Home sales were a lot stronger in November than they were a year ago. One reason is that after the electin, interest rates started rising and fence-sitters decided to buy rather than wait for them to go up more, said Lane McCormack, preisdent of the Atlanta Realtors Association.

Atlanta home sales up compared to last November; listings low

Home sales last month were a lot stronger in Atlanta last month than in November a year ago, especially in Gwinnett Country, according to a report released today.

Total sales were 20.1 percent higher than the same month of 2015, at least partly because so many people who had been holding back and waiting decided to jump off the fence and buy, according to the Atlanta Realtors Association.

“This increase was partially due to buyers’ concerns over the potential rise in interest rates in the upcoming months and uncertainty over the Presidential election,” said Lane McCormack, president of the group.

That is, as the political uncertainty evaporated, the interest rates climbed and expectations grew that the rates would keep rising in the new year. So apparently many potential buyers figured that if they were going to make the purchase anyhow, waiting longer would just make it more expensive.

Or limit their options: higher rates are generally seen as trimming the top price that a buyer can afford.

But the market been struggling with a supply-demand imbalance, and November sales did not dramatically change that, McCormack said: The number of homes for sale –the inventory – has remained relatively low.”

That, of course, gives the buyers at a disadvantage since they may often be competing with a number of others for the same house.

“We continue to see a seller’s market in most locations with inventory still hovering at just over three month’s supply,” McCormack said.

That is, the current pace of sales would soak up the number of homes for sale in three months. Experts generally say that a healthy, balanced market has inventory of at least twice that.

The number of homes for sale was up 2.9 percent from a year ago, but that was not enough to shift the balance.

So, with sellers holding most of the cards, the median price of a home sold in metro Atlanta last month was $235,000, up 6.8 percent from November of 2015, the association said.

The association’s report is based on data collected in an 11-county region by First Multiple Listing Service.

The data showed that among the region’s largest counties, Gwinnett continued to be the most active for sales: 884 transactions. Fulton was in second place at 686 and Cobb right behind that at 674. DeKalb was in fourth with 586 sales.

However, Fulton continued to lead the pack on price.

The median price of a home sold in Fulton was $355,500 in November. No other county even came close to the $300,000 on that measure.

Yet DeKalb sales were clearly loaded at the high end, so the average price for a sale in DeKalb was $321,000, the association reported.

_______________________________

Metro Atlanta home sales

…………………………… Nov. 2016 …..Change from Nov. 2015

Total Sales ………………….. 3,984 ….………… up 20.1%

Median Sales Price … $235,000 ……………..up 6.8%

Average Sales Price … $295,000 …..………. up 5.4%

Largest Metro Counties Sales Comparison

……………….. Sales ……… Median price …..Average Sales Price

Cobb ……….. 674 ………. $246,000 ………. $285,000

DeKalb ……… 586 .……… $268,000 ………. $321,000

Fulton ………. 686 .……… $355,000 ………. $434,000

Gwinnett …… 884 .……… $205,000 …….… $214,000

Source: Atlanta Realtors Association

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

X