All of the media outlets have already concluded the housing market is doomed. What if instead of the relentless, bombastic blathering emanating from the media, time was given for patterns to develop? What if the Atlanta real estate market isn’t going to crash? What if this is a period of adjustment and a return to normal? How effective is anticipating stock performance by watching the ticker and reacting every few minutes? What if we back out, let the situation develop and look for past patterns to anticipate future trends? Yeah, what ifs are risky and there are many variables. However when time is taken to consider the data, real estate falls into pretty consistent patterns.
To anticipate where the Atlanta area real estate market might go, it’s good to review where it’s been. Of course, there are significant variables but when housing data is reviewed by quarters, patterns develop. That long view is needed; reacting every time some piece of data is presented will make you nuts. Granular data (by the week or two) is critical tactically; what do buyers and sellers in the market right now need to know? Reviews of quarterly data is more productive when looking strategically; needed for buyers and sellers 90-120 days out. We take the long view below and focus on the six main “Greater Atlanta” counties, looking back three years to 2nd Qtr ’19.
Median Home Prices for Greater Atlanta
Not a news flash, prices across the Atlanta market are up. Look closer and remember real estate data tends to trail a few weeks, especially closings. Q2’19 to Q3’20 has a nice slow and steady rise. Covid trips Q4 but as 2021 opens contract and sale prices jump. By Q1’22 sellers are getting full price and things break loose through Q2. Prices through most of ’21-mid ’22 were an anomaly. Expect Q3’22 to decline and start the pace of Q2’19 to Q3’22. A dip, an adjustment, and a return to normal. We're in that dip, it's a rough patch and it's critical to understand the adjustment and react as needed.
Atlanta Housing by the Numbers
The swing in numbers of the last three years impacted active listings. Contracts and sales displayed the usual patterns, even through the pandemic. We see the expected seasonal fluctuations but no great unexpected swings for either. Listings however, a different story and the main reason for the seller’s market. Inventory dropped significantly Q4’20-Q1’21 and even more in Q4’21-Q1’22. Many owners stayed home, updated and refinanced at historic low rates. Why move? Local buyers competed with relocating buyers (often flush with cash) and all hell broke loose as prices rose. That ended late Q2’21 as the Fed stepped in.
Atlanta Real Estate by Percentages
Reinforcing the numbers side, this chart considers homes going under contract and closing as a percentage of total inventory. Again, we see a fairly consistent pattern between Q2’19 thorough Q2’20. The percentages bump and then soar through ’21 with signs of a return to normalcy at the start of ’22.
How Many Days to Sell
How long does it take to sell a home in Atlanta? Not long. While every situation is different, one again we see the patterns when viewed quarterly. The largely balanced market of ’19 to early ’20 gave way to the heated quarters through much of ’21. We see a slight climb over the last couple of quarters but the last dipped back likely as buyers committed to beat rising interest rates.
The Bottom Line
The Atlanta real estate market over the last 18 months was unsustainable, as was the national housing market. The economy is not healthy; inflation is doing damage and the Fed is taking the required actions. However, this adjustment/slowdown/correction/shift or whatever it's called is not the same as the nuke from a decade ago. Three main differences are the quality of the loans, number of cash buyers and the modest inventory. There will be a correction, we're in it, but barring any unforeseen issues we expect the patterns before the pandemic to return. When? Let's say by Q1'24; everything hinges on spending, inflation and how the economy is managed. Real estate alone isn't that complicated but it is heavily influenced. One thing we've all learned, you cannot make up the things we've been through over the last several years and we have no idea what lies ahead.
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 email@example.com Posted by Hank Miller on