Nationally, metro Atlanta ranks in middle of pack in home price increase

Metro Atlanta home prices have ballooned over the past year as strong demand continues to outpace the number of properties for sale.

But, as noteworthy as the 21% surge in prices has been, the increase ranks in the middle of the pack among the 20 largest metropolitan areas, according to a report released Tuesday by the much-watched S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index.

Through September, prices were up 33.1% in Phoenix; up 27.7% in Tampa, Florida; and up 25.2% in Miami. The average increase for the largest metros was 19.1% over the past year, according to the report.

The index tracks the resale of homes across the country and calculates average prices based on several months of transactions. It does not include new construction, only sales of houses that had been previously sold.

The tilted housing market has been a national story. Since shortly after the pandemic began, there have not been enough homes listed for sale to satisfy buyers in Atlanta and elsewhere. That’s because of a shortfall in new construction and the hesitancy of many owners to sell because they worry that better housing options aren’t available.

The market briefly collapsed during the shutdowns last year, but prices steadily increased as the economy rebounded and many professionals — especially those with freedom to work anywhere — began looking for new digs.

Job growth in Atlanta has been strong, and the region has remained a destination, especially for younger professionals. Atlanta was among the few metros in which housing prices continued to accelerate as fall began, said Craig Lazzara, the global head of index investment strategy at S&P.

“Housing prices continued to show remarkable strength, though the pace of price increases declined slightly,” he said.

In the Atlanta area, the median price was up 2.2% in September, which ranked nationally as the fourth strongest growth for the month.

The situation may be good for sellers, but the pace of price increases has been far faster than the increase in household incomes, said Kwame Donaldson, economist at home-listing service Zillow.

“House price appreciation is unsustainable at this rate,” he said. “If house price growth were to routinely increase four times faster than wages, then housing affordability would become an issue for a larger number of Americans.

Metro Atlanta’s median price has soared 40% in the past two years. Still, the region remains one of the most affordable of big metro areas. Last month, the median price here ranked 25th highest among the nation’s cities, far behind San Francisco, the most expensive, which had a median price of more than $1.2 million, according to Re/Max.


Median home prices over past 12 months

Tampa: 27.7%

Miami: 25.2%

San Diego: 25.0%

Dallas: 25.0%

Las Vegas: 24.7%

Seattle: 23.3%

Charlotte: 22.4%

Denver: 21.2%

Atlanta: 21.2%

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Home price increases, September compared to August

Tampa: 2.5%

Miami: 2.4%

Las Vegas: 2.3%

Atlanta: 2.2%

Dallas: 2.1%

Phoenix: 2.1%

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Highest median prices, as of September

1. San Francisco: $1.2 million

2. San Diego: $750,000

3. Honolulu: $680,000

4. Los Angeles: $660,000

5. Seattle: $638,000

6. New York: $635,000

7. Boston: $589,950

8. Denver: $527,000

9. Portland: $499,500

10. Salt Lake City: $490,000

....

25. Atlanta $335,500*

*Atlanta’s median in October was $349,000

Source: S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index, Re/Max

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