Is A Home Seller’s Market Returning to Atlanta, GA?

That’s not a typo in the headline.  Could we be seeing the return of a seller’s market in Atlanta?  In some cases, the answer is pointing towards yes.  But first, we need to understand exactly what causes the home buying and selling market to favor one side over another.

It all works off the simple dynamic of supply vs. demand.  For the past several years, as the number of available homes on the market swelled, the number of available buyers declined.  This resulted in a dramatic excess of supply vs. demand which causes prices to drop. [Read more…]

Top Home Improvement Projects Based on Cost and ROI

In today’s competitive home seller’s market, it is critical to make sure your home is in top showing condition.  Sometimes small things add up to make a huge impact.  HomeGain.com announced that it has released the results of its nationwide home improvement and home staging survey.

HomeGain’s recent survey shows the top do-it-yourself home improvements that Realtors recommend to home sellers. HomeGain received responses from nearly 1,000 Realtors nationwide and configured a list of the top 12 do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvements that cost under $5,000 and benefit sellers most when they sell their homes.

[Read more…]

Atlanta, GA Housing Market Review

The most common questions I am asked are: Is the market getting any better and is activity picking up?

The problem in providing an answer is that is really depends on the day you ask.  Over the last 12 months, there really has been any consistent trend in the market.  Some weeks see lots of activity and interest while others have no activity.  It has been this lack of consistency that has made this such a difficult market.

Positive News

Interest rates continue to be low (in the high 4%/low 5% range) and the $8000 federal tax credit for first time buyers and $1800 Georgia state tax credit for all buyers are good until the end of November.  In fact, houses are probably the most affordable they’ve ever been.  And, if you’re a home buyer, it’s still a buyer’s market.

On The Other Hand

National unemployment in about 10% and Georgia’s is slightly over 10%.  Job losses and uncertainty have undermined the confidence of home buyers.  In addition, while money is cheap, it is also still difficult to get a mortgage if your credit is not very good.

To get a clear picture of the overall Atlanta market, I have broken down the sales trends for 2006 through 2008. For 2009, I kept my original analysis period of January thru April  and have added May thru September.  This way you can see how the year is trending. The chart below shows the trends for all of the Atlanta using the FMLS data for single family homes.

EXPLANATION OF CHART

This chart shows the number of homes sold in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 (thru September). 2007 and 2008 are also broken down into Jan-July an Aug-Dec time frames.  The last column represent the the number of currently active listings and their average asking price.  The actual data for each bar and line is shown at the bottom of the chart.

Metro Atlanta Housing Market Analysis

ANALYSIS

Units Sold – 2006 – 2008

2006 saw 46,437  homes sold with that number increasing to 58,115 in 2007.  We know that that market slowdown began in summer of 2007.  This is clear by looking at the breakdown of 2007 sales: 37,497 units from Jan-July and 20,618 units from Aug-Dec.  Total units sold in 2008 declined to 46,677 with the second half of the year seeing only 18,178 homes sold.

Units Sold – 2009

Thru April 30, 2009, 11,631 homes sold.  If we extrapolate this for the entire year, 2009 would see approximately 35,000 homes sold.  From May thru Sepetmber, 21,317 homes sold with an average sales price of $207,000.  This represents an 83% increase in home sales AND a 12.5% increase on average sales price.

There are currently 37,674 homes on the market which is approximately 15% less homes than at the end of April. This also represents 10.3 months of inventory at the current absorption rate. Clearly we are seeing a positive trend in sales. However, inventory is still above the 7-9 months which would represent a balanced market.  In addition, the current average list price of $361,000 for active listings is way too high and will need to come down in order to sustain this sales trend.

Average Sales Price

In 2006, the average sold price was $264,000.  This increased slightly to $265,000 in 2007.  The average sold price peaked in the first half of 2007 at $269,000. By 2008, the average sold price was down to $229,000.  For the first four months of 2009, the average sold price was $184,000. From May thru September, the average sales price increased by $23,000, approximately 12.5%, to $207,000.

Average List Price

The average list price in 2006 was $271,000.  The difference between the average list and average sold in 2006 was 2.7%.  By 2007, the gap between list and sold price increased to 3.4%.  In 2008, the gap had further increased to 6.1%.  For the first four months of 2009, the gap reached an amazing 20.0%. From May thru Deptember, the gap between asking and sold prices had narrowed to 9.1%.

Average Days on Market

This data is not shown on the chart but in the table below:

2006: 76

Jan – Jul 2007: 84
Aug-Dec 2007: 91
2007: 87

Jan-Jul 2008: 95
Aug-Dec 2008: 91
2008: 94

Jan – Apr 2009: 98
May – Sept 2009: 93

As we can see, the average days on market has decreased slightly increased from to 98 to a current 93 days.

Please feel free to contact me with questions about your specific market or community.  You can request a FREE home market analysis here.

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Atlanta, Georgia Housing Market Review

North Fulton County (Roswell, GA and Alpharetta, GA) Housing Market Review

The most common questions I am asked are: Is the market getting any better and is activity picking up?

The problem in providing an answer is that is really depends on the day you ask.  Over the last 12 months, there really hasn’t been any consistent trend in the market.  Some weeks see lots of activity and interest while others have no activity.  It has been this lack of consistency that has made this such a difficult market.

Positive News

Interest rates continue to be low (in the high 4%/low 5% range) and the $8000 federal tax credit for first time buyers and $1800 Georgia state tax credit for all buyers are good until the end of November.  In fact, houses are probably the most affordable they’ve ever been.  And, if you’re a home buyer, it’s still a buyer’s market.

[Read more…]

Cobb County, GA – Housing Market Review

The most common questions I am asked are: Is the market getting any better and is activity picking up?

The problem in providing an answer is that is really depends on the day you ask.  Over the last 12 months, there really hasn’t been any consistent trend in the market.  Some weeks see lots of activity and interest while others have no activity.  It has been this lack of consistency that has made this such a difficult market.  However, things are starting to change and a trend is starting to develop.

Positive News

Interest rates continue to be low (in the high 4%/low 5% range) and the $8000 federal tax credit for first time buyers and $1800 Georgia state tax credit for all buyers are good until the end of November.  In fact, houses are probably the most affordable they’ve ever been.  And, if you’re a home buyer, it’s still a buyer’s market.

[Read more…]

Atlanta Home Real Estate Prices Increase Slightly

The rate of home-price declines improved in July in the top 20 U.S. cities, and Atlanta posted a rise. The average price of a home in Atlanta rose 2.3 percent from June to July, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. However, the average price of a home in Atlanta was down 11.8 percent year over year in July.

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New Realities of the Housing Market

The American dream of homeownership is still attainable. Buyers just have to deal with a new set of realities.

A year after the collapse of the housing market triggered the financial meltdown, lenders are demanding more money up front, high credit scores and proof of income. Paperwork must be in perfect order. Patience and persistence are required. And don’t even bother asking about a subprime mortgage.

It’s a vastly different set of rules from earlier this decade, when home prices soared and mortgages were easy to come by.

[Read more…]

National Pending Home Sales Rise for 3rd Month In A Row

Contracts signed show a big jump, especially in the Northeast, another indicator the market may be bottoming

Low interest rates and an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers helped push pending home sales up for the third month in a row, another indication that the decline in the real estate market may be stabilizing, the National Association of Realtors reported on June 2.

[Read more…]

Atlanta Home Prices Drop At Slower Pace

March stats in national Case-Shiller index offer hope, local analysts say.

Metro Atlanta home prices kept falling in March, but the pace of decline slowed a bit, according to a closely watched index.

Local prices slipped 1.5 percent in March from February, following several previous month-to-month declines of more than 2 percent. Still, on a year-to-year basis metro Atlanta home prices were down almost 16 percent from March 2008, dropping to levels not seen since late 2000, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index.

But the long fall is over, argued Steve Palm, president of SmartNumbers, a real estate research firm in Marietta.

[Read more…]

Atlanta, Georgia Housing Market Review

The most common questions I am asked are: Is the market getting any better and is activity picking up?  The problem in providing an answer is that is really depends on the day you ask.  Over the last 6 – 9 months, there really has been any consistent trend in the market.  Some weeks see lots of activity and interest while others have no activity.  It has been this lack of consistency that has made this such a difficult market.

On the positive side, we have low interest rates, an $8000 federal tax credit for first time buyers, an $1800 Georgia state tax credit for all buyers and a buyer’s market.  On the negative side, high unemployment, low consumer confidence and a credit crunch have kept buyers from jumping back into the market.

To get a clear picture of the overall Atlanta market, I have broken down the sales trends for 2006 through April 2009.  The chart below shows the trends for all of the Atlanta using the FMLS data for single family homes.

[Read more…]