Analyzing all homes sold, Re/Max reports a 4.5 percent increase over the past year in metro Atlanta.
"Home sales in Greater Atlanta are starting to pick up as we enter spring, but at a slower pace compared to the early months of 2018," said Jeff LaGrange, vice president of Re/Max.
The market continues to be tilted in favor of sellers, LaGrange said, because of low inventory – that is, the number of homes listed for sale. Those listings now represent just 2.4 months of sales – less than half of what experts say is needed for a housing market where sellers and buyers have equal negotiating power.
Mortgage rates climbed to an average of 4.95 percent in November, but have dropped back to an average of 4.28 percent, according to Case Shiller. But that hasn’t spurred buying.
In fact, the number of homes sold has continued to decline.
Many young people have good jobs and want to buy a home and are put off – not by the monthly mortgage payment, but the down-payment, said Skylar Olsen, senior economist for Zillow, the online housing database company.
“People are seeking affordability,” she said. “All the home prices really, really, really outpaced incomes.”
Yet others think Atlanta’s about to heat up.
"There are early signs there may be strong growth in prices and home sales come spring," said Daryl Fairweather, chief <span id="U41200030665tId"></span>economist at Redfin. "Atlanta homes are selling 12 days faster now than they did last year."
Among the 20 largest metro areas tracked by Case Shiller, Atlanta ranked eighth.
Of those cities, 16 showed smaller price gains than they did a year ago. San Francisco, for example, had just a 1.8 percent gain. A year ago, the city’s increase was 10.2 percent.
Las Vegas, where home prices rose 10.5 percent, was the only city in double digits.
Number of home sales in February, compared to last year
- Gwinnett: -4 percent
- Cobb: -5 percent
- Fulton: -10 percent
- DeKalb: -10 percent
- Clayton: -43 percent
Median price homes sold for
- Gwinnett: $245,000
- Cobb: $270,000
- Fulton: $285,000
- DeKalb: $238,000
- Clayton: $138,000
Change in average home prices, metro Atlanta
- Since last year: +4.9 percent
- Since bottom of market, 2012: +79.9 percent
- Since previous peak, 2007: +8.7 percent
S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index