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The “Sort of Hot, Sort of Not” Atlanta Housing Market

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Among last month’s positive and negative headlines about Atlanta and the nation’s housing markets, the one that may have best defined the Atlanta market, published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, read: “Odd housing market confounds buyers, agents.” The article went on to say, “metro Atlanta housing is an odd market these days: sort of hot, sort of not.” Because of this conundrum, defined by falling sales and high prices, the Cal-Culator, Atlanta’s residential real estate index, will remain at its last month ranking of 7.5.

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Home Prices

Metro Atlanta prices rose 6.4 percent, outpacing the national average of 6 percent and outpacing many metro areas, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Only Denver and Los Angeles had faster-paced price hikes. CBS reported Atlanta’s median home price jumped from $105,000 in 2012 to $205,000 today.
Housing experts expect home prices will continue to rise, but at a slower pace throughout the year.

“If mortgage rates continue to remain relatively low and job growth continues, as most forecasters expect, then home purchases are likely to rise in the coming year,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The increased sales will support further price appreciation, and according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index, home prices are projected to rise about 5 percent over the next year.”

Home Sales and Supply

Unfortunately, Atlanta REALTORS’ most recent Market Brief revealed July residential sales decreased 7.7 percent from last year. The brief also revealed Atlanta area housing inventory decreased 1.2 percent from July 2016 and new listings decreased 6.9 percent. However, in good news, the supply for sale increased to 3.7 months.

“Interest rates and housing inventory continue to remain at historic lows and demand continues to remain strong,” said Atlanta REALTORS President Lane McCormack. “As we begin to approach the fall, now is the time to stay in the market as a buyer and/or seller. While the median sales price continues to rise, Atlanta is still one of the most affordable cities in the US.”

Foreclosures

The most recent foreclosure report by CoreLogic revealed the Atlanta foreclosure rate has once again dipped. Foreclosures made up 0.52 percent of all mortgages in June, down from 0.72 in 2015. Atlanta’s percentage of loans that are delinquent is now 2.9 percent, down significantly from 3.4 last year.

The next Cal-Culator will be released October 11. Let’s hope the market moves from “sort of hot, sort of not” to “pretty darn hot.”

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