Even before the pandemic, the market was tilted toward sellers, with buyers competing for a relatively few number of available homes. But that mismatch has grown far more pronounced.
In September, inventory — that is, the number of homes listed for sale — was equal to the number of sales in 1.8 months. Inventory a year ago represented 3.6 months of sales. In a balanced market, experts say inventory ought to be at least six months of sales.
That shortfall in supply gives an advantage to those who want to sell their homes.
One sign of that, sellers are not giving much ground. A year ago, the median sales price was about $23,000 below the median list price. In September, the sales price was just $11,000 below what the seller had wanted, according to Re/Max.
During the month, Fulton had the most activity among core metro counties: 1,686 sales. The median price in Fulton was $369,900, second to $387,000 in Forsyth.
The buying surge comes despite the year’s economic trauma. While the economy is recovering, it is still millions of jobs shy of February’s level.
But economists say the losses are predominantly among lower paying jobs where the lion’s share of workers are renters.
Current trends show a mix of buyers, said Torrence Ford, the owner of Re/Max Premier. Seventy percent of the market is split between first-time buyers and investors, and the rest were people downsizing.
Number of homes sold*, September, by county and price
Median home prices, by county