Demand and supply are still out of whack and the imbalance is driving Atlanta home prices higher.
Good news if you are selling a home – not so good if you are on the other side. Especially for those first-time buyers at the lower end of the market which has been appreciating apace.
Fewer homes were being sold, but with demand fairly strong, they were going for a higher price: The median price of a home sold in February was $218,350 – up 9.2 percent from the same month a year ago, according to a report from Re/Max Georgia.
But inventory – that is, the supply of homes for sale – which had already been low – fell even further during the month, dropping 18.75 percent from January.
The share of homes for sale was less than half of that in a balanced market, said Susan Goiser, a Re/Max vice president. “Tight inventory and demand continues to be significant constraints on the local marketplace.”
The number of homes for sale in February was also down 21.2 percent from the same month of 2016.
Partly because of shrinking supply, there were fewer homes sold in February than a year ago, Re/Max said: the 4,005 sales were down 4.1 percent from the same month of 2016.
Gwinnett had the most active market, if not the highest-priced. The median price of a home sold in the county was $222,000, compared to the $277,000 median in Fulton.
In contrast, the market in Clayton County continues to show the signs of the massive damage done by collapse of the housing bubble and the painful recession that followed.
The metro market is true to the adage that housing is all about location: Within each county there are spots both hot and not.
According to Re/Max, four areas stand out as having the strongest demand.
The strongest is Alpharetta, which had the highest median price of the group, at $366,250.
Number of sales in the core counties, with comparisons to a year earlier:
Gwinnett – 687, down 6.4 percent.
Fulton – 621, up 5.3 percent.
Cobb – 559, down 8.8 percent.
DeKalb – 460, down 8.5 percent.
Clayton – 73, down 1.4 percent.
Median prices in the core counties last month:
Cobb – $243,000
DeKalb – $215,526
Clayton – $94,000
Median prices in the hottest areas:
Smyrna – $320,375
Chamblee – $317,528
Cumming – $307,725
Alpharetta – $384,875