Metro Atlanta home prices continue to rise

Home prices in metro Atlanta continue to push higher, mainly because fewer homes are being listed for sale, according to a monthly Re/Max National Housing Report.

The median price for homes sold in metro Atlanta in March was $150,500, which was up 11 percent from February and 42 percent from March a year ago, Re/Max said. The real estate company surveyed 52 metro areas using Multiple Listing Service data.

Metro Atlanta’s housing industry has had to make up more ground than many other metro areas hit hard by foreclosures and a housing glut. The MLS data show the metro area led 19 metropolitan areas in reporting double-digit price increases year over year. Atlanta was followed by San Francisco (up 41 percent), Las Vegas (33 percent) and Phoenix (29 percent).

While prices are rising, however, the short supply of homes on the market could reverse month after month of sales growth, according to Re/Max Chief Executive Officer Margaret Kelly, who said low inventory is preventing some buyers from closing on the home of their choice.

“Home sales remain strong, and rising prices are a positive trend, but the shrinking inventory is starting to be a concern,” Kelly said in releasing the MLS data. “Hopefully, higher prices will result in more homeowners gaining increased equity and feeling comfortable putting their home on the market.”

Metro Atlanta’s 21,473 inventory of homes is down nearly 15 percent from a month ago and 17 percent from a year ago. While the number of transactions was up 18 percent from February, it was down nearly 13 percent from a year ago, the report said.

Homes on the market, howver, are moving faster. The data show metro Atlanta homes averaged 73 days on the market in March, about 15 days fewer than a year ago. Nationally, the average number of days homes remained on the market was 85 days, 16 fewer than the period a year ago.

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.