MortgageReal Estate

As housing markets around the nation weaken, Atlanta thrives

Price growth and home sales rising faster in Atlanta than the U.S. overall

While metros across the country weaken in the wake of a market slowdown, the city of Atlanta is thriving, according to new data from Redfin.

According to Redfin’s analysis, not only is price growth in Atlanta stronger than the U.S. overall, homes in the city are selling faster.

“Atlanta area home prices were up 4.8% annually to a median of $229,900 in January, marking nearly seven years of growing prices,” Redfin writes. “While notoriously hot West Coast markets are cooling—prices in San Francisco fell 5 % and price growth in Seattle slowed to 0.6% year over year last month—some signs indicate that Atlanta is bucking the trend.”

Redfin attributes this to the surge in homebuyers looking to move inland.

“Atlanta is probably the nation’s hottest large market,” Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said. "Continuing a trend favoring affordable, diverse and builder friendly cities.”

In fact, Redfin notes that although Atlanta’s price growth has been consistent with the national rate for nearly three years, since April 2018, its home prices have been rising faster than the U.S. overall.

As rates rise, so does competition in Atlanta and Redfin highlights that inventory is becoming a concern.

“Atlanta experienced a 13.5% annual drop in home sales last month, while national home sales declined 7.6% over the same period. One factor that could be holding back sales activity is inventory,” Redfin writes. “The number of homes for sale in Atlanta fell 18.5% in January, marking the 17th consecutive month of double-digit supply declines. New listings have followed a different trajectory, rising 19.8% in January, the fifth straight month of year-over-year increases.”

Redfin agent Cynthia Little said although inventory is still down in Atlanta, new construction may soon add to the supply of homes in the area.

According to Redfin’s data, building permits were up 72.2% annually in October of last year, and the city issued $5.6 billion worth of building permits in 2018.

“A lot of people, especially younger people, are looking to move to Atlanta and its suburbs from more expensive areas. I’ve been meeting with homebuyers from places like California, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and they’re looking in Atlanta because they perceive it to be more affordable,” Little continued. “A lot of my clients are excited that mortgage rates aren’t going up, even some who aren’t buying just yet.”

“Inventory is still low and there’s competition for desirable homes,” Little said. “We have a lot of new homes going up, but builders can’t build fast enough.”

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