Category: All Articles
Posted: 1/30/2015
How Multi-Seller Auctions Can Help You Sell Your Real Estate
By John Dixon
We at John Dixon & Associates are best known for our multi-property auctions for banks. But you don't have to be a bank or a big institution to sell property in a John Dixon auction. Our Multi-Seller Auctions pool the properties and share the costs among all the sellers, so you can sell your property at auction even if you only have one or pieces. This is ideally suited for individuals, small investors or even large portfolio investors who just have a couple of properties to sell.
After a recent Multi-Seller Auction, I sat down with Carl Carter to talk about the process and how it can enable more property owners to sell at auction.

Posted: 1/15/2015
Buddy talks about upcoming auctions, multi-seller auctions
By John Dixon
You may have noticed that we're making more use of audio. One thing I really like about podcasts and audio is that you can just hit the start button and listen on your phone while you drive, work out or whatever. That enables us to provide a great deal of information about our upcoming amounts or about your options for getting your property sold. We're still experimenting with different formats, so we welcome your feedback.
Here's a podcast with Buddy Lee talking about our upcoming events in Tallahassee, Atlanta, Anderson, S.C., and Savannah.
Posted: 1/15/2015
Feb. 4-5 auctions in Anderson, SC and Savannah
By John Dixon
We really have some prime real estate in these two auctions, including a golf course home on Hilton Head Island and a commercial building that was built as a bank branch only six years ago. 
Don't forget that investors of any size, as well as individuals, can sell their real estate through a John Dixon auction. Give us a call at 800-479-1763 to learn more.

Southeastern real estate to sell in absolute auctions in Savannah, Anderson, S.C.

SAVANNAH, Ga. (January 15, 2015) – A six-year-old office building that was built as a former bank branch,  a golf course home on Hilton Head Island, a former restaurant, and dozens of other commercial and residential properties will sell in a pair of auctions Feb. 4-5, with John Dixon & Associates managing the auctions.

The former bank branch, located in Richmond Hill, Georgia, is a 12,000-square-foot building built in 2008, according to John Dixon, president of the auction company. “This is a great location and a relatively new building that is suitable for use as office space for attorneys, insurance agencies, investment firms and other types of businesses,” he said. “In fact, this is a great group of properties, most of which are selling absolute, with no minimum or reserve.”

The properties will be part of more than 30 real estate offerings in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia to be offered in an 11 a.m. event Thursday, Feb. 5, at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, located near the Savannah Airport in Pooler, Georgia.

Another group of approximately 50 real estate offerings will sell the day before, on Feb. 4, beginning at 11 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Anderson, South Carolina. That auction will include several homes, as well as waterfront home sites, commercial and residential land, and other properties in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

“We’ll have a lot of nice investments in the Anderson event, and these are all selling absolute. These cover a broad area within South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina. Real estate investors, builders and others will want to give these a good look,” said Dixon.

Individuals seeking additional information may visit or call 800-479-1763.

John Dixon & Associates, based in Atlanta with offices in Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina, is one of the nation's largest auctioneers of real estate properties, including land, homes, developments, condominiums, farms and other properties owned by individuals, investors, banks and other institutions. 
Posted: 1/6/2015
Upcoming auctions in Tallahassee, Atlanta
By John Dixon
Our year is off to a great start, and we're already bearing down on our first two auctions. One noteworthy thing about these two sales is that they feature real estate from a number of different sellers. We'll be putting more emphasis on multi-seller auctions during 2015, because the people who have been buying real estate investments for the past five or six years are now reaching a point where they're ready to sell some of those properties.
While we've conducted a lot of auctions for banks and other financial institutions -- and will continue to do so -- we've seen a great deal of real estate move from the hands of banks (who acquired it as a result of foreclosures during the financial crisis) to investors who have been building up their portfolios. By pooling the properties for these investors and individuals, we can enable institutions, investors and individuals of all sizes to sell their properties in a John Dixon Auction!
 Historic College Park home featured in upcoming real estate auctions in Georgia and Florida

ATLANTA, Ga. (January 6, 2015) -- The Palmour House – a Victorian mansion built in 1892 for the founder of what is now Emory Dental School – will be offered at auction Wednesday, Jan. 28, headlining a group of approximately 70 property offerings. John Dixon & Associates will manage the event.

The restored home is now being used primarily as office space. It was originally commissioned by Dr. William Crenshaw, founder of Atlanta Dental College, now part of Emory.

Other Georgia properties set to sell the same day include a shopping center in Rome, a convenience store in Gwinnett County, and a Macon warehouse, as well as homes, apartment buildings, and residential and commercial land. The auction will begin at 11 a.m. at the John Dixon & Associates headquarters at 200 Cobb Parkway North, Suite 120, Marietta, Ga.

The Atlanta auction is the second of two auctions of properties. The first event will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, at the Holiday Inn at 2725 Graves Road in Tallahassee. The Tallahassee auction will feature a 75-acre industrial property in Hosford, formerly used as a wood chip mill. “This is a great site for someone interested in using it for the lumber or construction industry, because it’s right on the railroad tracks and has building-related businesses on either side,” said Dixon. Other Florida properties include residential and commercial land in Tallahassee, Panama City, Midway and other cities.

Dixon said both events will feature properties offered primarily by lenders.  “By combining properties from a number of banks, investors and others, we’re able to offer a really good selection that will be of interest to real estate investors as well as individuals. This will be the first big opportunity to buy bank-owned real estate in 2015, and by all indications there will be fewer properties coming to auction this year because bank inventories are dwindling,” he said.

Individuals seeking additional information may visit or call 800-479-1763.

John Dixon & Associates, based in Atlanta with offices in Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina, is one of the nation's largest auctioneers of real estate properties, including land, homes, developments, condominiums, farms and other properties owned by individuals, investors, banks and other institutions.


Posted: 12/3/20140 Entries
What's ahead for real estate auctions in 2015?
By John Dixon
As we move further into the holiday season, we at John Dixon & Associates are busy wrapping up this year's transactions and lining up auctions for 2015. We've had a great year, helping banks and individuals get their properties sold and enabling buyers to build up their real estate investment portfolios. 
But what's ahead? After a recent sale, Carl Carter and I found a quiet corner and turned on the recorder to talk about what we expect.
Posted: 9/25/2014
Buddy Lee talks about properties in Oct. 14 absolute auction
By John Dixon
Here's a short conversation Buddy Lee and Carl Carter had about our upcoming auction of more than 50 properties -- all selling absolute.
If the app below isn't working for you, use this link. (This happens sometimes with Windows 8 and Windows Phones.)


Posted: 8/13/20140 Entries
Investing by headlines can lead to bad decisions
By John Dixon

I'll confess that I get frustrated at times with the way media cover financial news. I wouldn't mind if it were just a matter of sensationalism, but it's not always that simple. At times, media show such a lack of perspective that stories convey the exact opposite of what is really the case.

Take this headline from a recent Wall Street Journal:

Home-Price Growth Slows Sharply, Case-Shiller says

Index Says Year-Over-Year Growth rate is Lowest Since February 2013

Sounds horrible, doesn't it? And I'll say at the outset that the facts in the story are basically correct. But let's look more closely. Just what does it mean to “slow sharply,” anyway? It sounds almost like home prices are crashing and burning. But right there in the second sentence, it tells us that the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 major cities shows home prices rising 9.3%. That doesn't exactly sound like a “batten-down-the-hatches” storm to me.

If our homes appreciated by 9.3% every year, we'd all be in high cotton. So why the hysteria? Because economists had been expecting prices to rise by 9.9%, which would still be down from 10.8% the previous year.

In truth, even a growth rate of 9.3% is probably unsustainable. After all the pain we've been through in recent years, the last thing we need is an overheated market. Rather, what we need is a good, healthy market for real estate owners – whether homeowners or investors – to prosper. And I'm seeing a lot of signs that we have just such a healthy market. Despite some bumps coinciding with international turmoil and the default of Argentina on its debt, the stock markets have continued their long term bull market.

It's also good to note that people are paying their bills. The S&P/Experian Second Mortgage Default Index shows that the default rate on second mortgages is holding steady at a low 0.57 percent, having remained well under 1 percent for more than two years. When you consider that 4.35 percent were defaulting on their mortgages five years ago, I'd say we're in pretty good shape by comparison.

This, of course, is important because when we're investing in rental properties, we naturally want to make sure people can pay the rent – or qualify for mortgages on properties we're selling.

This translates into a good environment for us, because the current environment is positive for both sellers and buyers. And in a John Dixon & Associates auction, you don't have to worry about whether you're getting a fair price. The competitive nature of the auction takes care of that!

Posted: 7/24/2014
Congrats to KJ Otis on receiving AARE designation
By John Dixon
I'm really proud of our CFO, Kathy (KJ) Otis, who recently received the Accredited Auctioneer Real Estate (AARE) designation. Here's the press release we issued on this very significant accomplishment!

John Dixon & Associates CFO receives AARE credential

ATLANTA, Georgia (July 24, 2014) – Kathy (KJ) Otis, chief financial and administrative officer for Atlanta-based John Dixon & Associates, has received the Accredited Auctioneer Real Estate (AARE) designation from the National Auctioneers Association Education Institute.

The designation is held by only 350 professionals in the United States. To qualify, Otis completed more than 42 hours of intensive training over a three-year period, covering ways to effectively market residential, agricultural, commercial and industrial real estate. In addition, the program included training in how to evaluate property, prepare it for auction, advertise it, prepare the financial documents for the auction and address other challenges.

John Dixon, president of the company, said the designation demonstrates Otis's broad area of expertise.

“In her role as our chief financial officer, KJ has her finger on every aspect of our business, and she understands the need to grow and continue her education to ensure that we can get the best possible service for our clients, who include banks and other institutions as well as individuals, trusts, and even government agencies. This presents us with a wide range of areas that call for specialized knowledge, and I'm proud of her for this very significant accomplishment,” said Dixon.

Otis attended Kennesaw State University and has served with John Dixon & Associates since 2002. She also serves as treasurer of the Georgia Auctioneers Association.

Posted: 6/12/2014
Fundraising for Florida Bankers
By Buddy Lee

John Dixon & Associates is well known for conducting auctions for banks and other institutions that need to reduce their inventory of owned real estate. But sometimes it's fun to auction a different kind of asset, and that's exactly what we did June 10 at the annual meeting of the Florida Bankers Association.

Drew Dixon, K.J. Otis and I attended the meetings and had a chance to spend time with many bank executives from around the state. But the real fun came when it was time for the association's auction to raise money for Florida BancPac, the FBA's statewide, bi-partisan, non-profit political action committee.

Dozens of items were sold by silent auction, but 10 of the higher-value items were set aside for a live auction. Drew, who directs our auction day activities and calls most of our sales, took the microphone, while K.J. and I worked the room, urging the bankers to increase their bids.

We had some great items to sell, including vacation trips to the Grand Caymans, Maui and Montana. Other items included a television, wine, a pearl necklace, and an X-Box.

Best of all, the bankers got to see firsthand how a John Dixon & Associates auction works, and hopefully they were pleased with the results. Our sellers generally are, as we succeed at selling 95 percent of the real estate we bring to auction.

Since I play the lead role in working with Florida sellers, I invite anyone with property to sell to give me a call at 850-765-2353.

Posted: 6/4/2014
John Dixon & Associates Team in Action
By John Dixon
The John Dixon & Associates team had a great series of three sales recently in Georgia and South Carolina. One of our agents shot a little video I thought you might enjoy. Here's the press release on the auction:

Real estate sells for $8.25 million in series of three John Dixon & Associates auctions

ATLANTA, Ga. (June 2, 2014) – Large crowds of bidders filled bidding rooms in a series of Georgia and South Carolina auctions last week as John Dixon & Associates sold 108 properties for $8.25 million.

“We had fantastic crowds on all three days, in Gainesville, Ga., Greenville, S.C. and Savannah, Ga.,” said John Dixon, president of the auction company. Rooms were filled to capacity with live bidders, with other bidders watching the action online and entering their bids through the Internet.

“We had a good number of high-quality properties, and that makes a difference. Among those selling were a medical office building in Duluth, a multi-tenant retail property in Chesnee, S.C., and some townhouses in Savannah, as well as some other commercial and residential properties and land,” said Dixon.

Internet bidding continues to play a growing role as online and live bidders compete head-to-head, Dixon said. “We actually had more registered bidders online than in person for these three events, and 41 percent of the properties sold to bidders who were participating online. This really allows more people to participate without travel, and that translates into better results for our sellers,” he said.

John Dixon & Associates now turns its attention to the upcoming auctions of more than 400 properties throughout the Southeast June 24-26. “This is going to be an exciting group of auctions, and we'll be announcing the details very soon,” said Dixon. Individuals seeking additional information may visit or call 770-425-1141.

John Dixon & Associates, based in Atlanta with offices in Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina, is one of the nation’s largest auctioneers of institutional real estate properties nationwide.

Posted: 5/5/20140 Entries
Assessing the various auction types
By John Dixon

There are a lot of ways to do an auction these days, and various auction companies tend to favor one or the other. This can be confusing to someone who wants to sell, whether it's a single property or an entire portfolio.

To touch on the ultimate question of which is best, the answer is that it depends. Let's walk through the major ones one by one and consider the various advantages and disadvantages. While all of the methods can be used for either real estate or other assets (such as personal property or machinery), I'm going to focus on real estate, because that's our main business at John Dixon & Associates.

Before I describe the various approaches, let me say that regardless of the one you go with, you need to make sure that your auction company meets several criteria:

  • Up to the marketing challenge. Use one that will actively market your property and provide detailed information to bidders. No matter which format you use, it's critical to remember that people buying real estate always need to see the property and do their “due diligence” research, even if they're buying online. That means you need to use a company that will make provisions for inspections and provide the necessary documents. The property needs to be presented favorably with good photography, of course, and bidders need to be properly qualified to ensure the integrity of the process.

  • Properly equipped. Ensure that your company has the right tools for the format it is using. For example, if you're doing an Internet-only auction, you'll need to make sure the company has a proven, secure, user-friendly system for displaying your property, qualifying bidders, and taking bids. If it's a live auction with simulcast, ensure that the audio, video and connectivity are reliable, and that the bid assistant communicating with the online bidders is qualified to handle any questions that come up, whether technical or related to the property.

  • Properly licensed. License requirements for auctioneers and real estate brokers vary from state to state. Make sure your company is properly licensed for your sale.

Now, let's move on to some of the auctions available.

Live Auction
Before we move on to the various types of auctions involving the Internet, it's important to note that even today, the live, public-outcry auction continues to be the heart and soul of the auction industry. This is where my roots are, and even when we make use of the Internet, the overwhelming majority of our sales involve a live auction, where people gather into a room and enter their bids while a bid caller conducts the sale. This is also a favorite for most of our bidders and is most assuredly the most fun!

Timed Internet Auction

When it comes to auctions using Internet technology, this is probably the format with which most people are familiar, because it bears similarities to the format on EBay. Your property is shown with full information, photos and other critical information, and bidders may enter their bids within a defined timetable. This timetable can be for weeks or just a few days, but lately, more auction companies seem to favor shorter time periods.

Here are some of the advantages of a Timed Internet Auction:

  • Bidders may choose any time to enter their bids within the allotted time frame.

  • A bidder may enter a maximum bid, with the system raising the bid up to that amount as needed.

  • Costs may be lower because the auctioneer may not incur the costs of a live auction.

A common concern, of course, is that many feel that the more relaxed time frame and the absence of a live auctioneer can reduce the urgency and ability to get the highest possible price.

Timed online followed by live auction

In this hybrid arrangement, an online Internet auction is conducted in the days leading up to the live auction, then the high bid serves as the opening bid for the live auction. Its use for real estate appears to be declining, but there are still a number of companies using it. It's still very common in auctions of personal property. Since we rarely sell personal property, we've had few occasions to use it.

One reason often given for using this method is that it caters to both the bidder who prefers an online format and the one who prefers to participate in a live auction. Since most serious bidders are going to want to participate up to the very end, most would probably participate in the live event regardless of whether they had entered online bids, which would seem to make the online unnecessary. However, the online portion might provide a “security blanket” of bids going into the live event.

Live auction with simulcast

This is the format we use most commonly at John Dixon & Associates, because it allows bidders to be either live in the room or bidding via the Internet, depending on which they prefer. (Older bidders seem to prefer live bidding, while younger ones are more likely to bid online.) Either way, they compete head to head, at the same time, for the same properties.

It's common for us to sell 30, 40 or even 50 percent of our properties in a major portfolio auction to online bidders. This can vary widely, of course, depending on the number, type and value of assets being sold.

Whatever you do, make sure it's done well

There are more possibilities and twists, but these are the major ones. Ultimately, the most important thing is to do it well, and to work with a company that has a strong track record for professionalism, integrity and solid results.

We'll be talking about these and other options in a webinar on May 8, from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern. You can register here.

Meanwhile, we can have a dialogue without waiting until we can meet in real time, so I invite you to offer your comments on this post.

Posted: 3/31/2014
Brad Davis a candidate for prestigious CAI Designation
By John Dixon
We put a lot of emphasis on continuing education and development at John Dixon Associates, so it was real a pleasure to see Brad Davis enter the coveted CAI designation.' 

Brad, who is a sales representative and online auction manager for our company, plays an important role in managing our auctions. The Certified Auctioneers Institute is a rigorous program that involves a week of intense training for three consecutive years. 

It was actually my pleasure to be one of the instructors for Brad's group, teaching a class on Qualifying  Sellers. The program provides advanced training in such subjects as marketing and advertising, business ethics, financial aspects of the business, technology, promotional strategies and much more. 

Once he completes the program in two years, he will be the sixth person in our firm to earn the CAI designation, along with Drew Dixon, Buddy Lee, Joe Tarpley, Mike Loftin and me. 

Congratulations, Brad! 
Posted: 2/3/2014
Major auctions of bank-owned properties set for February in Orlando, Atlanta and Birmingham
By John Dixon

We're getting ready for our first major group of auctions in 2014, and it's shaping up to be a great one, with excellent properties featured in each of the three events. We especially have a lot of good commercial properties such as offices and office condos, but there's much more. Here's our press release on the sales. You can see the entire inventory under the Upcoming Auctions section.

Major auctions of bank-owned properties set for February in Orlando, Atlanta and Birmingham

ATLANTA, Ga. (Jan. 28, 2014) -- More than 120 bank-owned properties in Georgia, Florida and Alabama -- including a wide range of commercial and residential properties -- will sell in a multistate series of three auctions Feb. 18-20, with John Dixon & Associates managing the events.

“This is our first major set of auctions of 2014, and it’s one of the best groups of properties we’ve had in a while,” said John Dixon, president of the auction company. “We have a wide range of offerings, including day care centers, restaurants, retail, homes, golf course lots, and land,” said Dixon.

The series of auctions will open at 11 a.m. EST Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Marriott Orlando Airport, in Orlando. That sale will feature properties from Tallahassee to Miami, with a concentration in Central Florida. “One highlight is a 45-acre commercial tract on the bay in Melbourne. We also have some nice office condos in Tallahassee, and office buildings, warehouses, industrial properties and others dotted throughout the state,” said Dixon.

Approximately 65 Georgia properties will sell beginning at 11 a.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 19, at the Holiday Inn Atlanta - Perimeter/Dunwoody. “We have a lot of properties from south of Atlanta up to the state line. A couple of highlights are restaurants in Stone Mountain and Newnan, a former auto dealership in Jasper, and a child care facility in College Park,” said Dixon.

The Birmingham sale is set for 1 p.m. CST Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Embassy Suites in Homewood, 2300 Woodcrest Place. It will include approximately 40 properties from around the state, including a two-tenant medical office building in Valley and an assisted living residence in Alabaster.

John Dixon & Associates, based in Atlanta, is one of the nation’s largest auctioneers of bank-owned residential and commercial properties nationwide.

Posted: 12/19/2013
How an auction can help you manage your real estate portfolio
By John Dixon

For several years, when people thought about the sale of institution-owned real estate, they automatically thought in terms of banks selling foreclosed properties.

There were a lot of good reasons for that. The credit collapse was still fresh on everybody's mind, and the banks – through foreclosure – had huge inventories of homes, condominiums, stores, shopping centers, subdivision lots and other residential and commercial property that had to be sold.

We at John Dixon and Associates have sold a great deal of that real estate at auction, with such good results that the banks turned to us time and again. We expect to sell a great deal more in 2014.

All this time, other classes of real estate portfolio managers have been watching with interest.

On the surface, their challenge is similar to that of the banks, with a huge difference: They generally don't have to sell. They're in the business of owning real estate. But as with any other type investment, there's a time to reduce some holdings and raise money to redeploy into other areas.

Some properties may have been acquired years ago and no longer fit their current direction. Some are underperforming. But selling large numbers of properties one-on-one can be laborious, slow and expensive, so they just manage them, bide their time and make the most of it.

Today, the real estate market is excellent, and inventories of properties for sale are at or near normal levels. This creates the ideal market for investors of all sizes and types to make more use of auctions for trimming their own portfolios.

Here are some ways a John Dixon and Associates auction can help institutions:

  • Portfolio balancing

  • Selling of underperforming, excess or non-core assets

  • Selling properties with excessively high holding cost

  • Improving the institution's cash position

  • Complete the sale within a strategic time frame (e.g., end of quarter)

I invite anyone with portfolio management problems to give me a call at 770-425-1141. Our team of real estate experts can review your portfolio and give you a candid assessment of what a John Dixon and Associates may be able to do for you.

Posted: 7/23/2013
Auctioneers Hall of Fame induction
By John Dixon

I had the great and unexpected honor of being named to the Auctioneers Hall of Fame last week. In keeping with National Auctioneers Hall of Fame tradition, I was kept in the dark, and didn't realize I was being inducted until my associate Joe Tarpley -- one of our agents at John Dixon & Associates -- began summarizing highlights of my career, which began in 1976.

Only 140 members have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, so it's humbling to be part of such an esteemed group. The Hall of Fame is nominally a recognition for lifetime achievement, but in truth, the people who deserve credit for this are the associates who have brought such energy, creativity and hard work to the business, as well as to the family members who have been so supportive.  

Posted: 7/23/2013
John Dixon elected to Auctioneers Hall of Fame
By John Dixon

Marietta's John Dixon elected to Auctioneers Hall of Fame

ATLANTA (July 23, 2013) -- John Dixon, founder and president of Marietta-based John Dixon & Associates, was inducted into the National Auctioneers Association's Hall of Fame Thursday night when the nation's auction professionals met in Indianapolis for their annual convention.

Dixon was one of three individuals named to the prestigious body, which has admitted only 140 members in its entire history.

"Apparently, everybody in the company knew but me, which is the way it's supposed to be," said Dixon. "I did notice we had more people from John Dixon & Associates than usual attending the convention, but I didn't think anything of it. It is one of the greatest honors of my life, and I'm humbled by the recognition."

Announcing Dixon's name during ceremonies at the Indianapolis Convention Center was veteran auctioneer Joe Tarpley, who is an agent with John Dixon & Associates.

Dixon has been in the auction business since 1976 and has served in numerous leadership roles in the industry, including service as a director of the NAA and as president of the Georgia Auctioneers Association. He has been instrumental in the sale of thousands of residential and commercial properties for individuals and banks throughout the United States, as well as for the Resolution Trust Corp., the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and the FDIC.

John Dixon & Associates, based in Marietta, Ga., is a leading auctioneer of bank-owned properties throughout the United States. Individuals seeking additional information may contact the firm at 770-425-1141 or visit

Posted: 7/15/2013
Auctions an effective tool for REITS, hedge funds, other institutional investors
By John Dixon

There are a lot of reasons to sell real estate. During the last few years, we've sold thousands of homes, restaurants, stores, subdivision lots and other properties for banks who acquired them either through foreclosure or through mergers and other transactions with other institutions.

For lenders, it's generally an easy decision to sell, because they're not in the business of owning properties in the first place. For other institutions, including hedge funds, pension funds and Real Estate Investment Trusts, the answer isn't quite as simple.

To deal in the quantities required to be a meaningful part of their portfolios, these large investors often acquire entire portfolios or groups of properties, so not everything they end up owning was hand-picked to suit their investment objectives. Over time, they face the challenge of selling the assets that don't fit. That can be slow, expensive and time-consuming.

The auction process provides the liquidity that is so critical to the management of an institutional portfolio, and a the options are endless. Properties can be sold one at a time, or dozens at a time. The auction can be online or live, or a combination. The marketing can be aimed at individuals, small investors or other institutions. The focus can be local, regional, nationwide or international, depending on the asset.

We have experience with every conceivable type of real estate, in all sorts of situations.

I usually advise portfolio managers to begin with an open mind. Tell us what you need to sell, and what your expectations are. That way, we can recommend a strategy based on our vast experience.



Posted: 6/26/2013
Florida panhandle properties sell for $1.7 million
By John Dixon

Given all the ongoing news about surging real estate sales and prices, it wasn't surprising to see scores of investors bidding on these properties in the Florida Panhandle. These smart buyers know that the time is growing short for getting bargains!

Here's the press release from yesterday's sale! -- John 

Florida panhandle properties sell for $1.7 million

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 26, 2013) -- A standing-room-only crowd of real estate investors, individuals and other bidders jammed into a ballroom at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Tuesday for the auction of 61 properties for Centennial Bank.

The properties -- including condominiums, homes and home sites -- brought a total of $1.7 million, according to Buddy Lee, who manages Florida operations for John Dixon & Associates.

"We had more than 180 registered bidders competing for the properties. There was a lot of excitement in the room, and I think the bidders who were participating via the Internet were picking up on that energy as well. This type of Internet bidding broadens the market and creates more demand, and we could see that Tuesday," said Lee.

Auction company president John Dixon said the large turnout may reflect a growing conviction that the recent gains in real estate prices will continue.

"Home prices just showed the biggest month-over-month gain since 2000, and they've been rising steadily for more than a year. Investors, individuals, builders and others are realizing that the bargains around now won't last forever," said Dixon.

Dixon said improving demand may also entice more sellers to offer more real estate at auction. "We've been doing a lot of sales of bank-owned properties, but there are many other property owners who are seeing the results of our auctions and considering the method themselves. This includes everyone from individual owners of homes and condominiums to institutional property investment firms," said Dixon.

Individuals seeking additional information may visit or call 800-479-1763.

John Dixon, headquartered in Atlanta with offices in Tallahassee, Fla., and Chattanooga, Tenn., is a leading auctioneer of real estate owned by banks, individuals and investors throughout the United States.

Posted: 5/31/2013
Strength in home prices is impressive, but there are still great values out there
By John Dixon
Here's the top-line news: U.S. home prices gained 10.2 percent during the year that ended in the first quarter of 2013. That number, as measured by the widely followed S&P/Case-Shiller index, is good news for a lot of folks -- especially homeowners, banks, investors and real estate professionals.

A lot of factors are contributing to the stronger home prices. Mortgage rates remain near record lows. The National Association of Realtors reports that the number of previously owned homes on the market is the lowest it's been since March 2000.

One thing that jumped out at me was the comment by Robert Shiller, co-founder of the index. Shiller argues that prices are already at what he considers "normal" levels adjusted for inflation. (It's worth noting that Shiller feels that the downturn in recent years just took prices to where they would have been without the real estate "bubble" that preceded the crash.)

Still, it's impressive to see the persistence of the home price increases. The March numbers mark 12 straight months of solid increases. And while there's a lot of variation (with properties rising 2.6 percent in New York and 22.5 percent in Phoenix), all 20 cities scored gains for the first quarter. Our headquarters city of Atlanta was particularly strong, at 19.1 percent, and we were able to clearly see the improvements in our Georgia auctions.

Is it too good to last? It's hard to say. Certainly, we aren't yet approaching the price levels we saw in 2005. And that means there are still a lot of homeowners who are under water.

Obviously, home prices can't continue to rise 20 percent a year for long without creating troubles down the road. But I think the direction is obvious. It's just a matter of how fast prices move up. For now, I think we're at a good "buy-in" point for investors, with lots of room for growth.

And it's worth noting that prices on commercial properties, subdivision lots and many other types of properties remain very low. Investors who buy at these levels will no doubt enjoy better returns than those who wait and buy at higher prices later. Rising demand for homes is beginning to spark a healthy rise in new construction. Investors who've been loading up on home sites at recent John Dixon auctions can expect some handsome profits as construction moves into full swing.
Posted: 4/16/2013
Bidders snap up 40 properties in Gainesville-area auction
By John Dixon
Great sale today (Tuesday, April 16) in Braselton. Looking forward to another Thursday! -- John
Bidders snap up 40 properties in Gainesville-area auction 
BRASELTON, Ga. (April 16, 2013) -- Houses, home sites, residential lots and commercial properties were among 40 properties sold at auction for just over $4 million Tuesday as John Dixon & Associates auctioned the bank-owned properties.

More than 120 people -- including about 75 registered bidders -- gathered at the Chateau Elan in Braselton for the event. Another 65 bidders participated online, listening to the auction and entering their bids via the Internet.  Eighteen of the 40 properties sold were purchased by online bidders.

"We had a good number of investors as well as individuals buying for their own use. Developers, builders and other investors are realizing that with the real estate market in an established uptrend, it's smart to get in at today's prices," said John Dixon, president of the company.

On Thursday, the company will sell another group of properties, including a 3,400-square-foot facility in Barnesville. Most of those properties are located between Macon and Atlanta, with concentrations around Barnesville, Covington, Thomaston and Griffin.

Thursday's auction will begin at 11 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in McDonough. Individuals interested in additional information may visit or call 770-425-1141.

John Dixon & Associates, based in Marietta, Ga., is a leading auctioneer of bank-owned properties throughout the United States.

Posted: 4/9/2013
Accumulate assets now for the better times ahead
By John Dixon

 If the sun seems a little brighter lately, there may be a reason for it. For the first time in well over five years, the Dow is finally back above the 14,000 level, where it was in October 2007, just before our economy hit the biggest air pocket since the Great Depression. During the crash, assets of all types seemed to go into a free fall -- stocks, homes and commercial properties. People watched as their retirement accounts fell to a fraction of their former value.

But just in the last few weeks, we've seen the Dow climb back above 14,000. I don't want to overstate the impact of that, because the Dow isn't the best indicator of where the economy is. But it has a major psychological importance, because it's still the indicator the press mentions most. And getting above a barrier like 14,000 can give folks a lift. After well over five years -- at least by that measure -- we're finally clear of the horrendous downturn.

And we're seeing positive signs in the real estate market, too. In January, home prices -- as measured by the Case-Shiller Index -- showed the biggest year-over-year gain since before the crash. The National Association of Realtors reports that sales of vacation homes were up 10.1% in 2012, and the median price of a vacation home rose by 24%. When people get scared, luxuries like vacation homes get hit first. So when beach homes and condos start to recover, it means people are feeling pretty good about things.

As I've noted recently, we've been seeing signs of the upturn in our auctions. Our series of five auctions in late March demonstrated the strengthening economy in a dramatic way, as we had capacity crowds and vigorous bidding all over Georgia. Ultimately, the total reached $17.5 million, as hundreds of bidders purchased homes, commercial properties and land to position themselves for a stronger economy.

The economy is notoriously difficult to predict, so it's hard to tell what's ahead. But all the momentum seems to be positive right now, and there are a lot of opportunities ahead. Our buyers know that those who prepare now by accumulating assets will be miles head in the months and years to come.


Posted: 3/21/2013
Georgia, Florida auctions for CharterBank to feature office buildings, shopping centers, restaurant
By John Dixon

ATLANTA, Ga. (March 18, 2013) – Office buildings, shopping centers, industrial land and a Pensacola restaurant are among approximately 75 properties currently owned by CharterBank that will be sold at auction April 10-11. John Dixon & Associates will manage both auctions.

The first auction, in Atlanta, will include a 21,000-square-foot office/warehouse in Rome, two strip shopping centers in Stockbridge, two two-story commercial office buildings in Newnan, and a 10,353-square-foot commercial office building in Newnan. It will be held at Quality Hotel & Conference Center beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 10.

The second auction will begin at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at the Pensacola Bay Center (formerly the Pensacola Civic Center).  Properties to be sold include the former home of Wintzell's Oyster House on East Chase Street in Pensacola.

The auction company will sponsor free informational seminars for brokers, prospective buyers and others  interested in participating in the auctions.

“The seminars will be designed to help real estate professionals and prospective bidders understand how to participate in these auctions. We'll cover the entire process, including what properties are available, how to prepare, how to bid and what to expect after the auction,” said Buddy Lee, director of business development for John Dixon & Associates. The first will be at the John Dixon & Associates offices in Marietta, at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27. The seminar for those planning to participate in the Pensacola auction will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at the Pensacola Bay Center (formerly known as Pensacola Civic Center).

Individuals seeking additional information -- including specific dates and times for the events -- may contact the firm at 770-425-1141 or visit

Posted: 3/20/2013
Commercial property offers incredible opportunity
By John Dixon

When it comes to money managers, you can't find anybody who commands more respect than Howard Marks, chairman of the Oaktree Management Group, which manages $77 billion. How well respected is he? Let's put it this way: Warren Buffett says that when he gets a memo from Marks, it's the first thing he reads.

So I was interested in the recent Barron's cover story saying that "Marks and his Oaktree cohorts are enamored of commercial real estate." In fact, they've made a $5 billion commitment to the commercial real estate sector. Among other things, they're finishing projects and buying distressed properties, especially in small-to-medium size markets.

In other words, they're doing a lot of the same things as the people who show up at a John Dixon auction to bid on restaurants, office buildings, shopping centers, warehouses and other properties.

And we have a lot of commercial properties to sell in the next few weeks. On April 10, we'll sell a 21,000-square-foot office/warehouse in Rome, a couple of strip shopping centers in Stockbridge, two commercial office buildings in Newnan, and a 10,353-square-foot commercial office building in Newnan.

The next day -- April 11, in Pensacola -- we'll be selling about 30 properties, including a restaurant that formerly was the home of the well-known Wintzell's Oyster House. That sale will also feature commercial tracts in Panama City Beach, a car wash in Santa Rosa, and other commercial properties.

The following week, we'll have two more sales that feature some excellent commercial properties. On April 16, in Braselton, we'll sell an office warehouse in Winder and some nice commercial lots in Bogart. On April 18, we'll have two former day care centers and a number of other commercial properties.



Posted: 3/20/2013
More than 480 bank-owned properties to sell in two Georgia auctions
By John Dixon

ATLANTA, GA. (March 19, 2013) -- Approximately 480 bank-owned properties in the Atlanta area and central Georgia will be sold at auction April 16 and April 18, as two banks sell scores of home sites, commercial properties, land and other properties. John Dixon & Associates will manage both auctions.

Properties to be sold on Tuesday, April 16, are concentrated in the eastern side of the Atlanta metro area, with properties in DeKalb, Jackson, Gwinnett and Barrow counties, among others. "The properties being sold April 16 include a number of residential lots, which developers and builders will be needing for new construction as the economy continues to strengthen," said John Dixon, president of the auction company. "While we'll be selling these in about 45 property groupings, some of the groupings include multiple lots, such as 57 lots in a single property in Hoschton and 76 lots in Winder. We also have an office warehouse in Winder and some nice commercial lots in Bogart."

The April 16 auction will begin at 11 a.m. at Chateau Elan, Braselton.

Among the properties selling on Thursday, April 18, are two day cares -- a 3,400-square-foot facility in Newnan and a 3,111-square-foot facility in Barnesville. "Most of the properties selling on Thursday are located between Macon and Atlanta, with concentrations around Barnesville, Covington, Thomaston and Griffin. We have quite a bit of commercial, residential and industrial land in this group of properties," said Dixon.

The April 18 auction will begin at 11 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, McDonough.

Individuals interested in additional information about the two auctions may visit or call 770-425-1141.

Posted: 2/25/2013
March auctions feature both quality and quantity
By John Dixon

It's a given that quality and quantity don't always go together. But our upcoming group of auctions in March will feature a lot of excellent properties, including a golf course in Sumter County, dozens of nice homes, several restaurants. We'll be selling them over five days in five different cities. Be sure and check the details on these, because you'll find some assets that you'll likely find very profitable!

Major series of Georgia auctions to feature 250 bank-owned properties

ATLANTA, Ga. (Feb. 22, 2013) -- A golf course, restaurants and a former funeral home are among approximately 250 bank-owned properties that will be sold in a series of five auctions beginning Tuesday, March 19.

"This is one of the biggest portfolios of bank-owned properties we've handled in years, with properties not only in Georgia, but also in Alabama, Florida and North Carolina. We'll have events in Americus, Tifton, Brunswick, Savannah and Atlanta," said John Dixon, president of John Dixon & Associates, which will market the properties and manage the auctions.

The series of events will begin in Americus Tuesday, March 19, with the auction of approximately 34 properties, including 10 homes, a funeral home and a golf course. Most of the properties in that sale will be in Schley, Sumter and Marion counties.

On Wednesday, the John Dixon team will move on to Tifton, where it will auction 40 properties, including 20 homes, a restaurant, four townhomes, and residential lots. Most of the properties in the Tifton event are located in Tift, Colquitt and Lowndes counties.

The third event will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 21, in Brunswick, with 53 properties, including river frontage, golf course lots, and homes. The fourth will be Saturday, March 23, in Savannah -- an auction that will include approximately 37 homes, as well as office condominiums and riverfront land.

The series of auctions will conclude with the sale of approximately 66 properties -- most located in the greater Atlanta area and north of Macon. The Atlanta area sale will feature a mix of commercial, residential and rural properties, including four golf course home sites, homes and commercial buildings.

Individuals seeking additional information -- including specific dates and times for the events -- may contact the firm at 770-425-1141 or visit

John Dixon & Associates, based in Marietta, Ga., is a leading auctioneer of bank-owned properties throughout the United States.

Posted: 2/5/2013
Buddy Lee goes to Tallahassee to head Florida operations
By John Dixon

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Feb. 5, 2013) -- John Dixon & Associates has announced plans to beef up its marketing efforts in Florida, with a permanently staffed office in Tallahassee. Buddy Lee, CAI, has relocated to the area to head sales operations there.

"We've had excellent results in Florida over the years with virtually every type of property from Miami to the Panhandle. Today, the need for our services is greater than ever. Buddy and other John Dixon personnel will be working with bankers, developers, landowners and individuals across the spectrum. We're already known throughout the state for our success with land, home sites, condos, commercial properties and other types of real estate. An enhanced physical presence will enable us to better serve our clients there," said John Dixon, president of the auction company.

Lee, who grew up on a farm near Moultrie, Ga., gained experience working with a law firm and a real estate development firm before joining John Dixon & Associates as director of business development in 2007. He is a graduate of Georgia State University, and is a licensed real estate broker as well as auctioneer in both Florida and Georgia.

"Our primary focus will be Florida, South Georgia and South Alabama, but we won't be limited to those areas. We are already hard at work identifying opportunities and helping clients map out the best strategies for liquidating real estate," said Lee, who served as president of the Georgia Auctioneers Association in 2011-2012 before relocating to Florida.

John Dixon & Associates, based in Marietta, Ga., is a leading auctioneer of bank-owned properties and other real estate throughout the United States. Individuals seeking additional information may contact the Florida office at 850-765-2353 or visit


Posted: 12/27/20120 Entries
Good end-of-year news as home prices show consistent improvement
By John Dixon

There's a lot to be said for a little good news as we prepare to enter a new year. And we got a good dose of holiday cheer the day after Christmas, when the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices came out.

There are several things I look for when I'm trying to get a handle on economic data -- especially statistics regarding real estate. Obviously, I look at the raw numbers themselves, but even more important is consistency of direction. A choppy sideways market -- up one month and down the next -- doesn't tell me much. But an established trend can be useful, because it give us a better idea of where things are going. Finally, I like to see some geographic breadth. If properties in one or two areas seem to be catching fire (or going in the tank, for that matter), it may not reflect the broader market.

I was particularly glad to see the latest batch of Case-Shiller Index numbers -- which cover October -- because they contained good news by almost any measure:

  • The annual returns for Case-Shiller's 10-city and 20-city indices showed healthy growth (3.4% and 4.3%, respectively). So I have to be pleased with the direction.
  • The trend looks good too, with the 12-month rate of change in home values rising 10 months in a row. That number has not only been positive, but improving steadily since December of last year.
  •  In 19 of the 20 cities, the annual returns were higher for October than they were for September. All but two of the 20 cities showed positive annual returns. (Chicago and New York were down.) Score one for geographic breadth.

Happy New Year!



Posted: 12/13/2012
Current real estate prices plus strengthening economy spell opportunity
By John Dixon

When it comes to investing in real estate, the folks in Chicago get it. And those who turned out for our two-day FDIC Chicago auction got some great deals on homes, condominiums, office condominiums and other real estate that should produce excellent returns in the next few years. 

Over two days, we had about 240 attendees, including 122 who came to bid in person. Another 36 participated online.  We sold 79 out of the 81 properties offered. Most of those -- 74, in fact -- were residences and commercial properties. As I'd noted when we first announced the auction, this sale consisted heavily of improved residential and commercial properties.

Across the board, the properties sold for prices that afforded the bidders with some excellent values. While many real estate prices have been firming up for several months, they're still at levels that enable investors to earn excellent returns, and we had a number of properties that were ideally suited to the needs of smaller investors, who figured prominently in the auctions.

Let's face it: When it comes to any investment, half the battle is buying at the right price. For a smaller investor, that means finding a property within your means. But whether you're investing $50,000 or $5 million, it also means investing at a level where the rental income provides a suitable rate of return, or at which you'll be able to make a profit down the road. 

Our auctions of bank-owned properties during 2012 have presented just those types of opportunities. Bidders have been acquiring properties at prices that won't last forever. At the same time, crowds at our auctions have been growing, resulting in solid results for the financial institutions and others for whom we're helping reduce inventories.  

We've had great year, and it's given me a lot of satisfaction to help our sellers reduce their holdings while providing avenues for investors to build portfolios that will make them a lot of money. I have every confidence that 2013 will bring more of the same.

Posted: 11/28/20120 Entries
Latest numbers on home stats underscore market strength
By John Dixon
One of the frustrating things about trying to get an accurate reading on economic trends is that numbers tend to bounce around from one month to the next. So when we get a series of numbers that all point in the same direction, it's a good idea to pay attention.

That's the case with the S&P/Case-Shiller Index, which has become the leading measure of U.S. home prices. The national composite was up 3.6% compared to the third quarter of 2011, and 2.2% compared to the second quarter of this year.

Not that I was surprised. I've been saying for a while now that the real estate market was recovering, and the new numbers are convincing:

·         Breadth. A recovery in one or two hotspots doesn't mean much. But of the 20 cities tracked, 17 were above their levels from a year ago.

·         Persistence. Both on a month-to-month and year-to-year basis, we've seen steady progress. The 10-City and 20-City Composites have risen month-over-month for six straight months.

 From the investor/buyer perspective, this is really good news. Real estate is still a great value, especially compared to the prices we saw before the credit crisis in 2007-2008, so there's a lot of room to grow. Yet, the upward trend is well established, showing that the market has stabilized and begun to gather steam.

That means, of course, that our upcoming two-day auction of 100 properties for the FDIC in Chicago will offer some excellent possibilities. We have an especially strong lineup of residential properties, many of which are concentrated in the Cicero area. We'll start at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. I look forward to seeing you there.


Posted: 11/21/2012
Chicago FDIC auction will have many investment opportunities
By John Dixon

I'm excited about our upcoming auction of 100 properties for the FDIC in Chicago. There are a lot of great investment homes in this group for those who might be seeking an income property.  Here's the release about the FDIC sale in Chicago.

As we move into the holiday season, I know a lot of folks will be taking vacations and spending time with family. But we're already hard at work lining up auctions for the new year. January and February can be an excellent time for an auction as people are returning from the holidays, charged up about the new year and looking for opportunities.


FDIC to auction Chicago-area residential and commercial properties

CHICAGO, Ill. (Nov. 14, 2012) -- Bank-owned homes, duplexes, multi-unit residences and commercial properties in the Chicago area will be among approximately 100 properties set to be auctioned by the FDIC on Dec. 8-9.

"This will be an excellent time for individuals seeking homes for themselves or their family members, or for real estate investors who are seeking to add to their portfolios of investment properties," said John Dixon, president of John Dixon & Associates, which will conduct the auctions.

"Most of these properties are unoccupied and present excellent opportunities for creating an income stream, or in some cases for renovation and resale," said Dixon.

One of the highest profile properties is a single family residence on Bosworth Avenue, in the Lake View Oscar subdivision. "This is a very upscale home that is only nine years old, located in a high-demand area. We also have some attractive commercial properties, including a property with a car wash and two restaurants, a couple of bank branches, and some office condominiums," said Dixon.

The first event, at which the FDIC will auction approximately 60 properties, will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. The second event, at which approximately 40 properties will be auctioned, will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. Both will be conducted at the Marriott Chicago Midway, 6520 South Cicero Ave.

Chinese and Spanish translators will be available both days.

Dixon said investors who had shied away from real estate since the credit crisis are now returning. "By virtually any yardstick, real estate is gaining strength, with home sales, construction and prices beginning to establish a clear uptrend. That means, of course, that those who delay too long will probably find themselves paying more," he said.

John Dixon & Associates, based in Marietta, Ga., is a leading auctioneer of bank-owned properties throughout the United States. Individuals seeking additional information may contact the firm at 770-425-1141 or visit


Posted: 10/22/20120 Entries
North Georgia auction demonstrates growing strength in real estate
By John Dixon

 I've been involved in lots of successful auctions in my time, but the three-day auction we conducted last week (described in the press release below) was special by any standard. The turnout was outstanding, and the seller was pleased with the results.

It also reinforced my view that the real estate market is bouncing back, perhaps more quickly and strongly than people realize. We had a lot of perceptive bidders who understood that the best time to buy is at a low point in the cycle. But they could also sense that the bargains they've seen for the last couple of years won't continue indefinitely, and they wanted to build their portfolios while they can.

Smart bidders!


Hundreds of bidders turn out for $8 million auction of bank-owned properties

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (Oct. 22, 2012) -- Bidders showed up in Gainesville by the hundreds last week for a three-day auction of approximately 175 properties, including office buildings, land, restaurants, homes and home building sites, among others.

The result was a combined total exceeding $8 million, according to John Dixon, president of John Dixon & Associates, which partnered with the Metro Brokers Bank Asset Team for the auction for Community Bank & Trust.

"We expected a strong turnout because of the variety and quality of the properties we were selling, but this was frankly a stronger turnout than even our optimistic estimates. It was three days of pure excitement," said Dixon.

Ronald Gailey, assistant vice president-special assets for the bank, said he was pleased with the outcome. "We achieved our goals and then some. The folks at John Dixon and Metro Brokers Bank Asset Team did an excellent job. Crowds were great, and bidding was vigorous across the board," he said.

Over the three days, the auction drew approximately 550 bidders -- 250 who jammed into the room for live bidding and another 300 who joined the auction via Internet simulcast and cast their bids remotely. And those numbers do not include those who attended on more than one day, Dixon said. "Many came all three days, but are only counted as one bidder. We had standing room only crowds all three days."

 On Tuesday, a group of properties in the northeastern corner of the state sold for approximately $3 million. On Wednesday, properties spread out over north Georgia sold for approximately $2 million, and on Thursday, properties stretching from Rome to Augusta sold for another $3 million.

John Dixon & Associates, based in Marietta, Ga., is a leading auctioneer of bank-owned properties throughout the United States. Individuals seeking additional information may contact the firm at 770-425-1141 or visit


Posted: 10/12/2012
Three-day series of North Georgia auctions starts Oct. 16
By John Dixon
We're expecting a great outcome starting Tuesday, Oct. 16, as we begin a major three-day event in Gainesville, with an unusually large and varied selection of properties. As a reminder, here's the press release we issued on the event. Look forward to seeing you there! -- John Dixon

Offices, commercial land, restaurants, homes among properties to sell in three-day auction of bank-owned Georgia properties

ATLANTA, Ga. (Sept. 25, 2012) -- Office buildings, commercial buildings, land and even a church will be among 175 properties selling in a three-day series of auctions Oct. 16, 17 and 18.

"This is an excellent group of properties concentrated in north Georgia, and we're eager to put them into the hands of people who can use them to create homes and business opportunities," said Ronald Gailey, assistant vice president-special assets for the Community Bank & Trust, which is selling the properties.

They are being marketed by John Dixon & Associates, which will conduct the auctions.

"We have more variety in these properties than I've seen in a while, with some restaurants, office buildings, industrial buildings, land and about 21 homes," said John Dixon, president of the auction company.

The auctions will be conducted at the Gainesville Civic Center, beginning each day at 11 a.m.

On Tuesday, Oct. 16, the focus will be on the northeastern corner of the state, with properties in White, Habersham and Rabun counties. The sale will include two office buildings, two restaurants, commercial and industrial buildings and four unfinished homes. The second day, bidders will compete for properties in Stephens, Hart, Jackson, Hall, Madison, Towns, Banks, Dawson and Clay counties, as well as a residential property in North Carolina and agricultural land in South Carolina.

On Thursday, Oct. 18, bidders will compete for approximately 36 properties primarily stretching from Rome to Augusta, across the area just north of Atlanta.  Properties will include a retail and medical office center, agricultural land, commercial land, and 26 residential condo pads.

Bidders will be able to participate all three days either in person or via the Internet.

"We will stream the bidding over the Internet, and by prior arrangement, bidders can log in, listen and place bids just as if they were in the room. We'll have a representative to answer questions and help them place bids," said Dixon. "We're finding that this makes it possible for people to participate who couldn't get there otherwise."

Posted: 8/20/20120 Entries
Major Buying Opportunity!
By John Dixon

The local Chamber of Commerce may not have been thrilled when the S&P/Case-Shiller Index pointed out that Atlanta was the only city in its 20-city composite with a double-digit negative annual return on home prices, but real estate investors should welcome the news.

 That’s because, as I’ve pointed out an number of times in this blog, the real fortunes are made by buying when properties are undervalued. And right now, home prices in Atlanta are lagging those in other cities covered by the respected index. The latest numbers show that Atlanta posted a negative return of -14.5% versus May 2011. And that came in a month in which 17 of the 20 cities posted increases in annual returns.

The ideal environment for any investment is one in which assets are underpriced relative to their true value. Sooner or later, other buyers will identify the values and start buying, resulting in significant profits for the investors who got in early. Investors especially like it when they identify a pocket of value once the overall market has begun to turn.

Atlanta is in precisely that position right now. Take a look at the chart, which shows the rate of change vs. 12 months earlier for Atlanta and the composite. Note that both Atlanta and the 20 cities are already in a well established upward trend, beginning around January. Prices in both are clearly improving, but Atlanta just started "deeper in the hole."

As an investor, that to me screams "value!"

Posted: 8/15/20120 Entries
By John Dixon
The single hottest category of real estate is farmland, and I'm excited to have a major auction coming up in the heart of Georgia -- Dooly and Macon counties. During the last two or three years, farmland prices in the Midwest have been rising at an annual clip of 20 percent or more, providing excellent returns to farmers and investors alike.
And while the Midwest gets all the press attention when it comes to farming, agriculture is a major industry as well, and investors are beginning to look beyond the Corn Belt for good land values. 
I expect they'll like what they see with the 1,874 acres we're selling in Dooly and Macon counties. You can learn more about it here and by reading the press release below.

Major Georgia farmland auction set for Aug. 30

MARIETTA, Ga. (Aug. 14, 2012) -- Approximately 1,874 acres of farmland in Georgia's Macon and Dooly counties will sell at auction Thursday, Aug. 30, with John Dixon & Associates managing the sale.
"Farmland has been the hottest category real estate nationwide for the last two or three years, and it's very rare to see this much Georgia farmland selling in an auction, so this is a rare opportunity for farmers or investors," said John Dixon, president of the auction company.

The land will sell in 19 tracts, ranging in size from 8.5 to 831 acres. The Dooly County land includes 1,098 acres, of which the Farm Service Agency (FSA) designates 833 acres as cropland with 988 base acres. The Macon County land includes a total of 776 acres, with 443 designated by FSA as cropland with 500 base acres.  Most of the land has been used previously to grow peanuts and cotton.

"Dooly and Macon have some of the best farmland in Georgia, and the vast majority of this land is tillable and suitable for cotton, peanuts, soybeans, wheat, vegetables and other crops," said Dixon.   "There's really been a shortage of farmland on the market nationwide, so I expect this land will attract considerable attention from neighboring farmers and investors."

Dixon said he expects the land to appeal to investors seeking to accumulate and lease farmland without paying the high prices currently seen in the Midwest. "Southern farmland is far less expensive and is an excellent value. Investors who are hesitant to pay $10,000-plus per acre will find that there are excellent returns and appreciation potential to be had here in Georgia," he said.

The auction will also include farm equipment, including a tractor, combines and other farming machinery, with Midway Machinery & Auction LLC managing the equipment sale.

The auction will be held on the Dooly County property, beginning at 10 a.m. Individuals seeking additional information or directions to the property may visit or call 770-425-1141.

Posted: 8/1/20120 Entries
Atlanta real estate auction: Signal of an upturn?
By John Dixon

The statistics on the real estate market continue to improve, but my favorite indicator of where things are going is the number of bidders attracted to our auctions, and the intensity with which they bid. Last week, I was encouraged by both at our auction of a large group of properties in the Atlanta metro area. Here's a press release we did on the auction.


Real estate auction points to improving market 

ATLANTA, GA (Aug. 1, 2012) --  Last week's auction of approximately 40 properties signals an upturn in the real estate market, with a strong group of live and online bidders competing vigorously in an event that brought a total of more than $4 million.

"Things are definitely improving based on the number of bidders seeking to build up their portfolios in anticipation of a strengthening economy," said John Dixon, president of Atlanta-based John Dixon & Associates, which conducted the auction for a major regional bank.

Most of the properties were located in the southern metro Atlanta area, including Fayetteville, Palmetto, Stockbridge and the Peachtree City area.

"It was standing room only, with about 80 bidders in the room and another 70 participating online," said Dixon. "Demand was strong across the board, whether on a restaurant, office buildings, retail or residential home sites. Best of all, we put a lot of properties in the hands of individuals who will be positioned for the better times ahead," said Dixon.

Posted: 7/25/20120 Entries
Wall Street demand for homes good news for investors, banks
By John Dixon
Bidders at John Dixon auctions frequently hear the bid caller say something like, “Buy yourself rich.”

Now, that message is starting to catch on -- not only among small investors, but among some on Wall Street as well. And the bigger investors especially seem to be focused on single family residences.

Fortune this week noted that one major private equity firm now owns 2,000 homes, reportedly one of the biggest portfolios of homes ever accumulated (excluding Fannie and Freddie).

And some are reaching even higher. Also quoted was a UC Berkeley professor and consultant who advises real estate investors. He said he knows of two dozen investment funds currently buying up single family homes, and some hope to own as many as 10,000 homes around the country.
If this trend continues to build the way it appears it might, it’s good news for banks who are still sitting on large inventories of real estate -- and for the individual investors who’ve been quietly building up their own portfolios of homes for rental or resale.

While it’s true that institutions have lots of buying power and armies of analysts, they’re not especially nimble. Investors who are ahead of the curve may see nice increases in values because of this new and significant source of demand. My guess is that there’s still time for smaller investors to accumulate properties before the institutions begin to bid up values.

For banks, it makes auctions smarter than ever. When prices are starting to rise, an auction is the surest way to make sure investors pay the current market value.

Meanwhile, our advice continues to be the same as always: Buy yourself rich!
Posted: 7/2/20120 Entries
Office buildings, retail properties, land and home sites to sell in auction of bank-owned real estate
By John Dixon

ATLANTA, GA (July 2, 2012) -- Retail and office buildings, commercial land and more than 200 home sites are among the bank-owned properties in metro Atlanta that will sell at auction Thursday, July 26, with John Dixon & Associates managing the sale.

“Most of the properties are located in the southern metro Atlanta area, including Fayetteville, Palmetto, Stockbridge and the Peachtree City area. But there are a few sprinkled elsewhere, including Villa Rica, Alpharetta and Snellville,” said John Dixon, president of the auction company.

“We have a strong group of commercial properties, including three buildings and three commercial pads at the beautiful Burkes Square development in Fayetteville,” said Dixon. “We also have the Woodbury restaurant formerly known as Wayne’s, and an office/warehouse and self-storage facility in Haralson.”

Other properties include a multi-tenant retail center with 17 bays (Riverdale), a five-bay truck shop and office/house (Conley), and a convenience store (Newnan).

The properties are owned by a major regional bank. “It’s unfortunate that the downturn of the last few years resulted in so many good properties ending up under the ownership of banks. But the upside is that great fortunes are often made by investing when prices are low. Many of these properties will probably sell at a fraction of their former prices. Smart investors understand that lower prices translate into excellent returns at low risk,” said Dixon.

The auction will begin at 11 a.m. at the Quality Hotel Conference Center, 1551 Phoenix Road, Atlanta. Individuals seeking additional information may contact the auction company at 770-425-1141.

John Dixon Associates, based in Atlanta, is a leading auctioneer of commercial property, residential property and land throughout the United States.


Posted: 6/21/20120 Entries
Is American real estate a 'buy' right now? Chinese investors seem to think so
By John Dixon
A couple of months ago, Chinese investors paid $2.15 million for a restaurant in Toledo, then another $3.8 million on land on which they plan to build a $200 million residential-commercial development.

Obviously, some folks with major buying power see something they like in American real estate. And it’s not just happening in Toledo. That just happens to be the example used in a recent Bloomberg article about the phenomenon. China may be on the opposite side of the world, but it’s second only to Canada when it comes to investing in American real estate.

I’ve been saying for some time that that this is the time to invest in real estate, and I’ve seen little reason to change my mind. Sure, the economy is still limping along. Too many people are jobless. And there doesn’t seem to be a lot of happy economic news.

But fortunes aren’t made by buying assets during boom times. Just ask all those people who bought real estate a few years ago, before the recession and the mortgage crisis brought things to an abrupt halt. In those days, it seemed like any idiot could make money in real estate, and practically every idiot tried to do just that. Investors were following the “greater fool theory,” assuming that even though they paid ridiculously high prices for homes, land and commercial properties, they could find a bigger fool to buy the properties at a higher price.

A lot of that real estate ended up in the hands of banks and the FDIC, and we’ve been selling thousands of these properties for a fraction of the prices they brought a few short years ago.

Of course, the covers of the financial magazines in 2005 were screaming of the fortunes that were being made in real estate speculation. The bookstores (we still had bookstores in those days) were full of books by newly minted real estate investment gurus promising you could accumulate a fortune in real estate with no money down.

We’re not seeing so many of those now. Instead, we’re seeing smart investors. I can’t speak to the wisdom of a $200 million investment in Toledo, but I can tell you that there are a lot of great values right now on real estate. Restaurants, homes, office buildings, subdivision lots -- you name it. And at current prices, they really can be an effective wealth-building instrument.

But why are the Chinese investing so aggressively in U.S. real estate? In part, Bloomberg says, it’s because they’re worried about a real estate bubble in their own country, and there’s a lot of concern about the banking system. (Sounds a lot like the United States in 2006 to me!)

At some point, international demand for American real estate may fuel increased prices, and that will be good news to the people smart enough to be buying now. But for the moment, we’re seeing the best opportunity in years.
Posted: 6/7/20120 Entries
Foreclosure-related sales were 26% of total in 1Q
By John Dixon
RealtyTrac reports that homes in some stage of foreclosure accounted for 26% of all residential home sales during the first quarter of 2012. The report -- issued Tuesday, June 5 -- included properties that were either in default, scheduled for auction or bank-owned. 

And while there are a lot of signs that the real estate market is improving, those numbers were actually up from 22% during the fourth quarter of 2012 and 25% a year earlier. It is worth noting that the April foreclosure statistics were much improved -- the lowest since July 2007. But we’ll have to wait and see if that’s a blip or part of an improving trend.

Short sales are especially vigorous right now, as banks seek to avoid the cost of foreclosure. Pre-foreclosure sales (many of which are short sales) hit a three-year high in the first quarter. RealtyTrac reported nearly 110,000 short sales in the quarter, comprising 12 percent of all homes sold.

RealtyTrac’s Daren Blomquist, in an interview with Bloomberg, predicted that pre-foreclosure sales will soon outnumber bank-owned sales. Banks, which once avoided short sales like the plague, are now encouraging them as they seek to avoid the costs and long holding times resulting from foreclosure. Bank of America, for example, recently said it will offer payments of $2,500 to $30,000 to sellers if they’ll sell their home in a short sale. 

Meanwhile, there are signs of improvement. The Mortgage Bankers Association said this week that the percentage of loans that are delinquent or already in the foreclosure process during the first quarter was 11.33%, the lowest level since 2008. And there are fewer borrowers who are just starting to get into trouble (e.g., those who’ve missed only one payment). 
Posted: 5/30/20120 Entries
Georgia real estate sells for $2.125 million in John Dixon auction
By John Dixon
ATLANTA (May 30, 2012) -- Approximately 300 properties -- most of them foreclosed real estate owned by lenders -- sold in a two-day auction May 23-24 in Atlanta, with John Dixon & Associates conducting the sale.

By the end of the second day, the total reached $2.125 million. “We exceeded our expectations, and our sellers were pleased,” said John Dixon, president of the company. The auction included properties owned by several banks, as well as some owned by investors.

The auction attracted strong crowds of bidders both days, with active bidding on properties, most of which were located in metro Atlanta and North Georgia. Almost half of the properties went to online bidders who listened to the live auction and entered their bids via the Internet, according to Dixon.

“The market for commercial and residential properties continues to strengthen, and we’re consistently getting solid results for our sellers. This sale included office buildings, commercial and residential land, lots, homes and other properties. Investors are figuring out that the market is turning, and they’re building up their portfolios while they can still do so at prices that are a fraction of what they were a few years ago,” said Dixon.

Online bidding was especially strong, said Dixon. “The amount of real estate selling to online bidders varies from one sale to the next, but it was considerable in this case because we had a lot of bidders from North Georgia who chose to bid online rather than drive to Atlanta,” he said.

Individuals seeking additional information on the properties may visit or call 800-479-1763.
Posted: 5/21/20120 Entries
Successful John Dixon auction blitz: 11 commercial buildings, 10 events, three days, five states

ATLANTA, Ga. (May 21, 2012) -- Selling 11 commercial buildings would be a challenge under any circumstances. But when they're scattered out in more than 10 cities in five states, it calls for some serious coordination.

John Dixon & Associates not only pulled it off, but got the buildings successfully sold.

"We really felt that it was important to sell most of these buildings at the location itself, and that meant we had to form three teams, with multiple auctions two of the three days. But our folks were up to it, and we had 10 auctions, each of which ran smoothly and resulted in a successful sale," said John Dixon, president of the company.

The company dispatched one team -- including Dixon -- to Pennsylvania, where it conducted a morning auction in Richland and an afternoon event in Easton. A second team started in Riverdale, Ga., and moved on to Anniston, Ala., while the third headed to Virginia. The second day brought auctions in Hanover, Pa., Virginia Beach, Va., and Cottonwood, Ala. Finally, the Virginia and Pennsylvania teams were able to return to the company's Atlanta headquarters while the third went to Avon Park, Fla., for a final auction on the third day.

"The properties we were selling were primarily high-quality commercial buildings that had been left unoccupied as banks had gone through mergers and consolidations. It's very satisfying to get these into the hands of investors and businesses that can put them to good use in an improving economy," said Dixon. The properties sold for a total of $1.45 million.

In separate events on May 15-16, John Dixon Associates also sold four commercial properties in Tennessee for a combined $525,000. The buildings were located in Hampton, Pikeville, Spring Hill and Chattanooga.

Posted: 5/15/20120 Entries
You can sell your home -- if you're willing to accept the market price
By John Dixon
Here’s good news for people with a home to sell: Homes are selling again. Indeed, even Bloomberg is writing about markets such as Silicon Valley, where real estate agents are now wrestling with a problem from a bygone era: Too many buyers chasing too few homes.

But there’s a caveat: Home prices still aren’t rising. New numbers from the DataQuick service show that home sales are down 3.6 percent from a year ago and down 8.9 percent from three years ago. But the prices people are paying? Up a mere 1.1 percent compared to three years ago.

That probably means a lot of homeowners who are under water on their mortgages may still have to get the bank to agree to a short sale.

The reality is that whether you sell in a rip roaring market like the one we had in 2005 or a soggy one like we have now, you’re going to have to accept the market’s judgment for what your home is worth.

It’s hard to be realistic and objective about the value of your home. For decades, homeowners watched the values of their homes go up and calculated the effect of a growing equity on their retirement. Some still hang on to an appraisal they got several years ago, before the mortgage crisis hit and homeowners fell into default. On the flip side, we tend to discount the impact of foreclosed homes that are sitting empty. Or buyers who can’t get a mortgage.

The reality that a home sells at the market price may be easier for me to accept because I sell real estate at auction. I love the auction method, because it strips away any uncertainty and establishes a firm market value. And that’s the only number that really matters.

Time to start building soon?

In its article, Bloomberg noted that the inventory of new homes in March was the lowest of any year since 1963. (After all, builders haven’t been building a lot of spec homes.) But as the inventory of new homes (144,000 in March) shrinks, smart builders are starting to look ahead to a time when they can once again make a profit with spec homes. That’s why we’ve seen an increased demand in the hundreds of home sites and lots we’re selling these days.
Posted: 5/10/2012
Successful John Dixon auction blitz: 11 commercial buildings, 10 events, three days, five states
By John Dixon

Successful John Dixon auction blitz: 11 commercial buildings, 10 events, three days, five states

ATLANTA, Ga. (May 21, 2012) -- Selling 11 commercial buildings would be a challenge under any circumstances. But when they're scattered out in more than 10 cities in five states, it calls for some serious coordination.

John Dixon & Associates not only pulled it off, but got the buildings successfully sold.

"We really felt that it was important to sell most of these buildings at the location itself, and that meant we had to form three teams, with multiple auctions two of the three days. But our folks were up to it, and we had 10 auctions, each of which ran smoothly and resulted in a successful sale," said John Dixon, president of the company.

The company dispatched one team -- including Dixon -- to Pennsylvania, where it conducted a morning auction in Richland and an afternoon event in Easton. A second team started in Riverdale, Ga., and moved on to Anniston, Ala., while the third headed to Virginia. The second day brought auctions in Hanover, Pa., Virginia Beach, Va., and Cottonwood, Ala. Finally, the Virginia and Pennsylvania teams were able to return to the company's Atlanta headquarters while the third went to Avon Park, Fla., for a final auction on the third day.

"The properties we were selling were primarily high-quality commercial buildings that had been left unoccupied as banks had gone through mergers and consolidations. It's very satisfying to get these into the hands of investors and businesses that can put them to good use in an improving economy," said Dixon. The properties sold for a total of $1.45 million.

In separate events on May 15-16, John Dixon Associates also sold four commercial properties in Tennessee for a combined $525,000. The buildings were located in Hampton, Pikeville, Spring Hill and Chattanooga.


Posted: 5/4/20120 Entries
Another big auction of commercial, residential properties set for May 23-24
By John Dixon
One of the best parts of my job is the satisfaction I get from taking properties that are sitting vacant and getting them into the hands of people who can use them. And these days, many of those are investors and  entrepreneurs who can turn these properties into income opportunities.
Meanwhile, we're helping our sellers get these properties off their books. In short, everybody wins.
It'd be nice if we hadn't gone through the real estate and credit crisis that resulted in lenders owning so much real estate, but we have to deal with the reality in front of us. And the positive side of that reality is that things are coming back to life. Empty restaurants, office buildings and other businesses are getting new occupants. Jobs and income streams are being created. Builders, developers and other investors are stocking up on lots at a fraction of their former value, and this will translate into profitable ventures down the road. 
Here's a press release we issued today about a major sale coming up right here in Georgia. We have about 300 properties, which we'll sell in about 100 groups. Most are in metro Atlanta or areas north of there, with a few in North Carolina and Alabama.  We have a number of different sellers combining into one major sale, so it should be a good one.
Commercial and residential properties to sell in May 23-24 auction
ATLANTA (May 4, 2012) -- Approximately 300 properties -- most of them in north Georgia and metro Atlanta -- will sell in a two-day real estate auction May 23-24, with John Dixon & Associates conducting the auction. Most of the properties are bank-owned and will sell at absolute auction, with no minimum or reserve bid.

“These two events will combine the assets of several different lenders and property owners, providing a substantial selection of properties, including office buildings, commercial land and lots, industrial buildings and land, homes, duplexes, lake lots, and golf course lots. We will sell them in approximately 100 groupings,” said John Dixon, president of the auction company.

The event on Wednesday, May 23, will focus on properties in north Georgia, including a home site on Lake Lanier in Buford, with a private boat ramp and dock. Other properties include dozens of residential lots, six townhome lots, homes and agricultural land.

“With so many properties, we felt we needed to offer them over two days to do all of the properties justice,” said Dixon. Events both days will begin at 11 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Atlanta Perimeter, 4386 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Atlanta.

The event on Thursday, May 24, will include homes, a six-unit office building, an auto repair shop, and scores of residential lots for future construction.

“The economy is continuing to gain steam, and it won’t be long before developers, builders and individuals will once again be seeking lots on which to build homes. Those who obtain them now will no doubt get them at lower prices, resulting in a better total return on their investments,” said Dixon.

The auction also will include properties in North Carolina and Alabama, including a lakefront lot in Alabama’s Wilcox County.

Individuals seeking additional information on the properties may visit or call 800-479-1763.

John Dixon & Associates, headquartered in Marietta, Ga., is a leading auctioneer specializing in the sale of bank-owned properties throughout the U 
Posted: 4/17/20120 Entries
Mixed signals aren't necessarily a bad thing
By John Dixon
Sometimes I think we'd all get a clearer picture of what's happening in the economy -- and the real estate market -- if we refused to read the financial news more than once a week.

Actually, once a month would be better still, but I doubt any of us could handle that. 

The problem with staying "on top of things" is that we see all the ripples and lose track of the waves that really matter. 

Today's headline, for example, is that housing starts are down in March -- 5.8 percent below February, as if that means anything. (Compared to March of 2011, housing starts were up 10.3 percent.) 

The numbers -- reported by the Census Bureau -- serve a very important purpose, of course: They give financial reporters something to write about. That keeps the news sites humming, but it doesn't necessarily give us much perspective. Other bits tell us that mortgage rates are back down to record lows. That sounds good, until you remember that a low rate is useless if nobody has the money to lend, and money continues to be tight.
Another ripple: Rents are going up while home prices remain stuck in the mud. This passes for bad news, and it is for people who can't get a mortgage. But it's a plus for the real estate investor, because it indicates he can add homes to his portfolio at a lower price but rent out at higher rates for more income.
As always, the devil is in the details, but the clarity is often in the lack of them. 
Posted: 4/16/2012
Last week's buyers will earn excellent returns
By John Dixon
Here's the press release about our April 12 auction of properties along the Emerald Coast on the Florida panhandle. It was a great auction -- not only because our team did an excellent job promoting and managing it, but because we once again saw the growing sense of optimism among real estate investors who realize that this is the time to build their portfolios for the next "up" cycle in the economy.
Nobody can time the real estate market with any precision. The best we can do is invest when prices are low. That protects us on the downside while enabling us to achieve a higher return on our money. The investors -- and there were were a lot of them! -- who were bidding at our auction last week are going to earn some excellent returns down the road.
 John Dixon & Associates auction of bank-owned property draws strong crowds in Tallahassee 
Tallahassee, Fla. (April 13, 2012) -- A standing-room-only crowd jammed the room Thursday as bidders competed for condominiums, commercial properties, residential home sites and other real estate.
"It's clear that smart real estate investors are looking ahead and getting themselves positioned for an improving economic climate," said John Dixon, president of John Dixon & Associates, which conducted the auction for Arkansas-based Centennial Bank. "Our seller was quite pleased with the number of bidders, the level of bidding and the outcome."In addition to well over 200 people who attended the event live, another 150 participated via a live simulcast. By the end of the auction, all of the properties had sold for a total of $2.5 million.
"Among bankers, real estate investors and others, I'm hearing a lot of improving confidence. I wouldn't go so far as to call it optimism, but at least it's a sense that we've bottomed out and it's a good time to obtain investment properties while they're still available at much lower prices than they were a few years ago. Buying at today's prices will translate into better returns on investment and more long-term appreciation potential down the road when the crowd discovers the benefits of real estate investing again," said Dixon.
Most of the properties sold were clustered near the coast from Panama City Beach to Carabelle. Among them were two condominiums in the Preserve at Bay’s Edge in Appalachicola. Upcoming John Dixon sales include 13 commercial buildings located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Virginia and Pennsylvania on May 1-3; bank-owned properties in Tennessee on May 17, and bank-owned properties in metro Atlanta May 23-24. Individuals seeking additional information may visit or contact the auction company at 800-479-1763.

Posted: 4/10/2012
If 4% returns are too much to ask of stocks, what does that say about real estate?
By John Dixon
Folks who don't like real estate investing argue that it entails more risk than alternative investments. And there's no question that a lot of money has been lost since 2006. But then, that's been true of most investments, including stocks and bonds.
When I look at the returns to be had on various assets, real estate looks better all the time. Robert Shiller -- the Yale economist who helped develop the S&P/Case-Shiller Index that tracks home prices --  is also widely known for his insights into stock returns. And right now, he says the current stock market valuations predict something like a 4 percent return after inflation.
That's not much of a return on an investment with the risk of the stock market, in my opinion.  He cites data showing a 7 percent stock return over a 200-year period, but in a recent interview with CNN Money, he said the future may do worse than that. 
That doesn't mean he's necessarily bullish on real estate, but I am. We're seeing more investors at our auctions, and they're bidding more aggressively on all kinds of properties, including homes, lots and commercial properties. Let's say you can buy an investment home or commercial property at a substantial discount to its former price. You can lease it for a very attractive rate and still earn a return that beats 4 percent by a long shot  -- even if the price doesn't go up right away. 
Even better, with the amount of cash looking for a home,  a lot of investors now are able to pay cash for their properties or at least own them with relatively little debt. That translates into low risk. Let's not forget that when the self-made experts were talking about building a real estate portfolio for "little or no money down," that translated into a highly leveraged investment in an overextended real estate market with little or no room for anything to go wrong.
And in the real world, things go wrong. Our best protection is to own the best portfolio we can, at the lowest possible price, with the least possible debt. That calls for a marketplace exactly like the one we're seeing now. 
Posted: 4/7/2012
Home prices down, but how much further can they go?
By John Dixon
As I mentioned in my last post, I think the real estate market is finally beginning to level off. We’re seeing this in our auctions, where we’re seeing more bidders and more aggressive bidding.

Don’t get me wrong: Prices are still low. One of the best indicators of that is the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite index, which is a three-month rolling index of home prices. While it only covers home prices, it’s a good proxy for the health of the real estate market. The latest numbers showed a drop of 3.8 percent in home prices over the past 12 months, even as the general economy has strengthened.

In fact, the index showed home prices at their lowest level since early 2003. That tells me the excesses of the bubble we saw in the mid 2000s have been wrung out of the market. When risk was at its highest -- before the credit and real estate crisis -- investors were clamoring to buy just about everything in sight. In hindsight, it was a terrible time to be aggressively buying.

Now, the risk is as low as I’ve ever seen it.
Posted: 4/7/2012
NAR statistics consistent with auction results
The National Association of Realtors is reporting a sharp jump in the sale of investment and vacation homes in 2011. According to NAR’s press release, investment home sales were up 64.5 percent, and vacation homes rose 7 percent.

Homes occupied by owners fell 15.5 percent, however, according to NAR.

These numbers track pretty well with what we’ve been seeing in our recent sales. We had a record year in 2011, and we’ve already gotten off to a strong start with sales for banks and the FDIC. In February, we sold 455 bank-owned properties in a series of four events over a couple of days.

There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ve turned the corner, and people who understand real estate realize that prices can’t fall much lower. In fact, those who choose to wait now may find themselves paying more later.
Posted: 4/5/2012
Florida Panhandle condos, commercial properties, home sites
By John Dixon
With several excellent auctions already under our belt for 2012, we’re busy marketing a really attractive group of properties April 12. Most are along Florida’s Emerald Coast from Panama City to Carabelle.

This will be a shared-loss sale for Arkansas-based Centennial Bank, which has agreed to sell all of the properties at auction. Everything is selling absolute, with no minimum or reserve, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Hotel Duvall in Tallahassee.

Among these properties are a couple of condominiums that are part of the Preserve at Bay’s Edge in Apalachicola. Both are very nice, 1,354-square-foot, two-bedroom units that were built in 2006 but have never actually been occupied.

We’ll be selling a 19,621-square-foot commercial building/warehouse in East Point as well as three acres of commercial land in Wewahitchka.

Builders and developers who are looking ahead will take an interest in the home sites, some of which are either on or within view of the water. We also will be selling subdivision lots in groupings of up to 27 residential lots.
Posted: 4/3/2012
4,800 properties sold by John Dixon in 2011
By John Dixon
When we got the numbers added up for 2011 -- our biggest year ever -- I was pretty proud of the results -- more than 4,800 properties, including 363 improved residential properties, 323 commercial/industrial properties, 159 acreage tracts, and 3,993 unimproved residential properties (mainly home sites and land).

But the number I’m proudest of is 95. That’s the percentage of properties we got sold. Another good one is 80 -- the percent of our sales that were conducted for repeat customers. Those two numbers tend to go together: When you get the job done for clients, they keep coming back.
Posted: 4/2/2012
Bank Failures 2008-2011
By John Dixon
Nearly everybody knows that the banks have had a rough time of it since the credit crisis of late 2007, but not everyone is aware of just how many banks have failed.

The maps below are based on a spreadsheet showing the failures for the last four complete calendar years. Keep in mind that some of the markers overlap, so some are hidden behind others.

Here are the actual numbers:
  • 2008 - 24
  • 2009 - 139
  • 2010 - 156
  • 2011 - 91

2008 Failures

2009 Failures

2010 Failures

Bank Failures 2011

Posted: 4/2/2012
Loss sharing explained by the FDIC in four minutes
By John Dixon
OK, technically it’s four minutes a 14 seconds, but what’s a few seconds among friends? This FDIC video does the best job I’ve seen of explaining how the agency’s loss sharing agreements work.
Posted: 4/2/2012
Why buying investment properties is a great idea now
By John Dixon
It’s an unfortunate fact of life -- and a reality of human psychology -- that we read and hear the most about an investment class in the late stages of a cycle when all the easy profits have been made and the risk is at its highest.

That certainly has been the case with virtually all types of real estate. In the mid-2000s, you couldn’t escape the flood of books, videos and seminars telling you how to make your fortune in real estate. Invariably, these materials featured a photo of a smiling, newly minted real estate guru promising to reveal the secrets of how he made his fortune.

Even worse, a lot of them promised to show the secrets of getting real estate with little or no money down. I suspect that in our business of selling bank-owned properties, we’ve probably sold some properties these guys used to own.

The real tragedy is that now’s the time people really can make money by investing in real estate. Many properties are selling for a fraction of their former prices, and those who are in a position to build up a good portfolio now will be in the catbird seat when the economy comes back to life.

During the boom, thousands of developers created subdivisions all over the country to accommodate what seemed to be an insatiable thirst for new suburban homes. Commercial developers built shopping centers and office buildings that relied on growth that was about to come to a screeching halt. Individuals borrowed too much money -- much of it from lenders and brokers who were less than scrupulous.

Investment fashions may come and go, but here’s one truth that never changes: Your rate of return depends what you have invested. The less you pay for your investment, the higher your return on it will be, whether you’re buying it for rental income, resale or future construction.
Posted: 4/1/2012
Welcome to the Blog
By John Dixon
While John Dixon & Associates is best known as an auction company, we actually play a critical role as advisers to bankers, investors and others who buy and sell at our auctions. That’s because our work throughout the United States gives us a unique perspective on market conditions -- not only in general, but on specific property types, and in different regions.

Our work takes us into the nation’s biggest cities and smallest towns. Our commercial properties range from major office buildings in prime locations to small lots and long-shuttered businesses. Similarly, on the residential front, we get a feel for every type of property and location, from suburban homes to luxury condominiums to urban investment houses to lots.

All of these can be sold successfully if you understand the bigger picture, including the marketplace dynamics, the economy, the sources of demand, and the motivations of buyers.

I’ll be using this blog as a place to have conversations about all of those and more. Sometimes I’ll talk about what’s happening at John Dixon & Associates. Other times I’ll reflect on the current environment, my thoughts on how to do business and other matters.
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