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Metro housing rebound leaving areas behind

In hot intown neighborhoods and northern ‘burbs like Brookhaven, Sandy Springs and East Cobb, the supply of homes is tight, bidding wars have pushed prices towards pre-recession highs and agents and home builders are gearing up for the buying season.

But while many richer areas have shrugged off the worst of the housing collapse, the hangover remains for many poorer intown and outlying communities — particularly along and south of I-20.

For some, the recovery is barely apparent.

In 16 ZIP codes in south Fulton, Clayton and DeKalb counties, data from real estate firm Zillow shows, more than half of homes with a mortgage are “underwater,” meaning the owners owe more than the homes’ values.

“Those who least can afford to be challenged by these problems are the ones faced with it,” said Susan Adams, policy director with the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, a nonprofit that works to preserve mixed-income communities.

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