Home prices continued their long rise as summer began, according to a report the Atlanta Realtors Association.
The median price of a home sold in metro Atlanta during June was $285,000 – a jump of 7.5 percent from the same month a year ago, the group said.
Higher prices are a sign of strong demand, said Bill Murray, president of the Atlanta Realtors. “Buyer enthusiasm continues to move prices upwards.”
That anxious-to-purchase attitude confronts a market in which fewer and fewer homes are for sale, he said.
Inventory – that is, the number of homes listed for sale, has been falling for several years and it dropped again in June: There were 14,396 homes for sale, which is down 7.1 percent from last June, the Realtors reported.
The number of homes listed represents three months of sales, which is less than half of the level that experts say signals a healthy balance in the market. Instead, sellers – especially those with lower-priced homes – have the upper hand and can often see competing bids from potential buyers.
The average price of a home sold was $353,000, a sign that there are more homes available to buy in the higher-priced tiers of the market. Competition for lower-priced, “entry-level” homes has been fierce, but there are just not that many of those properties listed for sale.
That average price climbed 8.6 percent from a year ago, a sign that those trends – demand hottest at the low end where there are not enough listings – are only accelerating.
The association’s report underscored concerns by some experts about the impact on the housing market if Amazon chooses Atlanta for its second headquarters. Companies in Atlanta are already adding to demand for housing with growth and jobs. A sudden influx of tens of thousands of people would intensify demand for homes much faster than builders could provide them.
Moreover, rising prices are already making homes a stretch — or even unaffordable — to many in metro Atlanta.
The report is based on transactions in the 11 counties at the center of the region, numbers that were compiled by First Multiple Listing Service.
The busiest county for home sales was Gwinnett with 1,086 sales. But the highest prices were in Fulton, where the media sales price was nearly $400,000 and the average more than a half-million dollars.
Counties included in the association’s report were Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Fayette, Henry and Paulding.
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