Atlanta Home Prices and Supply Rising

Listings jump 17.2% as gains finally pull more sellers off the sidelines.

 Atlanta Housing Market Rebounds

BY J. SCOTT TRUBEY from the Atlanta Journal Constitution

HOUSING REBOUND

The willing home seller — a relatively elusive breed in metro Atlanta’s fickle housing market — may be reappearing.  New home listings jumped 17.2 percent in January compared to the same month last year, buoyed by rising home values and the prolonged economic recovery. It’s not yet clear if the surge is a sign of sellers finally coming off the sidelines, but if the trend continues it could signal a more normal market and a stronger spring home-buying season.

The region’s inventory of available homes is still very low by historical standards. But given improved job growth, price gains and recent corporate relocations, 2015 could be a better year, according to Ennis Antoine, president of the Atlanta Board of Realtors, which released market data on Monday.  “We’re looking at about 3 ½ months’ worth of inventory,” he said. “A good strong market is about six months (supply). I think as prices rise, we will see the inventory increase.”

Realtors have hoped price gains over the past few years would lead to more homes for sale, but the market in many ways has moved in frustrating fits and starts.

Antoine said the recovery isn’t even. Intown locations north of downtown and the northern suburbs remain the strongest markets, while areas to the south remain challenged. But jobs are returning throughout the region, which should help values across metro Atlanta.

The Atlanta Board of Realtors, which tracks sales in 11 counties, reported that total sales fell nearly 10 percent in January compared to the same month a year ago. But that’s not necessarily bad news.  The decline was largely because of fewer investor buyers — business people who often pay cash and flip homes or plan to rent a property while waiting for it to appreciate.

Median sale prices climbed in January by 13.4 percent compared to a year ago as traditional purchases made up a bigger proportion of regional sales. Traditional sales — those in which the buyer plans to live in the home — tend to come at higher prices.

Housing usually drives an economy coming out of a recession, but the residential market is still rankled by tight supply and lending standards that make it difficult for buyers to qualify, experts say.  Many buyers also do not have the money needed for a down payment, and some still have credit histories bruised from the fallout of the recession. Younger adults, who may have had careers delayed or have steep student loan debts, have shown a preference for renting over buying.

Many homeowners who held on after the housing collapse were left with underwater mortgages, meaning they owe more than their houses are worth.  But as values climb, more would-be sellers could enter the market, Antoine said.

Data Source: ATLANTA BOARD OF REALTORS

If you or someone you know has been thinking of selling their home, contact us today to find out the best time to sell in 2015!  404-729-1133 or melissa@redrobingroup.com.

posted: Feb 17, 2015 | No Responses

Posted by:  Melissa Wakamo

When Melissa Wakamo began her real estate career in 2004, her goal was to focus on her immediate area and get to know her neighbors. "I've had a lot of fun over the years helping my neighbors sell their homes and helping newcomers become a part of our community."

Melissa quickly became one of metro Atlanta's top producing agents and consistently performed in the top 1 of all Atlanta agents. By 2009, Melissa's real estate team had grown to include several agents and support staff, dedicated to providing exceptional service to buyers and sellers in Atlanta's intown neighborhoods.

In 2010, Melissa transitioned Red Robin REALTORS® into an independently owned boutique brokerage. Even in the tough real estate market during that time, Red Robin REALTORS® continued to outperform other small brokerages and was able to help buyers and sellers adapt to the rapid changes in the market.

Today, Melissa provides strategic oversight for Red Robin REALTORS®- ensuring that the brokerage maintains its focus and commitment to the intown market. Melissa also provides an exceptional training opportunity for agents. Under a philosophy that exceptional agents produce exceptional results, Melissa shares her marketing and business expertise with agents through the Red Robin Academy.

Melissa's active participation in various neighborhood organizations and charitable efforts, as well as her passion for antiques, cooking, and gardening, keep her busy and in touch with the community.

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