Atlanta home prices started 2017 with a dip, although not as much of a decrease as in most years, according to a much-watched national survey released Tuesday.
And despite edging down in January, the average price of a resold home in the metro area rose 5.9 percent during the past year, exactly the same as the national average increase, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index, which calculates a three-month average of prices across the country, but does not include new construction.
“Housing and home prices continue on a generally positive upward trend,” said David Blitzer, the chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
The Federal Reserve’s recent boost in interest rates was too small to dampen growth – yet, Blitzer said. “If we see three or four additional increases this year, rising mortgage rates could become (a) concern.”
Atlanta’s yearly rise was the dozen highest among the 20 largest metro areas, Case-Shiller reported.
Among the largest metro areas, the fastest price rise was in Seattle, where average prices were up 11.3 percent over the year. The slowest increase was in New York City’s metro area, bumping up 3.2 percent over the year.
Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, a real estate data company, said the market is being driven by “familiar dynamics.”
There are simply not enough homes for sale to dampen the rise in prices, she said. “What inventory is available continues to fly off the shelves. Nobody should expect these overall market forces to shift meaningfully overnight.”
Cheryl Young, senior economist for online residential real estate site Trulia, said that lack of homes for sale will keep some buyers out of the market or force them ratchet back their plans for purchase.
The problem is most acute for first-time buyers, she said. “There is little sign of relief from high home prices as we enter the spring home buying season.”
Average price increases, past year:
Seattle 11.3 percent
Portland 9.7 percent
Denver 9.2 percent
Dallas 8.2 percent
Tampa 8.1 percent
Boston 7.0 percent
Miami 6.7 percent
San Francisco 6.3 percent
Las Vegas 6.2 percent
Detroit 6.2 percent
Charlotte 6.0 percent
ATLANTA 5.9 percent
Source: S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index