Summer is done and we've turned the corner into the last quarter of the 2021 Atlanta area real estate market. From the opening bell of 2020, yes, back almost two years, it's been a bonkers ride. The election, covid, new administration, covid, inflation, covid and continuing supply chain disasters mixed into "typical" real estate market dynamics. Who knows what lies ahead? No one. All that said, what did the Atlanta area real estate market look like over the third quarter of 2021?  

The need to dig deep into the data cannot be overemphasized; things look one way when viewed as a block but often look an entirely different way when boiled down into micro markets. When that’s done, buyers and sellers will see that looking at data broadly by county, city or zip code is often different when looking at it narrowed by price range, school district or physical characteristics. Broad is ok, going micro is best.

2nd QTR 2021 vs 3rd QTR 2021

The buyers still have the fever. FOMO rules and it was en fuego during the second quarter and carried through a chunk of the third. Multiple offers, days on market routinely in the single digits, sale prices over list, buyers waiving all contingencies....doing whatever it takes. The "love letter" that many buyers included were discouraged due to Fair Housing concerns, but that didn't stop them of course. "Normal" first time buyers compete with cash buyers and investors; best of luck to them. Move up buyers found it tough as well; cash was king as was buying largely "as is". In short, the chaos continued as the 3rd quarter opened.

But....we did notice that August settled a bit. Schools reopened and the buyer frenzy paused a bit; there was a chance to honestly evaluate a home. Sellers found that their homes needed to be accurately priced and presentable. The "good homes" still drew attention but the marginal ones....not so much (ask Zillow about that). This continued through the end of the quarter; still a seller's market but buyers not just blindly jumping. Buyers are  more selective, more measured and smarter. Competition remains but it's not a blanket situation right now. Let's watch for the impact of the Fed reducing the purchase of mortgage bonds, growing inflation, expected rising mortgage rates and of course, the covid situation.

Here are a few key observations that we noted during this quarter, these consider current conditions or are posts that have charts updated automatically. This is a constantly shifting environment; unique due to a number of reasons. Real estate is the single most unique commodity there is; location, condition, characteristics, buyer, seller, current market, future market and hundreds of other variables all come into play. No two homes are alike.

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3rd QTR 2020 vs 3rd QTR 2021

Looking back year over year, the data is consistent with the media headlines. The Covid shutdowns of the 2nd QTR 2020 eased and the buyer chaos kicked in during the 3rd QTR of 2020. Prices soared, inventory flew off the shelf and competition went nuts. Inventory however, didn't increase and things tightened further. So at this level, a “continuing very tight real estate market with continuing appreciation” remains an accurate description. However, it seems that we may be getting glimpses of a "normal" market with seasonal fluctuations. We may see the 4th QTR go back to being the quietest; not sure at this point but time will tell. But as noted above, if we boil down the data and dig into the many micro markets, we may find surprises. That's all part of the wonderful world of real estate....

Here's a macro look at the Greater Atlanta real estate market for this quarter compared to last year at this point. Click the image...

Key Points

  • Broad data is fine but the only data that matters is what’s applicable to the current situation. A first move up home in Milton and an equestrian home on acreage have nothing in common other than a Milton address.
  • Track the data by year and by quarter, compare and contrast the results with the “real world”
  • Work only with professionals. Standards to get a sales license are comical; why are there more agents than homes listed for sale? (because the industry runs on fees, nothing more)
  • Work with a professional and LISTEN to them. Buying or selling a home is a major business transaction, treat it that way. Who is handling your  hundreds of thousands of dollars?

The Hank Miller Team puts 30+ years of full time sales & appraisal experience to work for you. Act with complete confidence & make sound, decisive real estate decisions. 678-428-8276 and

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