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
San Diego: 25.0%
Las Vegas: 24.7%
Home price increases, September compared to August
Las Vegas: 2.3%
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