Atlanta housing: Where are the listings? Market unbalanced, prices rising

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Atlanta housing: Where are the listings? Market unbalanced, prices rising

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AP Photo/John Bazemore
In this Tuesday, May 16, 2017, photo, work continues on new town homes under construction, in Woodstock, Ga. New construction is up, but not enough to satisfy all potential buyers.

Metro Atlanta housing got a healthy dose of same-old, same-old last month, according to two reports.

Same: Rising prices.

Same: Fewer homes for sale.

Old: Not the lists of homes for sale – they get snapped up awfully fast, according to a report released by Re/Max Georgia. The average listing in May was on the market 43 days, down from 48 days in the same month a year earlier.

The quickest turnarounds were in Gwinnett and Cobb, where a home was on the market just 36 days on average. Among the core counties, the slowest sales were in Clayton, which averaged 62 days, according to Re/Max.

The median sales price of a home sold in metro Atlanta last month was $232,500 – a 5.4 percent increase from the same month of last year, according to Re/Max

A separate report, released at the end of last week by the Atlanta Realtors Association, showed the median price of a metro Atlanta home up slightly less, but with a higher closing price. Prices rose 4.9 percent in May from the same month a year ago, said the Realtors.

The median price in May was $258,000, according to the Realtors report, which was calculated for the association by First Multiple Listing Service.  https://www.fmls.com/MemberLogin/login.cfm

The county with the most home sales in May was Gwinnett, which record 1,195 sales, followed by Fulton, which had 1,087 sold, according to Re/Max. Cobb came in third with 1,027 sales and DeKalb followed that with 797 sales.

There were 9,317 sales in metro Atlanta overall, up just 2 percent from last year, the report said. 

But when it comes to diagnosing the market’s health, most experts focus on inventory – that is, the number of homes listed for sale. A healthy market has enough homes for sale to give buyers and sellers roughly equal footing in negotiations, but Atlanta has increasingly been a sellers’ market. 

 A balanced market has inventory equal to six or seven months worth of sales. By contrast, the metro Atlanta market has just 2.4 months of supply, down from 2.9 months a year ago, according to Re/Max.

Experts have struggled to explain the shortage in home listings.

But there may be something circular about the problem, a sort of trouble that feeds on itself, said John Rainey, Re/Max vice president. “We believe the continual rise in prices along with very limited inventory in metro-Atlanta may be keeping some potential move-up home buyers from listing their current properties.” 

 

 

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