Not enough Atlanta homes for sale, says RE/MAX

The scarcity of homes for sale is having some odd effects on the Atlanta market, according to the release today of the Re/Max market report.

For starters, prices continued to go up in May, Re/Max reported.

The median price of a home sold in May was $234,000. That is up 3 percent from the month before, and up 2 percent from a year ago, according to Re/Max.

But the increase was not as strong as you might expect in a seller’s market, said Jeanette Schneider, senior vice president of Re/Max of Georgia. “While we have a strong seller’s market, some potential sellers are being cautious before putting their house on the market. They want to determine where they can move before listing knowing that a well maintained and priced home tends to move quickly.”

Inventory – that is, the supply of homes for sale – was up slightly from May. However, the number of homes for sale represented 2.7 months of sales, less than half of what is considered a healthy market.

It is not a new pattern and not a new story.

One clear sign of the shrinkage in supply was the drop in the number of homes sold, she said: there were 6 percent fewer homes sold in May than the month before and 8 percent fewer than in May of last year.

May this year saw 4,627 transactions closed, down from 5,062 a year ago.

The time that a home spent on the market is also typically a measure of the balance between sellers and buyers: when sellers have the upper hand, homes move more quickly. And in May, the average home sale happened after the house was on the market 46 days.

That compares with an average of 55 days a year ago.