Atlanta’s home prices growing slower than U.S. average, says Case-Shiller

Even with the pandemic, housing prices in metro Atlanta have continued to rise — but not as fast as the national average for single-family residences, according to a high-profile monthly report issued Tuesday.

In August, the average price of homes sold in the region was up 5.1% from the same month a year earlier, an increase ranked 14th among the nation’s largest metros by the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index.

Prices had decelerated across the country in spring as the coronavirus kept many buyers indoors and homes off the market. But prospective buyers returned in the summer even though the number of home listings continued to lag.

That imbalance of demand and supply gave sellers the advantage and pushed prices higher.

The national increase of 5.7% in August was the largest since July 2018, said Craig J. Lazzara, head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “We may soon be able to conclude that the COVID-related deceleration is behind us.”

Last week, Re/Max reported a 15% increase in Atlanta prices over the same time the previous year.

But Case-Shiller calculates a three-month “rolling average” for prices, while Re/Max takes one month at a time. Moreover, Case-Shiller data does not include condos, townhomes or new construction and is collected at a different time than the information used by Re/Max.

Atlanta home prices are 18.4% higher on average than they were at their 2007 peak just before the housing bubble burst and prices started dropping, according to the Case-Shiller index.

Since hitting bottom in 2012, Atlanta prices have risen 95.8%, according to the index.

The forces driving the wave of buying started before the pandemic, said Bill Banfield, executive vice president at Rocket Mortgage. “The nationwide, eight-year climb in prices appears to be well supported by record-low mortgage interest rates and demographic shifts.”

Home price increase, past year, by metro

1. Phoenix: 9.9%

2. Seattle: 8.5%

3. San Diego: 7.6%

4. Tampa: 6.9%

5. Cleveland: 6.9%

6. Los Angeles: 6.8%

7. Charlotte: 6.7%

14. Atlanta, 5.1%

National average: 5.7%

Top 20 metros: 5.2%

Source: S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index

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