The fall market began before fall even started this year for Beacham & Company, REALTORS. The number of sales and dollar volume sold by the firm’s agents was up 25% in September, making it the best September ever in the history of the 11 year-old company and keeping it on track for another record sales year.
Like the broader market, Beacham was boosted by sales in Buckhead and Cobb County, where the East Cobb and Smyrna areas remain as hot as they have all year long. The sales picture for the entire Atlanta market in September was not as rosy, however. The number of attached and detached single family home sales in the five county metro (Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton and Gwinnett) was down 6.8% in September from the previous year, while closed dollar volume was down 1.8%. Areas that have been strong but weakened in September include Ashford Park, Dunwoody and North Fulton County.
Housing inventory has creeped upward as the year has progressed. The months’ supply of inventory in the five metro counties is now 4.6 months with most of the increase in the $200,000-$750,000 range (see accompanying chart). Inventory still remains significantly elevated among homes priced $750,000 or more.
Another noteworthy trend; through September, the number of months in 2017 that home sales increased from the year before was just five. Sales declined in the other four months. This happened after 20 consecutive months of year-over-year increases in sales.
The rise in inventory does not mirror national modeling but the see-saw nature of sales in 2017 does. Together, these two trends could explain why Fannie Mae’s monthly housing confidence survey was the highest in history in September. In other words, we could be seeing the early signs of a return to balance between supply and demand in the market.
Firms that price homes correctly from the initial listing phase are the firms who have done well this fall. For its part, Beacham & Company spends lots of time making sure its agents are knowledgeable about how the market is changing from month-to-month. In regular coaching sessions, Beacham agents review non-Beacham listings that have expired, a collaborative exercise that always reveals a clear reason why a property didn’t sell before expiration (usually because of price but frequently poor marketing as well). It also reveals when buyers paid too much for a property. Often, unrepresented buyers or buyers represented by discount brokerages are involved.
Looking ahead, Beacham predicts continued strong sales to finish the year. The firm’s website experienced an unseasonal surge in activity this summer which foretold the firm’s record fall sales. Website activity has remained elevated and the firm’s pending sales for October are up 20% over the previous October record lead by more new listings in September than any previous September in company history.
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Beacham & Company, REALTORS is Atlanta’s top-selling luxury real estate office. The firm was founded in 2006 by Glennis Beacham, one of Atlanta’s most celebrated real estate agents. The company sells nearly $1 billion in real estate annually among its 100 agents who are the most productive in the state by dollar volume sold.