The real estate market in Atlanta appears to be following the upswing many of have heard about on the news recently and itâ€™s high time we spread the word! For the first time in years, parts of Atlanta have seen price increases and sales volume increases. This is particularly true for resale homes and those homes in the traditionally more popular areas on the north side of the city.
As I write this, home sales in Atlanta under $200,000 for the month of July are 2,547 solds vs. 2,390 sold in July of 2008. This is a significant statistic because, we will have more sales than last year for the second month in a row and this also represents the single largest segment of homes for sale in Atlanta broken down by price point.
In June, which is traditionally the highest monthly sold numbers, 2009 sales at this price point far outpaced what we saw in 2008. This year there were 2,679 sales vs. 2344 in 2008. This is a 14% increase in volume. In the popular northern suburbs, this has turned to a sellerâ€™s market with only 3 or 4 months of inventory available to purchase in many cases.
The significance of the year over year sales increase at this price point cannot be overstated. Since this represents 60% of total sales and represents 43% of all homes listed for sale, year over year increases represents more than just a small tick in an otherwise bleak market.
This represents a turning point.
When this is combined with 6 consecutive months where inventory levels have declined and 4 consecutive months where the average home price has increased and we find ourselves wondering whether or not we have actually seen the bottom in the overall real estate market.
What I have reported above is certainly not true across the board in all submarkets, price points or home styles, but, represents the first substantial and sustained increase in any area in the last 2 years. Since we are now seeing consecutive months of increased prices, reduction in inventory and increase in sales volumes in the largest segments of the markets, we are definitely seeing bulging signs of a strengthening market.
The luxury market is still starving for buyers and oversupplied with homes. The most expensive areas of Atlanta â€“ Buckhead and Sandy Springs â€“ have seen major price decreases, high rates of foreclosures and inventory levels that canâ€™t seem to drop out of the stratosphere.
The condominium market, dead for quite some time, is not even on life support and things will be getting worse as sot approval for FHA financing goes away in October making it even more difficult to obtain financing.
All in all though, we may look back in March of next year and say March or April of 2009 marked the beginning of the end of the declining market and the bottom may be right now. There are lots of positive signs including jumbo loans at attractive rates below 6%. That combined with the large number of 1st time homebuyers and we may soon see the move up buyers moving up.
Time will tell and time certainly will fix all the ills of the downturn in the market.
Many of the best deals are being had or have already been had. Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines. Now is the time to buy in Atlanta.
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