Atlanta home prices rose 10% in past year - less than other big cities

Few sellers, many buyers fuels upward trajectory during pandemic

In the year since the pandemic began, metro Atlanta home prices increased at a double-digit clip but were still outpaced by most other major U.S. cities, according to a much-watched national report Tuesday.

With demand overwhelming a meager supply of homes listed for sale month after month, metro Atlanta prices rose 10% during the 12 months starting in March 2020, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index.

Atlanta’s gains ranked 18th among the largest 20 metro areas, according to Craig J. Lazzara, the global head of index investment strategy at S&P.

Nationally, home prices were up 12%, the biggest annual gain since February 2006, he said. “This demand may represent buyers who accelerated purchases that would have happened anyway over the next several years.”

The Case-Shiller index does not include new construction, only sales of houses that had been previously sold. Re/Max, which counts a wider range of sales, recently reported that the median home price in metro Atlanta had risen 16.6% in the past year.

Metro Phoenix had the strongest growth with prices up 17.4%, Lazzara said. “But housing’s strength is reflected across all 20 cities.”

San Diego prices were up 17% and Seattle’s up 15.4%. The slowest growth was Chicago’s 8.6%.

For a variety of reasons, potential sellers have been hesitant to list their homes for sale. In contrast, wannabe buyers have poured into the market, often bidding against each other and pushing up prices.

To land a house, prospective buyers often offer to pay thousands of dollars more than the seller is asking, said realtor Alix Nadi of Re/Max Around Atlanta.

“There’s so little inventory in the market,” she said. “Especially in the suburbs, we are getting 10 to 20 offers the first few days a house is listed.”

The pressure on prices is most intense among lower-priced homes that appeal to first-time buyers, said John Ryan, chief marketing officer, Georgia Multiple Listing Service.

The imbalance between supply and demand started building years before the arrival of COVID-19 and won’t disappear when the pandemic ebbs, he predicted. “I can’t see anytime soon when this is going to change. That is going to take a good long period of time.”

Increase in prices of homes resold, past year

Phoenix: 17.4%

San Diego: 17.0%

Seattle: 15.4%

Boston: 13.7%

Tampa: 12.7%

Cleveland: 12.5%

Los Angeles: 11.9%

Charlotte: 11.7%

Detroit: 11.7%

New York: 11.6%

Portland: 11.4%

Denver: 11.2%

Washington: 11.1%

Miami: 11.0%

San Francisco: 11.0%

Dallas: 10.9%

Minneapolis: 10.4%

Atlanta: 10.0%

Las Vegas: 9.1%

Chicago: 8.6%


Metro Atlanta home price trajectory

In year after start of pandemic: +10%

Since bottom of market, 2012: +101.3%

Compared to previous peak, 2007: +26.9%

Source: S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index