Has the Market Peaked? Trends Shaping 2020

As 2019 winds down and we begin to peek at 2020, it is worth noting that the U.S. housing market has fully recovered from the 2008-09 financial crisis. Home prices now exceed the pre-collapse valuations in most areas, and we are amid the longest bull market in the history of the United States. The cyclical nature of markets is immutable, and another recession will undoubtedly arise again, could it be in 2020? It is impossible to say, and economic forecasting is one of probability and chance, not one of fact and certainty, which means that even the surest indicators of the market do not always see their predictions realized. Now, with the uncertainty of any prediction in mind, let us review some of the current market conditions and indications and then reflect on the bearing of what they could, not will, mean in 2020.

Baby boomers own two out of every five homes in the United States and the generation has been entering retirement at a historically unprecedented rate, and that will continue to increase in 2020. This creates the looming threat of a possible suburban housing selloff due to downsizing or the inevitable: health issues and death, which would force the sale of their properties. Fortunately, many retirees are choosing to age-in-place and stay within their suburban homes into retirement due to factors such as access to internet, food-delivery systems, breakthroughs in health and safety technologies, lack of feasible alternative retirement options, and more. Ideally, this tendency to age-in-place will work to counteract – or at least mitigate – any short-term housing selloff. Long-term, suburban housing valuations may be slightly worrisome, but with our outlook being only 1 year, it is unlikely come 2020 that any relevant changes will be caused by this factor, and we can be cautiously optimistic in this regard.

Atlanta currently has a constrained home supply; very low unemployment, a steady economic growth rate, and a diminishing, yet still persistent, level of demand in it’s market which creates a short-term 2020 vision of increasing prices over this next year. All of these conditions are contingent and overshadowed by larger macro concerns about the Feds tampering with interest rates (mortgage rates as well) and trade uncertainties. With these macroeconomic concerns out of mind, however, the consensus is that the house values in Atlanta could rise more slowly, but still continue to rise, over 2020. Outside of home-ownership, demand for rentals has been booming for years – with over 300,000 renters in the city proper alone – and vacancy rates are expected to stay low throughout 2020 and beyond, meaning consistently high demand. Even in the event of a broader economic crash, the real estate market as a whole has been shown by economists such as Robert Shiller to have a delayed effect to recessions, so any broader economic recession that occurred today would likely not be mirrored within real estate prices for 6-12 months time.

Atlanta could actually benefit from the anticipated economic cool-down in 2020. In many cities throughout the nation the drastic price appreciation that occurred from 2016-18  lead to affordability issues for many home buyers in the area. Atlanta has largely avoided this but if prices continued to appreciate in 2020 as much as they have in recent years Atlanta could be in for some real affordability problems. An economic cool-down that would reduce the appreciation of homes down to around 2-3% would be good in this respect and prevent any further price outs and irrational exuberance from taking place. In addition, a cool-down will likely shift leverage towards home-buyers, away from sellers, for the first time in years. If you are looking to buy a home 2020 may be the time to do so as negotiations should be more favorable than in recent years.

In sum, the Atlanta real estate market is showing overall positive signals into this next year, with no factors standing out as out of the ordinary. Admittedly, ordinary is relative, but few current factors appear to likely to inhibit further growth in the market. There are always the questions surrounding nationwide economic policy and trade, but the effects of these subjects effect the nation’s economy as a whole, and not Atlanta’s comparative position within it. So, it can be cautiously said that growth should, albeit at a slower pace than recent years, continue to occur in home and rental prices. Look for a mundane year within Atlanta economy compared to previous conditions, as price-appreciation likely won’t skyrocket nor falter, but remain constant and steady. Appreciate the cool-off for what it is, a hiatus from the volatility of modern day markets.

Quaint 1920s Bungalow in Adair Park

This adorable 3bd/2ba craftsman bungalow was built in 1920! This charming piece of Atlanta history is settled in one of the most desirable and upcoming areas – just steps away from the Atlanta Beltline and the Adair Park farmer’s market. Listed for $325,000

Not only does this family home have a lovely exterior, the inside is just as adorable. The hardwood flooring has maintained of original character of the home, as well as the fireplaces. Flooded with natural light, this home is true serenity.

The kitchen and bathrooms are fully renovated – the kitchen boasting stone counters and ample drawer space. The kitchen isn’t the only place with storage space; the master closet is large and open as well.

This cottage continues to impress! The property in the back boasts a sprawling, flat backyard. Perfect for kids or a dog(s). There is a patio looking out over the yard; certainly a place where memories are bound to be made.

Listed by Elise Baumann, click here to view the entire listing.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Garden Hills

With its quiet, winding streets, mature trees and largely natural surroundings, the Buckhead neighborhood of Garden Hills is among the loveliest in the city of Atlanta. This urban oasis, which was granted historic status by the city in 1987, is known for its green, leafy ambiance and eclectic array of architectural styles. Unlike many older neighborhoods in the city, Garden Hills was carefully planned and laid out from the start, with a much-loved community center forming its nucleus. Its boundaries are formed by Peachtree Road to the west, Pharr Road to the north, Piedmont Road to the east and Lindbergh Road to the south, so it boasts a central location that puts residents within close proximity of some of Atlanta’s best attractions, services and amenities.

An Historic Neighborhood with a Focus on Community

Before the first lots were even sold, Garden Hills was intended to be a close-knit neighborhood. This was facilitated by the development of a first-rate community center, which was the crown jewel of the neighborhood’s Country Club section. The center, which is known as the Garden Hills Recreation Center, continues to pull the community together to this very day. Numerous events are held there throughout the year, and its well-maintained swimming pool is a major draw during the hot, humid summer months.

Winding Streets and Pocket Parks

While exploring Garden Hills, it’s easy to forget you’re in the largest city in the south. Broad avenues and thoroughfares wend their way through the neighborhood and are studded with numerous pocket parks. Three large parks ensure that the area doesn’t become too developed. From largely untouched, wooded Alexander Park to the tinkling streams and gorgeous stone bridges of Sunnybrook Park, Garden Hills couldn’t be more bucolic. Frankie Allen Park’s tennis courts, trails and baseball diamonds provide numerous recreational opportunities for local residents too.

Exquisite Homes and Eclectic Architecture

Garden Hills was developed slowly but surely over time, and it’s clear that a lot of thought and care went into its design. Today, there are more than 750 single-family homes. Those built prior to World War II generally feature Craftsman, Georgian, Spanish Revival and Tudor architectural styles while newer homes are typically ranches. These contrasting designs come together to create a neighborhood that’s truly one of a kind. Residents of Garden Hills take pride in their neighborhood, and the community spirit here is palpable. Experience a whole different side of Atlanta by exploring its Garden Hills neighborhood today!

 

One of our own acknowledges her grandfather, Jesse Hill Jr., during Black History Month

By Jessica Cooke Scarborough

One of the reasons I love Atlanta is for its richness in #BlackHistory and #BlackExcellence.  Atlantans are literally surrounded by greatness and legends!  One such legend is my grandfather, Jesse Hill Jr., a prominent Atlanta businessman, civil rights leader, political activist and change agent who played a part in every major development in the City of Atlanta for over 40 years.  I am proud to be his namesake.

Jesse Hill Jr. was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1926 with business and service in his blood.  He grew up assisting his mother who was active with their local Urban League and his grandfather who sold wood and coal in the winter and ice and watermelons in the summer.

Jesse received his Bachelor of Science in mathematics and physics from Lincoln University and his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan, becoming one of their first African American MBA graduates.  At the completion of his studies, Hill moved to Atlanta becoming an actuary with Atlanta Life Insurance Company making him only the second African American actuary in the entire country.

Professionally, Hill rose steadily through the corporate ranks of Atlanta Life and in 1973 Hill became Atlanta Life’s third President, Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of the Board.  Simultaneously, Hill became the first president outside of the family of founder Alonzo Herndon, another legend in #BlackHistory and in life.  Hill went on to hold this position for over 20 years setting record breaking growth in total assets, revenues, profits and shareholder value and Hill’s professional and civil rights activities were always closely intertwined.

Under Hill’s leadership, Atlanta Life quietly underwrote finances for civil rights initiatives throughout Atlanta and the South, including providing bail money to release demonstrators arrested in sit-ins and other protests.  Hill and Atlanta Life Insurance Company are also credited for increasing African American access to affordable mortgage financing in the South.

Soon after his arrival to Atlanta in 1949, Hill quickly became acquainted with most of the key leaders of the time through the Hungry Club which held its meetings at the Butler Street YMCA where Hill first resided and which was then the only forum for black and white leaders to collectively engage in serious dialogue on contemporary issues.  As Chair of virtually every major voter registration drive in the black community during the 1960s registering over 50,000 new black voters, Hill also founded and chaired the All Citizens Registration Committee, a precursor to a political organization that has since nurtured the careers of Atlanta’s last four mayors.  And though Hill never held a political office, he had an ear to nearly every high ranking politican in Georgia from President Jimmy Carter to city council members and everyone in between.

Hill founded The Atlanta Inquirer, the weekly newspaper that became the voice of the civil rights movement in Atlanta.  And in 1960 along with other young black leaders of the time, Hill produced a survey of Atlanta’s black population entitled “A Second Look: The Negro Citizen in Atlanta” which challenged the predominant belief in Atlanta’s white community that Atlanta was a model for racial harmony in the South.  Hill was also a key player in the integration of Georgia colleges and universities namely the University of Georgia.

Hill achieved a laundry lists of first for African Americans.  In 1977 he was elected president of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and became the first African American to hold such a position in any major U.S. city.  An integral figure in bringing public transit to Atlanta, Hill was appointed the first chair of MARTA Board of Directors and first African American to serve on the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia.  He was also elected as the first black member of the Board of Directors of the Commerce Club, and was the first African American receipt of the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Progress and Service.  Hill served on a number of corporate boards including Delta Air Lines, SunTrust, Comsat, Knight-Ridder, Morse Shoes, National Service Industries, and Rich’s, often as the first minority member.

Hill served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change for over 15 years and also chaired the local NAACP.

Hill was a key player in bringing the 1996 Olympic Games to the City of Atlanta and subsequently served as a member of the Board of Directors for the 1996 Olympic Games.

Hill had a knack for bringing the city’s white leaders and black leaders together at one table to transform Atlanta from a mid-sized southern city to the large international city we think of today.

My grandfather left his earthly body and transitioned to heaven on December 17, 2012 but his legacy is all around Atlanta!  Whether taking Marta to a game, running through Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, or riding down I-75/85 and passing the exit for Jesse Hill Jr. Drive in the heart of downtown, I am reminded of the words of another #BlackHistory leader and family friend, “Nothing good and nothing of importance happened in this town that Jesse wasn’t somehow involved in.”

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Jessica Cooke Scarborough, Esq. is a third generation Atlantan and an Ivy League educated attorney who completed her Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and her Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.  Following law school, Jess practiced at one of Atlanta’s largest and most well respected law firms.  In more than five years of legal practice, Jess represented developers, lenders, borrowers, servicers, asset managers, and financial institutions in a wide array of real estate, finance, lending and securitization issues. Jess became an agent with Beacham & Company in 2014 and has been one of the firm’s most consistent producers. She and her husband, Jae, have two daughters and live in Smyrna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sellers, don’t get buried in the avalanche of listings coming off the market

Avalanche!

The number of for sale listings in Atlanta that have either expired or were withdrawn in the last 45 days has seemingly snowballed. Although withdrawals and expireds are typical toward the end of the year, it is counter intuitive given December is one of the best months for real estate closings. Whether it’s for tax purposes or relocation or the other many reasons people move, December can be a BUSY month for real estate. In fact, if the number of residential real estate closings in any given year is divided by 12, there is a good chance it equals the number of closings in December.

Why do agents and sellers take homes off the market in December? Many sellers don’t want their houses available for showing in the time running up to the holidays. Some get discouraged by slower-than-spring market traffic. However, showings are generally of better quality in December and January because nosy neighbors and tire-kickers are distracted by the holidays. Showings are fewer, but of better quality.

The attached chart from the National Association of Realtors illustrates “The Sweet Spot” in the real estate market that occurs every year when homes for sale inventory craters, creating the least competitive environment for sellers any given year. Listings that haven’t sold in the current year come off the market with then intent of going back on the market in the spring. The problem is that those sellers face competition with completely new inventory in the spring which puts further downward pressure on home values.

Beacham & Company, REALTORS has already exceeded its’ 2017 sales as of October. The 12 year-old firm has already enjoyed its best year ever in 2018 as closings are up nearly 20 percent.

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October marks another sales record for Beacham

Beacham & Company, REALTORS set a record for sales in October with nearly $50 million in closed dollar volume. The firm also surpassed its number of sales for all of 2017. Beacham has now set all-time sales records in nine out of 10 months in 2018 and in every year of its existence.

Overall, the local housing market was down in October with 6,822 sales versus 6,962 in October 2017 which represents a decline of two percent. Year-to-date, Atlanta home sales in Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton and Gwinnett are up two percent due to gains in the first half of the year. Sales growth for homes of more than $1 million slowed in October to 8.8 percent but remain up 19.1 percent year-to-date.

The slowdown in home sales has led to a 7.7 percent in U.S. housing inventory year-over-year according to a recent Inman News article, while price reductions are up 15 percent from a year ago – both good signs for buyers. However, slowing new home construction due to soaring lot prices and labor shortages are working in seller’s favor. Robust new construction helps to keep resale prices in check. House flips are a growth opportunity for Millennial buyers and investors alike.

Look for more analysis on the current state of the Atlanta real estate market later this month in the fall issue of The Beacham Insider. To receive your copy, email info@beacham.com.

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Beacham & Company, REALTORS was founded in 2006 by Glennis Beacham, one of Atlanta’s most celebrated real estate agents. The firm has 100 agents who average $7 million in sales per agent – more than any other Atlanta real estate firm. In 2017, closed $600 million in home sales.

‘Beacham Gives Back’ donates more than $21k to Shepherd Center

The agents and staff of Beacham & Company, REALTORS recently donated $21,047 to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta through it’s charitable giving initiative Beacham Gives Back. Pictured above is our fundraising captain, Kyle Baumann with Jon Roxland and Leslie Jackson. The donation, made August 14, 2018, is going towards a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital right here in Atlanta.

The Shepherd Center is a non-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injuries and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, this center is ranked among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation.   At the center patients receive more than just medical care, but an experience that brings healing and hope. Patients travel from across nation and the globe to the Shepherd Center because of the innovative brand of neuro-rehabilitation.

Beacham Gives Back was the brainchild of Beacham agent Rachel Farmer and is believed to be the first charitable giving program of its kind by an Atlanta real estate company. Beacham agents and staff select a new charity every quarter by vote of the office and the agent who nominated the winning charity serves as captain of fundraising. In all, Beacham Gives Back donations have reached nearly $100,000 in less than a year to several local charities. Since the firm was founded in 2006, Beacham & Company has given or committed more than $250,000 to Atlanta charities and non-profit institutions. Some past recipients include the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta, Forward Arts Foundation, and Emory Winship Cancer Institute.

 

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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. The firm has 100 agents who average $7 million in sales per agent, more than any other Atlanta real estate firm.

Cookie cutter doesn’t cut it: why a customized approach to real estate marketing wins

Beautiful marketing is our passion, and it shows in both the materials we produce and our ability to achieve record sales every year. From photography to graphic design to print materials to digital advertising, we are obsessed with producing fresh, original, and always custom marketing materials. Being the best is “a thing” for us!

When we see real estate marketing that fits the same format for property after property, we cringe. Every home has its own story that is best told through a creative voice instead of an assembly line. Our marketing staff is not alone in each endeavor; our agents play a huge collaborative role in developing each piece of marketing we release into the real estate universe. At the end of the day, marketing is all about enhancing value.

Our marketing goes beyond just pretty things though. It’s a commitment to understanding the market around each listing, the market as a whole, and how each home fits into both. As a brokerage, we are constantly evaluating, re-evaluating, and discussing the macro and micro changes in the market. Our founder calls it a “think tank environment,” and that’s exactly what it is.

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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 also donated nearly $1,000 per agent to local charities over the course of the year.

Beacham attends int’l relocation conference

Beacham & Company, REALTORS® relocation coordinator, Sharon Leone, recently attended the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council (ERC) Americas Mobility conference in Dallas, Tx. Beacham is a 10-year member of Worldwide ERC which is a relocation services industry trade group with a membership of 7,500 relocation professionals. Worldwide ERC’s chief mission is best practices management for the movement of employees by their employers within the United States and between all other countries.

Worldwide ERC President and CEO Peggy Smith addressed labor force participation in her keynote address. The rate of labor force participation in the United States continues to decline despite unemployment rates at 40-year lows. With Millennials now making up much of the workforce (and nearly 48% of all non-refinance loan originations), contract-based work is becoming more common she said. This “contingent workforce” gives companies the ability to hire the best available talent, which in turn enables quick adaptation into a job. Recruiting outsourced talent also saves companies money, she said.

“We are entering a workforce environment where on-demand contingent workers are rising as a talent option and are racing toward becoming a majority, in contrast to traditional workers,” Smith said. “This scenario is made even more complex with geopolitical churn, automation and technology shaking up the way companies operate, and the urgent need to continually up-skill current and future employees.”

Another hot discussion topic was the location of Amazon’s second headquarters (Amazon HQ2) and the impact on that area if chosen. Atlanta is among the finalists and considered one of several front-runners along with the Washington, D.C. area and Austin, Tx. Other topics focused on the Millennial impact on housing and the use of portals in the home search process. Of the top four real estate portals or websites, nearly 120 billion home buyers were sourced from Google and Facebook in 2017 compared to just 604 million from Zillow according to report published by T3 Sixty, a real estate consulting and research firm based in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

If your growing company needs to outsource its employee relocation management, Beacham & Company is well-equipped to take over. Our relocation department can save companies money on employee transfers and offers excellent service from an agent team that is the top-producing in the city. For more information, contact Sharon Leone at 404.261.6300 or relocation@beacham.com.

PHOTO CAPTION: Top – The Gaylord Hotel in Dallas, site of this year’s WorldwideERC conference; Side – Beacham relocation coordinator Sharon Leone (left) with Tara Chandler of Extended Stay America.

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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 also donated nearly $1,000 per agent to local charities over the course of the year.

Win two Hamilton tickets from Beacham!

Have you heard the news?! Beacham is giving away two AMAZING third row seats to the sought after Broadway performance of Hamilton!! The tickets for this Sunday’s show are at 6:30pm and would make a phenomenal date night. Interested in winning? Here’s what to do:

1. Follow Beacham and Company on Instagram

2. “Like” the photo of Hamilton on Beacham’s Instagram page

3. Comment on the photo and tag your plus one

The deadline to enter is Friday, June 8th at 5pm. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!!

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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 also donated nearly $1,000 per agent to local charities over the course of the year.