Metro Atlanta home prices have kept rising, largely because a shortage of listings gives sellers the upper hand. The median sales price of a home sold in the region last month was $251,500, according to Re/Max. Bob Andres / robert.andres@ajc.com

Metro Atlanta home prices rose in November but sales dropped — Re/Max

Local home prices continued their climb in November as sellers continued to hold the advantage in negotiations, according to a report from Re/Max.

The median sales price for a home sold in metro Atlanta last month was $251,500, up 7.1% from the same month a year ago, the national real estate company estimated Wednesday.

But the number of homes sold in the 28-county region was down 6.1% from November of 2018.

That seems to be because supply – the number of homes listed for sale – continues to be tight. Home listings represent 3.2 months of current sales, compared with 4.1 months of supply a year earlier, according to Re/Max.

Brokers say there is no scarcity on the demand side, which is the pool of potential buyers. However, many of those potential buyers are renters looking for “starter” homes and the shortage of listings is worst at the lower end of the market. That forces first-time buyers to bid against each other, pushing up prices.

Homes for sale have generally been more plentiful in the higher price tiers.

Re/Max breaks out prices and sales for five counties.

The most active of those core counties last month was Fulton County, where 1,186 homes were sold, followed by Gwinnett with 968 sales.

Fulton also had the highest median sales price for a home: $325,000.

The much smaller market of Clayton County saw the largest jump in the number of sales, but also the strongest increase in prices. The media price of a home sold in Clayton was $159,450, up 13.9% from a year ago.

Re/Max data show a continued increase in the number of pending sales, which are houses under contract whose sales have not been finalized.

That should mean an increase in sales numbers in the coming months. However, pending sales rose earlier this year without producing a bump in final sales.

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