Every day is Mother’s Day at Beacham & Company

PHOTO CAPTION: The mothers and daughters of Beacham & Company, from left, (front row) Kristen Sodemann (mom Ruth Skogstad not pictured), Georgia Hart, Jan Hart, Glennis Beacham, Blayne Beacham Macauley, Elise Lowe Baumann, Janey Lowe, Nicole Farmer, Rachel Farmer, (middle row) Shelley Sloan, Lynn Sloan, Charlotte Perry, Douglas Perry, (top row) Gail McCown, Claire McCown, Melissa Morris, Becky Morris, Lauren Oshnock Zgutowicz, Sue Oshnock.

It’s Mother’s Day this weekend but really it’s Mother’s Day every day at Beacham & Company, REALTORS. That’s because more than 20% of the firm’s agents are mothers and daughters who work together.

Now in its eleventh year, Beacham has always had a strong mother-daughter influence. Many attribute the fact that owner and founder Glennis Beacham started the company with her daughter, Blayne Macauley, so the welcoming platform for mother-daughters was established from the very beginning.

Some of Beacham’s mother-daughter teams have been with the firm nearly as long as the firm has been open (Janey Lowe and Elise Baumann) while others are very new additions (Gail and Claire McCown, whose sister works in Beacham’s marketing department). In all, there are 20 mothers and daughters who work together at Beacham.

Somewhat suprisingly, Beacham moms and daughters have a wide variety of reasons why they enjoy working with each other. Jan Hart, who works with daughter Georgia Hart, echoed the sentiments of many Beacham mothers when saying the trust component was very important. She also said, “I know I can her at 11pm at night and say, ‘help,’ I have an emergency.”

Ms. Beacham said of working with her daughter Blayne: “If a parent really loves their child they can’t get enough time with them. As they grow older, it becomes harder and harder to have time with them so this is a great way for us to get to spend more time together.”

Rachel Farmer said working with her daughter Nicole, a recent graduate of Ole Miss, “provides me with renewed energy. Plus she is teaching me the Millennial way of life. It’s rewarding to be her mentor.”

Kristen Sodemann, daughter of Ruth Skogstad, said, “Nobody can make me laugh like my mom and help me put life into perspective. Whenever I’m around her, I’m a more positive and productive person. She makes work fun for me.”

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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 firm has 100 agents who average $7 million in sales per agent.




Buckhead real estate market uneven due to various inventory pressures

The number of homes sold in Buckhead declined 6.1% last year as affordable condos and single family
detached homes (those priced less than $700,000) were either nonexistent or in less than desirable condition. Sales of homes priced $1 million or more were also a drag on the market, with value relative to asking prices acting as the primary difference in a better performance.

Buckhead clearly has a thirst for condos and townhomes as more than 1,400 changed hands in Buckhead in 2016 although just 44 of those were new construction. Condo sales represented 66% of all sales in Buckhead last year.

Inventory conditions in Buckhead are not expected to signifi cantly improve in 2017. Many homes that might be tear-down candidates are approaching asking prices that create a situation where builders would have to bring a home to market at a price where the months’ supply of inventory is already high.

What’s the answer for the Buckhead market going forward? Here’s what we would like to see more of:

• Construction of moderately priced condos

• Modest single family detached renovations

• Flips priced $1 million or less.

Economist paints rosy picture for 2017

Beacham & Company participated in the annual conference for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE) at the Fontainebleau Hotel in March. The conference and its participants represented 25 percent of all real estate business done in the United States in 2016.

Among the conference’s many nationally known speakers was Marci Rossell, formally chief economist for CNBC and now chief economist for LeadingRE. Rossell said three major factors will influence real estate and the U.S. economy over the next 3-5 years:

• India will become the new world economic growth leader and the most populous country by 2020. The world’s economies are more interconnected than ever and must be considered when forming projections about our own economy including housing.

• The U.S. dollar surged 40% last year. A strong U.S. dollar often attracts foreign investors which in turn helps propel our economy through new investment including housing.

• A demographic “barbell” with Baby Boomers on one side and Millennials on the other will continue to create tension in everything from U.S. politics to housing. Millennials and Boomers are, in many cases, pursuing the same type of housing (albeit for different reasons) which is extending an unprecedented housing inventory shortage.

She also said the economic outlook for 2017 is looking better and better because of prospective fiscal stimulus in the form of tax cuts for individuals and corporations, deregulation, and possible infrastructure spending. She also said she expects the Federal Reserve interest rate to increase twice in 2017 but even after both increases the Fed’s monetary policy would still be considered “loose” and that we are just beginning to experience the economic benefits of a historically low Fed funds rate.

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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 firm has 100 agents who average $7 million in sales per agent.

Spring 2017 issue of The Beacham Series published

The Spring 2017 issue of Atlanta’s premier real estate magazine, The Beacham Series, recently published featuring 5525 Long Island Drive on the cover. The issue marks the beginning of the magazine’s eleventh year in print.

The cover home was originally designed by Keith Summerour and built in 2000 by Benecki Homes. Part of a 1.6-acre gated estate on the Buckhead side of Sandy Springs, this light and airy home has six bedrooms, seven full baths, two half-baths and a four-car garage. It features exquisite finishes such as reclaimed wood floors, steel windows, and Venetian plaster walls. Other features include a home theatre, exercise room, billiard room, new Pebbletec pool with separate full pool bath on the terrace level, and a new limestone outdoor fireplace. The home is on the market for $3.2 million.

In the forward to the current issue, Beacham & Company founder and owner Glennis Beacham predicted another year of tremendous opportunities in the Atlanta real estate market. She credited her firm’s commitment to integrity, emphasis on thoughtful analysis, exceptional marketing, and a sincere, hands-on approach with clients as reasons for optimism in 2017.

The Beacham Series has a circulation of 25,000 including Atlanta’s most influential and affluent addresses. The magazine is also distributed to top executives in the world’s largest real estate relocation network, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.

Click here to view the current issue of The Beacham Series online. To obtain a print version, email [email protected] or call 404-261-6300.

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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 firm has 100 agents who average $7 million in sales per agent.

Why some Millennials are missing out on the real estate boom and what they can do to change it

Royalty-Free Stock Photography by Rubberball

We love Millennials. So many of them are smart, sociable, passionate, eager to try new things, and want to be challenged/inspired by their work. It’s a fun generation!

Unfortunately, the Millennial generation is trailing previous generations in first-time home ownership rates (near a 30-year low according to NAR). In many ways, this is understandable considering many of them came of age during the Great Recession and its aftermath when job prospects were limited. As a result, their growth into the predominant home buying sector is more tempered than it would have been had the Great Recession not occurred. Even though they now make up the largest part of the home buying market, more young adult children are living at home now than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

While it’s easy to understand why some Millennials have delayed home ownership, what’s not is why some continue to pay average rent of $1,300 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in Atlanta (The Apartment Guide) when they could be paying the same amount to own a home ($1,300 per month based on a $250K mortgage loan amount at a 4.5% interest rate). They also are missing the opportunity to build wealth through asset appreciation and to save money on their income taxes through the mortgage interest tax deduction. If they stay in a home at least two years, they also get to keep the money gained through appreciation tax-free. With Atlanta home prices averaging an annual gain of 5%, that’s a potential two-year gain of more than $25,000 on a $250,000 home.

We want Millennials to prosper and take advantage of the next 5-10 years when we think we will see the best real estate bull market run possibly ever due to the sheer size of the Millennial generation. Here is what some Millennials tell us and what we tell them about buying a home now:

  • I can’t afford the down payment. Understandable, but easy to overcome if a parent or grandparent is willing to loan the money for the down payment (send this article to them ;-)). Many Baby Boomers are beginning to be forced to make 401k withdrawals this year and real estate is as good as any place to park money. Also, FHA loans offer options for as little as 5% of the purchase price for a down payment (compared to 20% for most conventional loans) and if you’re living at home you already have a way to save for your down payment through free rent.

  • I’m afraid there is another “housing bubble” due to run up in home prices in recent years. The housing bubble of the late 2000’s was a once in a lifetime event. For the 50 years that the National Association of Realtors has tracked home prices, 2008-09 was the only year home prices declined. Also, oversupply and easy credit were the reasons for the housing crisis of the late 2000’s and neither condition exist today. In fact, supply is dangerously low and demand is at a record high (for Atlanta). If home builders will build more homes and more home buyers become interested in renovations, this market will have serious legs.
  • I can wait because I don’t have to buy now. Since 2011, waiting to buy has cost renters more than 55% in home price appreciation per the local MLS. On a $250,000 home, that’s a gain of $137,500. The return on real estate will be nowhere near where it was between 2010-2015 but it will continue to appreciate because of Atlanta continues to attract new businesses and population, the economic outlook is favorable with anticipated tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending and the sheer demographics of Millennials. Also, the Federal Reserve funds rate is set to go up again this month and most think it will happen again in 2017. Buying a home tomorrow even without taking into consideration price appreciation will be more expensive than it is today. If all of that rings hollow, just remember what Mark Twain said, “buy land, they’re not making it anymore.”
  • What I want to buy doesn’t exist. This is a challenge for all buyers right now. Many Millennials want to be in walk-able neighborhoods close to work, restaurants, shopping, etc. and very little of that exists ITP (Inside the Perimeter) that is affordable (less than $500,000) and doesn’t need work or isn’t otherwise “apartment perfect”. There are some new condos under construction but virtually all are high-end. Many Millennials are flocking to areas with either walkable town centers or transit connectivity such as Roswell, Smyrna, Kirkwood (East Atlanta) and Chamblee. Some areas that are even more affordable and may fit the same bill (long-term): Riverside (at the end of Moores Mill Road), West End, and downtown East Point. Buying in these areas will require Millennials to embrace “fluffing” (painting, landscaping, minor updates) and flipping homes.

Read more about the state of the Atlanta housing market in the current issue of The Beacham Insider.

2016 was the year of the ‘value buyer’; builders expected to be big winners in ’17

Last year (2016) was the best year for Atlanta residential real estate hom
e sales and prices ever, beating the previous marks set for both in 2015. However, the pace of growth moderated as the year progressed with election hysteria, a slowing economy, and insufficient inventory below $1 million putting pressure on market performance.

One clear trend emerged: home buyers sought out homes and areas where home prices still represent a value relative to traditionally
celebrated neighborhoods. The number of home sales in the five county metro was up 6% from May to December but sales among The Beacham Bellwethers which track the areas of Atlanta with the highest average sales prices (see page 4) declined 2%. Average home sales prices grew at the same pace (3%) for both categories.

Single family detached and townhome construction sales gained steam in 2016 and many builders appeared to be riding high in the saddle as 2017 began. Builders who can deliver product at a price buyers can/will pay in locations they want will be the big winners in 2017 and in the foreseeable future. The Atlanta housing market is starved for new condominium deliveries as evidenced by the increase in condo sales in 2016 – which was nearly double the increase for single family detached home sales on a percentage basis (+11% to +6%).

Seasonally adjusted housing inventory began increasing again late last fall but the increase is a “drop in the bucket” compared to the inventory needed to bring most of the market into a normal balance (six months of inventory supply). Currently, there is just a three months’ supply of housing inventory.

While there were more $3 million plus sales in Atlanta last year than any other year in the city’s history, the market conditions are not necessarily favorable. Inventory of ultra-luxury properties is at recent historic highs. For instance, the months’ supply of inventory in North Fulton for $3 million-plus homes is nearly eight years. In many areas of Buckhead, the months’ supply is more than three years. Until age demographics work back in seller’s favor, this part of the market is expected to heavily rely on price discounting.

Read more about the state of the Atlanta housing market in the current issue of The Beacham Insider.

Beacham celebrates 10th anniversary, record sales

Beacham & Company, REALTORS recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and another record sales year with a gala at one of Buckhead’s hottest party venues, The Stave Room at American Spirit Works. More than 250 revelers danced to the sounds of Atlanta’s hottest party band, Papa Sol. The short video above features sights and sounds from the event.

Beacham & Company was founded in 2006 by one of Atlanta’s most celebrated real estate agents, Glennis Beacham, and has grown in homes and dollar volume sold every year of its existence (more than 600%). The firm achieved an all time record in both homes sold and dollar volume sold in 2016 and exceeded all-time monthly sales records in 8 out of 12 months.

Ms. Beacham recalled what it was like after she made the decision to leave Atlanta’s largest real estate firm as its top selling selling agent for 13 consecutive years: “We started the company on my dining room table in my new home, which was still under construction. We had temporary power and heat but we were excited. Our company was tiny at first, and we were able to grow through the downturn.

“Our core group remains with us today, and we continue to enjoy the platform we built. It provides an incredible base for our agents to grow their business. Our primary objective has and always will be to help our agents become more successful.”

Since its inception, Beacham & Company agents have sold more by dollar volume than any other agents in Atlanta. The average sold per agent was nearly $6 million in 2016 while the top nine closest competitors averaged less than $2.5 million per agent. The firm’s office is the top selling in Atlanta by dollar volume of single family detached homes sold and has the highest average sales price in the state (nearly $750,000).

Dac Carver, Vice President and Managing Broker of Beacham, added, “we are extremely proud of what our agents have done but we are also looking ahead. We have very exciting things planned this year that will help us continue to grow the business.”

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When is a good time to list a home for sale? Now. Right now!

PHOTO CAPTION: This home at 8260 Riverbirch Drive in the Horseshoe Bend neighborhood of Roswell was on the market less than 48 hours and sold for 100% of list price ($425,000).

In retail sales, the day after Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday shopping season. Real estate has no “day after Thanksgiving,” but it’s generally acknowledged that the peak season begins in the spring when families make plans for the upcoming school year.

We are often asked: when is the absolute best time to list a home for sale? The answer is now. Like, RIGHT NOW.

The top months for closings in real estate are consistently June, July and August (see chart at bottom). Home buyers who are moving for schools are out in force through the end of July and even into early August. In addition, home prices always peak in the summer months. In fact, statistically speaking, now is when you are likely to get the best price for a home for the next 10-12 months because demands drops off in September when families with kids leave the real estate market. Appraisals are generally more favorable this time of year because of peaking demand.

Not all segments of the real estate market adhere to this axiom. Condos are generally immune to seasonal demand fluctuation and the luxury real estate market moves to its own beat altogether. Elections, tax policy, corporate transfers, and perceived value opportunities can influence luxury real estate more so than school calendars.

For the broadest part of the market (below $500,000) however, this summer could be the best selling opportunity in decades. A recent article in The Beacham Insider highlighted the fact that Atlanta housing inventory is less than it was in the year 2000 when the city had two million fewer residents. And National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun essentially begged builders to delivery more inventory in his most column in REALTOR Magazine. Yun thinks the nation’s home sales would be 15% higher if there was more homes on the market.

Sellers who put off selling during the Great Recession may “supply” the answer. The average home sales price in Atlanta has recovered from pre-recession levels and for many who were “underwater,” equity has been restored. With multiple offers, offers above list price, historically low interest rates, and a solid local economy that is creating more jobs than people moving to the city, now is clearly the time for sellers to capitalize.


Atlanta home prices keep climbing but needed housing inventory remains elusive

PHOTO CAPTION: The Atlanta real estate market needs more homes on the market like this one at 2439 Lowe Street in the Riverside neighborhood of Atlanta. Located near the new Publix under construction at Moores Mill and Defoors Ferry Roads, it went on the market for $219,000 and was under contract within hours.

Editor’s Note: This story was first published April 29, 2016 but was updated on June 7, 2016.

Atlanta real estate picked up where it left off in 2015 with a strong start to 2016 according to the most recent issue of The Beacham Insider. Sales of single family detached homes and condos in the five county metropolitan area (Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett) were up 10.6% in the first three months of the year while the average home sales price increased 6.6%.

Consistent with trends since the housing recovery began in 2011, the broader market led the way compared to the Beacham Bellwether index of Atlanta’s most desirable neighborhoods (page 4 of Insider). The Bellwethers are neighborhoods that have average sales prices far exceeding the city’s average sales price and are typically in top performing public school districts or close to job centers such as Buckhead, Perimeter, Midtown, Cumberland and Windward. The Bellwethers were up 7.9% but the broader market (excluding Bellwethers) was up 10.8%.HowToFixMarket

It is believed that lack of (desirable) housing inventory is holding back Bellwether neighborhoods from fostering a more robust sales environment. The months’ supply of inventory in Bellwether areas priced less than $500,000 is less than three months (see February issue of Beacham Bulletin). NAR says a healthy market is when there is a six months’ supply of inventory. The months’ supply of homes priced $500,000 to $750,000 is close to the NAR target balance, while there is an over-supply of homes priced more than $750,000. In fact, housing inventory is less than it was in 2000 when the city had two million fewer residents (see chart at bottom of article).

UPDATE: National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun recently noted in an article for REALTOR Magazine that the number of home sales in the United States might be as much as 15% higher if home builders delivered the type of inventory the market needs (chiefly, product for first-time home buyers).

Demographic factors are having an effect on the Bellwether neighborhoods as well. Forbes recently ranked Atlanta as America’s most rapidly aging city. Atlanta’s senior population (age 65+) grew 20 percent between 2010 and 2014, well above the average 11.3 percent increase seen across the country’s 53 largest metropolitan areas. Top performing public schools are less important to Baby Boomers so declining demand from them may be exacerbated in the Bellwethers.

The Millenial generation (born after 1980 to 2000) became the largest segment of the home buying market last year according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and now they are the largest living generation in history. However, financial hardships (see Wall Street Journal article) and tougher lending standards since the Great Recession have combined to make the share of first-time home buyers the smallest in 30 years (NAR).

UPDATE: Yon also noted in his recent article that the average home sales price appreciation rate (5.7% over the last 12 months ending in April) is keeping many first-time home buyers out of the real estate market because wages only increased by 2% during that time. Traditionally, first-time home buyers make up 40% of all real estate transaction but currently they only comprise 30% of transactions.

Some question whether more inventory would make a difference right now. Millennials are more likely than any previous generations to postpone their first home purchase for their “forever house.” They also seem to prefer new to resale more than previous generations but delivery of new homes in Atlanta is not even halfway back to pre-bust (2005) levels and most of the multi-family under construction is apartments according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Generation X (born from the mid-1960s to early 1980s), is the tiny-by-comparison generation between the Baby Boomers and Millennials. Their smaller numbers and inability to absorb the volume of more expensive homes coming to market (and not coming to market) are making it more challenging for Baby Boomers to downsize. Also, many GenXers stayed put during the financial crisis and have either passed the point of trading up or simply can’t afford to trade up because they are carrying a higher debt load than traditional norms. Further complicating things are changes in buying tastes – huge homes with huge lots that were so popular with Baby Boomers are not as popular with GenXers and Millennials.

The good news is that in-migration to Atlanta remains strong although not as strong as job growth (nice problem to have) according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Also, there are some who see the maturing of Millennials as a coming sea change for the economy. Just as the Baby Boomer generation drove every economic cycle for the last several decades, Seattle-based investment fund manager William Smead believes in the irresistible force of Millennials’ sheer numbers.

Smead told The Wall Street Journal in an article published April 3: “In your life, you do four things that cause everyone else around you to do better economically, that are more impactful on the economy than anything else: you get married, have children, you buy bigger cars to accommodate the children and you buy a house. We’re about to have 86 million people do those things constantly for the next 10 years, and that’s why the U.S. economy will do extremely well.”

Let’s hope he’s right.


Atlanta real estate builds on best year ever; Beacham up 24% in 2016

2016Atlanta’s real estate market steamed ahead during the first two months of 2016. The number of home sales in the five county metropolitan area was up 9.4% compared to January and February of 2015, while the average home sales price rose 6.8% to $276,356 according to the local MLS. The robust year-over-year comparisons come on the heels of the best year in the history of Atlanta real estate.

All the news wasn’t positive, however. The housing inventory stock took another big hit in February and is at its lowest level since April 2014 and just 20% higher than the all-time low set in early 2013. The National Association of REALTORS says a healthy market where supply and demand are in balance is when the months’ supply of homes is six months. Atlanta’s current months’ supply is less than three.

Many hot intown areas – Buckhead, Brookhaven and Morningside/Virginia Highlands – actually experienced a decline in sales during the first two months of the year due to a paucity of new inventory hitting the market. In those areas, multiple offers are common for many homes priced less than $1 million.

Beacham & Company continues to ride the edge of the housing wave. The firm’s sales were up 10.7% in the first two months of 2016, while dollar volume sold was up 23.9%.

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About Beacham & Company, REALTORS®

Beacham & Company is an independent, locally-owned, full service residential real estate brokerage firm that specializes in Atlanta luxury real estate. The firm’s office is located in the heart of Buckhead at One Buckhead Plaza next to the St. Regis Hotel and across the street from Buckhead Atlanta shopping district. With more than 100 licensed sales associates, Beacham is the top selling office in Atlanta by dollar volume of single family detached listings sold and its agents are the highest producing in the city by dollar volume sold.