The number of homes listed for sale has dropped again, while the prices of houses kept rising. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Metro Atlanta home sales down 12.7% from year ago

The pace of home sales in metro Atlanta was down dramatically last month compared to the same period last year, according to reports released this week.

There were 5,464 sales during June, a 12.7% drop from the number of houses sold during the same month of 2018, according to the Atlanta Realtors Association, which tracks an 11-county region.

A Re/Max report showed similar results.

The drop in the number of sales is a “silver lining” for potential homebuyers, said Jeff LaGrange, vice president at Re/Max. “Homes are sitting on the market a bit longer, which gives buyers the opportunity to negotiate terms and concessions.”

However, the median sales price of a home sold in metro Atlanta during June hit $300,000 – up 6% from a year earlier, the Atlanta Realtors Association said.

The metro region remains a market in which sellers tend to have the advantage, except in the most expensive tiers of homes.

And the softening sales are not about weakening demand: It is the result of a shortfall on the supply side, said DeAnn Golden, president of the Realtors group.

Because the demand-supply balance is tilted in favor of sellers, prices have continued to rise faster than most incomes have increased.

“We would like to see more homes available for sale to help keep home prices manageable,” Golden said.

Overall supply of homes for sale last month represented just two months of sales. That compares with the six months of supply that experts say is needed for buyers and sellers to have relatively equal bargaining power.

June’s mix – higher prices, smaller inventory and fewer sales – has become a familiar story, with most of the past 12 months following that script.

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