Reports: Atlanta home prices still higher than last year

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Reports: Atlanta home prices still higher than last year

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HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Low housing inventory and ever-increasing demand continue proving problematic for the Atlanta real estate scene. HYOSUB SHIN / AJC FILE PHOTO

This week, two reports are singing harmony about the metro Atlanta housing market: there are fewer homes sold, while the ones that are selling are going for higher prices.

While the reports issued by both the Atlanta Realtors Association and Re/Max Georgia differ slightly, they tell similar stories and they start the same way – with a drop in inventory.

That is, the number of homes listed for sale has continued to slide.

Real estate works similarly to other markets. More homes for sale tends to drive prices down. This is called a buyer's market. When Atlanta has too few homes for sale, prices rise. Not everyone can afford Atlanta housing prices. Homes for sale und

Listings in June represented just 2.5 months of sales, down from 3.1 months in June of last year, according to Re/Max. That is less than half of what is expected in a healthy market, where listings often represent six or seven months of home sales.

“Low inventory continues to strain the greater Atlanta real estate market,” said John Rainey, vice president with Re/Max. “There are simply not enough homes on the market to meet the ever growing demand.”

The mismatch of supply and demand distorts a market, driving prices up. The most dramatic impact has been in Fulton County, where the median sales price last month was $400,000.

“That’s 63 percent higher than the national average,” Rainy said.

The second-highest prices were in DeKalb, where the median was $286,960, while Clayton had the least expensive homes with a median of $130,000, Re/Max said.

According to the Atlanta Realtors Association, overall prices were up 6.8 percent in the metro Atlanta region during the past year, while the number of sales dipped 2.1 percent fewer.

“The number of year-over-year transactions maintains a pace that tracks with the overall economy,” Bill Rawlings, the association’s president.

WalletHub, the Washington, D.C.-based consumer credit company, recently calculated a ranking of metro areas’ attractiveness for first-time homebuyers. They factored in metrics meant to shine on a light on affordability, the vibrancy of the market and the areas’ quality of life.

Among the metrics used by WalletHub were costs for homeowner’s insurance, home values per square foot, rate of home price appreciate and the foreclosure rate.

Among the metros of more than 300,000 people, Atlanta ranked 15th most attractive for first-time buyers.

More stories on Atlanta’s housing market from AJC reporter Michael Kanell

Average days on market before sale, compared to last year

Cobb: -7 percent

DeKalb: -6 percent

Fulton: + 1 percent

Gwinnett: -11 percent

Clayton: -14 percent

Source: Re/Max Georgia

Number of homes sold in June, compared to last year

Cobb: Same

DeKalb: -8 percent

Fulton: +4 percent

Gwinnett: -9 percent

Clayton: -13 percent

Source: Re/Max Georgia

Median sales price by county, June

Cobb: $275,000

DeKalb: $286,960

Fulton: $400,000

Gwinnett: $236,372

Clayton: $130,000

Source: Re/Max Georgia

The most affordable larger cities 

1. Raleigh, NC

2. Lexington, KY

3. Colorado Springs, CO

4. Tampa, FL

5. Fort Worth, TX

6. Omaha, NE

7. El Paso, TX

8. Nashville, TN

9. Oklahoma City, OK

10. Denver, CO

11. Louisville, KY

12. Pittsburgh, PA

13 Minneapolis, MN

14 Atlanta, GA

15 Charlotte, NC

16 Aurora, CO

17 Mesa, AZ

18 Columbus, OH

19 Austin, TX

20 Phoenix, AZ

Source: WalletHub

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AJC Business reporter Michael E. Kanell keeps you updated on the latest news about jobs, housing and consumer issues in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

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