‘Paradox’ best describes current real estate market

Posted on April 2, 2018

On one hand, we’ve seen record low housing inventory, multiple offer mania, and year-over-year average home sales price increases approaching double digits. On the other hand, we saw 2,000 listings expire on Jan. 1, single family detached home sales in Atlanta down to start 2018, and year-over-year average home sales price declines in some of Atlanta’s most desirable areas (Chastain Park, Garden Hills, and Ashford Park, for instance).

What’s going on? It’s complicated. Here are just a few things we see playing out:

• Demographics are weighing heavy on the market. The “ends of the barbell” generations of Baby Boomers and Millennials are not good buyer/seller matches for each other in real estate. And both want the same thing: smaller lots and living quarters in walkable, lifestyle-oriented neighborhoods. Atlanta did not build much of that in the post-war 20th century.

• The vast majority of buyers today are not willing to take on a home that is a project. Builders willing to renovate will not pay top dollar because they must meet profit goals.

• Buyers are looking for value because rising home prices and interest rates are squeezing them. In our quarter Beacham Insider report, you can see that the real estate market darlings are changing in favor of areas where you can be close to live-work-play environments without breaking the bank. Areas such as Smyrna, Old Fourth Ward, and Alpharetta near Avalon all have average sales prices below $500,000 but home prices are increasing by double digits. Even areas of Buckhead that traditionally don’t have average sales prices of more than $1 million are crossing that threshold for the first time including Buckhead west of I-75 in the top-rated Morris Brandon school district and Buckhead Central in the vastly improved E. Rivers school district have become havens for value seekers.

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Beacham & Company, REALTORS® is Atlanta’s top-selling luxury real estate office. The firm was founded by Glennis Beacham, one of Atlanta’s most celebrated real estate agents and the only agent in Georgia to sell nearly $2 billion in real estate. The firm has 100 agents who average $7 million in sales per agent, more than any other Atlanta real estate firm. In 2017, the firm achieved record sales for the 11th consecutive year and remained the top-selling office in the city for single family listings sold for more than $1 million. The firm was also donated nearly $1,000 per agent to local charities over the course of the year.