April breaks over Georgia and the pencil necked geeks hike up their socks and tape up their glasses. It's time to answer the nagging question…did housing inventory in Atlanta increase during the first quarter of 2022? Well that answer is more than a yes/no binary option, context is needed and that’s best done by looking back a bit. The first quarter of any year around Atlanta tends to set up the second one. Traditionally, the months of May and June see the most new listings as the school cycle hits – graduating families sell and rising families buy. This year however, rocketing mortgage rates and other economic challenges may change that.
The charts below focus on key indicators; number of listings, number of sales, days on market and sale to list ratio. These consider the six main “metro counties” around Atlanta – Cherokee, Cobb, Decatur, Forsyth, Fulton and Gwinnett. The charts are broken into attached and detached homes, no further break down by price, age, area....so consider this a broad overview. We can always do a deep dive.
Here we look at both detached and attached homes going back to Jan 2018. The broad market was strong and largely balanced through Jan 2020. Covid cratered listings but the number of sales actually increase slightly through the pandemic. A low in listings was reached in Feb 2021 after a Tower of Terror free fall at the start of the pandemic. We saw a dead cat bounce over the summer of 2021 but right now, the number of active listings is at an historic low. The key here are sales; fairly consistent and even the dip in Jan 2022 was higher than Jan 2019. Pretty predictable rise into this quarter – also fueled by those rising rates.
Detached homes are the most popular type in the Atlanta market; this is a look at them since Jan 2020. The Covid collapse in listings is clear here as is the corresponding dip in Jan 2021 sales. Like above, 2021 saw the numbers get very close early before spreading a bit. No visible increase in inventory over the first quarter of 2022, if fact we're at a low point right now. The number of sales came out of the bottom and are picking up early into 2022.
The speed at which homes sold was cut by more than half between Feb 2020 and April 2020. We see the slight bounce and then the glide down. The median time a home is on the market before contracting is 6 days. Low but it was running around 5 days in mid-2021. The difference now is rising rates and even less inventory. Captain Obvious also calls attention to sale to list ratio; since about April 2020 homes have been selling for full price. Over list prices were seen in mid-2021 and since Jan 2022 they are rising again, buyers expecting to score deals shouldn't waste time. Buyers have to embrace measured risk right now.
Town homes and condos continue to be an option for many; this chart is from Jan 2020. A bar chart is used to bring attention to the Mar 2022 point; last month the number of sales exceeded the number of listings. The precipitous drop in the number of listings is clear but note sales remain somewhat consistent. Mar 2022 saw more total sales than several other months, again likely driven by the rise in rates. The supply for attached homes in these markets is insanely tight.
Like detached homes, town homes and condos are not sticking around. The drastic drop in days on market had a few more rebound bumps with subsequent drops. The trend continues down and through the first quarter of 2022, days on market is running the lowest it’s been at just over 5 days from list to contract. The sale to list ratio also echoes detached homes, including the move to sale prices exceeding list prices through the first quarter of 2022. The buyers getting under contract are locked and loaded and move quickly once something is found.
At this point, here’s what we professionals in this industry know…(not a whole hell of a lot)
- Don’t expect a balanced market in 2022
- If you’re a buyer, be ready to buy
- Inflation isn’t going away. Consider global strife, food, fuel and record consumer debt
- Rates will increase, expect 5.25%+- by end of 2022
- Demand, esp with first time buyers, should decrease as rates rise
- Inventory will increase when sellers have options, who knows when that happens
We preach being well educated with a definition of success; especially for buyers. Even sellers; while it’s likely they’ll back up the Brinks truck, what’s the next move? Emotions are running high and the best asset is a measured and experienced agent that will provide unbiased advice, that’s what we do. Reach out; let us know how we can help you.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Posted by Hank Miller on