Market trends and housing reports around North Atlanta

The current Atlanta area real estate market is about as fluid as we’ve seen over the last thirty years. 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.

1st QTR 2021 vs 2nd QTR 2021

“Shifting Markets” are routinely talked about, comparing the first and second quarters of the 2021 Atlanta area real estate market is a text book demonstration of that. The posts below were written as it happened; we saw it…

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The north Atlanta housing market is cooling just a bit, this is supported both anecdotally and by the data. The pent up buyer demand is being offset by increasing inventory. It's still a seller's market; but it seems to be slowly trending toward balance as the year unfolds. The challenge of "easy to sell, hard to buy" remains; after a year of updating and enhancing homes, owners seemed content to stay put. But some may be getting restless because inventory is growing. Homes under contract in many Atlanta markets have been in decline (nationally as well), buyer demand easing...increasing inventory...maybe a move toward balance?

Below we look at a couple of sample markets north of Atlanta; Cobb County and the combination of Cherokee and Forsyth Counties.…

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Pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered. Not every home is going to attract viscous competition, even with historically low inventory. Buyers are willing to pay handsomely for renovated and well maintained homes, for homes in highly desirable settings, for high quality well-built homes and for homes that offer something unique that draws them. The idea that sellers can simply put a price on a home and buyers will jump isn’t reality. The media however, has sellers convinced it’s a “name your price” environment. It’s not. Sellers that accurately price their homes will do the best, not just with price but by controlling the transaction. Sink that hook deep, set the rules for the game and tilt the table. An accurately priced, well presented home will draw…

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Right now, early June 2021, home buyers around the northern Atlanta market have no hand. No hand, and for the vast majority, no chance. We’re on both sides of this market; the chasm between buyer and seller could not be wider. List price is often a suggestion and home buyers have to concede just about everything – immediately and without reservation. We’re seeing buyers move down to gain strength; 500K-600K buyers move to 400K-500K. This allows for higher offers and larger down payments. We look for very specific concessions and terms when representing sellers, fast and clean rule the day right now. These are 7 brutal truths buyers must consider…

Cash is King

Cash buyers move to the front of the line. Why would a seller deal with a buyer that may…

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By most measures, this insane housing market isn’t likely to implode like a decade ago. That said, while it may not be not be a housing bubble, some buyers that fail to use common sense will shed tears. Unfortunately, the tissue box is most likely to be used most by first time home buyers who lack previous home buying experience. Unlike a decade ago, lending standards remain generally tight; buyers actually have to qualify for mortgages. The level of inventory now is a fraction of what it was pre-crash ten years ago. But demand is stronger, rates are lower, the Federal Reserve continues their “hold” position and the federal government is in a spend and giveaway mode. Buyers in this environment must be focused, use an agent that isn't just chasing a…

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It's Spring of '21 and there's no relief in sight for the shortage of housing inventory around the greater Atlanta area. The usual first quarter bump was virtually non-existent for 2021, instead the deserted landscape continues to have buyers frustrated and sellers delighted. We continue to look at year over year (by month) key indicators for 16 major markets around north Atlanta. We've examined them in terms of the number of homes for sale and also tracked steadily increasing home prices, (both pages continuously updated). Below we look at the current data in terms of "months of inventory". Months of inventory reflects an estimate of the amount of time it would take to sell all of the current listings in a given area if no new listings became available.…

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Appraisers are an easy target, but the real estate sales industry is a huge contributor to appraisal problems. Appraisers are downstream from the sales process; working with the data produced while writing reports that must conform to underwriting requirements. Appraisers use what data is available, they have no control over any of it. That data stream is controlled by the real estate industry and the multiple listing service. The economy  the volume of sales, agents influence the quality of information in the multiple listing service; which is the primary information source for appraisers. 

Why Are There So Many Real Estate Agents?

How can there be more agents than homes for sale? Consider this…

number of real estate agents

Then consider that not all agents are members…

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How bad is the current housing inventory shortage in the greater Atlanta area? It resonates when presented graphically; hearing about it is one thing but seeing the precipitous drop visually drives the point home. Why the shortage? We see several factors. The most important one is a shortage of inventory. Huh? While it may be easy to sell fast and at a significant premium, how many sellers want to become buyers right now? Record numbers refinanced over the last couple of years and over the pandemic, many renovated and completed projects while locked in, why move? For those that do, many are looking for the next house before they list, trying to avoid the mad scramble. In some cases, homes never hit the market. Word of mouth, off market sales are up as…

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We all make mistakes; the challenge is to keep them from being catastrophic. Rushing to buy a home and not doing proper due diligence…that can be both emotionally and financially crippling. Home buyer remorse is a major issue, 44% of buyers overall and 63% of millennials regret their purchase. Despite the grip of the pandemic (Feb 2021); records were inexplicably shattered in both the real estate and the stock market during 2020. Real estate heads into 2021 with historic shortages and mortgage rates too good to pass up. It’s easy to see why the impulse to buy is there, it’s also easy to see how not being very careful can lead to buyer’s remorse. It doesn’t need to end wearing a bag soaked in tears.

The Agent Problem

There are too many agents, over 2…

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The greater Atlanta area is one of the most popular destinations for folks relocating, and that's not good for local home buyers. Just behind Nashville, buyers headed into the metro Atlanta market significantly out spend local buyers by a staggering average of 33%. This is higher in many of the area's most desirable markets and communities. The "400 Corridor" which includes Sandy Springs, Roswell, Milton, Alpharetta and Cumming is home to multiple major corporations and small businesses, growth has been explosive over the last several years. Relocating employees often work with the security of "buyouts" when they leave; they know they can push prices and be covered when it's time to sell. Others moving from more expensive markets look at prices here and…

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