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 commission and be ready to walk from a deal. Check emotion with reason and logic.
Around the Greater Atlanta area, the housing market is on fire. How hot depends on area and price point. For the most part, the under 400K market is insane; and not only because it’s mainly first time buyers. Add empty nesters to that group; owners that are ready to downsize into a more manageable home. Unknown to many, significant competition is also felt from institutional buyers; large conglomerates inhaling inventory to use as rental units. These organizations bought thousands of discounted homes a decade ago, they own thousands of rentals across the Atlanta region. They’re back buying more. In fact, many investment firms are buying blocks of homes straight from builders; these never make it to market and go straight into rentals. Do they know something?
The Atlanta real estate market turned fully in the later part of 2012. Through the later teens and into the start of 2020, it was roaring. Then Covid hit; and things stood still….for about two months. Inexplicably; things cranked back up and as we sit midway through 2021 the market hasn’t let up. The new administration is committed to astounding levels of federal funding programs, personal and corporate tax hikes and the Federal Reserve to holding the rates, but the inflation warnings are being sounded.
* Home prices (and tuition, car prices, medical...) around Atlanta have skyrocketed
Tactically, sellers are enjoying what might be their strongest market ever; homes are selling for prices that make little sense. Buyers are getting into bidding wars and not just on price. Some buyers are waving the appraisal contingency, waving due diligence, waving inspections and using cash. Not always the best moves but some buyers having lost repeatedly are determined to “win”. That under $400K segment is especially sensitive to small moves in the economy; rates will go up, pressure will ease, demand and prices will stabilize. Many agents recommend whatever is needed to "win"...seeming to care more about collecting a commission than protecting the buyer. Markets (incl the stock market) are always in flux; real estate isn't a very easy product to quickly (or economically) sell. Buyer's remorse is a big deal right now, emotions need to be kept in check; this is a business transaction.
* 1 month of housing inventory is historically low
* 7 days on market is the median for this market. Like inventory, this is unprecedented.
So are bubbles being blown? Eh……in small segments in some micro markets, but not overall. However, something has to give; trillions of dollars being printed and handed out to an economy that doesn’t need it will result in inflation, the Fed said as much and then quickly retracted it. Home prices are way ahead of wages, that is unsustainable. The quality of buyer is much better now but many that are ridiculously overpaying will likely see a loss when it’s time to sell. A crash like a decade ago isn’t expected but prices have to settle, when they do the buyers that tossed caution to the wind will shed tears.
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