U.S. home prices decelerate, but Atlanta not losing momentum as fast

Home prices are still rising, but the increase has been smaller each month, according to Case-Shiller.
Home prices are still rising, but the increase has been smaller each month, according to Case-Shiller.

Credit: fil

Credit: fil

Home prices in metro Atlanta are up 4.9% over last year, outpacing most regions of the country.

While prices have continued to decelerate everywhere, Atlanta has fared better than 16 of the 20 largest metro areas, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index, which tracks the resale of homes.

The price of single-family homes increase 3.5% nationally, with an average increase of just 2.5% among the largest metros.

Atlanta's increase was the fourth-largest in the past year, according to Case-Shiller.

After bottoming out in 2012, the Atlanta housing market slowly heated up.

Overall demand peaked a little more a year ago and home prices in many regions – including Atlanta — started to decelerate.

Mortgage rates dropped this year, but that hasn’t fueled a resurgence, said Philip Murphy, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, which produces the monthly report. “Perhaps the trend for the moment is toward normalization.”

Potential buyers may still outnumber listings of homes for sale, but the balance is shifting, giving sellers less of an advantage, according to Andy Peters, operating partner at Keller Williams Realty Georgia Legacy Group, which covers the north side of metro Atlanta.

The number of homes listed for sale is 16% higher than it was a year ago, he said. “That wouldn’t be a cause for concern if we were selling more homes, but the pending rate (the share of homes under contract for sale) is down 3.2% compared to the same time last year.”

That means that the competition for listings is far less frenetic.

According to the broker Redfin, 12% of the offers made by its clients for houses in metro Atlanta had competition from at least one other bid from a potential buyer. A year ago, 34% of its clients were competing with other buyers when they made an offer, Redfin said.

"Although interest rates have gone down quite a bit, buyers are still turned off by the list price of homes," said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin's chief economist.

Among the largest metros, Las Vegas had the highest price hike during the past year, according to Case-Shiller, with a rise of 7.1%. In contrast, Seattle – which for years was among the leaders in the pace price increases – saw no change in its price.

Fastest growth in average home prices in past year 

Las Vegas: 7.1%

Phoenix: 6.0%

Tampa: 5.6%

Atlanta: 4.9%

Charlotte: 4.2%

Source: S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index

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