohio University (1992). In 2006, he received a second place award in business writing from the Association Press in Ohio.
Posted August 23, 2013 10:46 am - Updated August 30, 2013 10:49 am

Augusta lagging in some housing areas

Things are getting better in the housing market, but compared to a lot of metro areas in the nation, Augusta seems to be lagging.


RealtyTrac, which usually distributes monthly foreclosure information, has devised a new Housing Market Recovery Index. It was calculated based on factors relating to the health of the real estate market: unemployment rate, underwater loans percentage, foreclosure activity, distressed sales, institutional investors, cash purchases and changes in the median home price.


OK, so 100 is the U.S. average, and that’s how you’re supposed to judge your particular area. Augusta’s total recovery index number is 102.

The worst housing recovery is in Baltimore, which appears to be suffering from a lot of underwater homes and little price bounce back. The best place in this index is Rochester, N.Y. – few distressed sales, big price recovery.


Where Augusta is doing well: Few houses underwater (19 percent of homes), foreclosures (down 70 percent from the peak) and few sales by institutional investors (not much flipping).


Where Augusta is not doing well: Home price recovery (13 percent recovery from the bottom), distressed sales (27 percent of all the home transactions), unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.


In the national view, median home prices are getting better and foreclosures are past the peak in all of the biggest 100 metro areas.



  • Metro Augusta’s unemployment rate declined two ticks to 9.1 percent in July. 
  • Applebee’s seeking employees for new Grovetown restaurant. 
  • URS Corp. announced that Ken Rueter has been named president and project manager for Savannah River Remediation.
  • Site plan filed for new Cabela’s store. 
  • Augusta Orthopedic Specialists building a new office on Interstate Parkway.