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Are Real Estate Prices Going Down in the Atlanta Area?

This post is adapted from one of my answers on Trulia Voices today – if you aren’t checking out this amazing forum for real estate information, then you should do so!

Yes, absolutely prices are going down, but they are stabilizing – we’ve been in a “declining market” since June 2006. Certain submarkets are in freefall, still.

Certain submarkets are more stable, and these have better real estate fundamentals than the others – better schools, less crime, better lifestyle amenities, etc.

The question today came from someone “buying in Ansley Park’ so lets just look at what’s up in Ansley Park in the past 12 months for single family properties…in 2008, there were 23 sales. The lowest priced sale was a $440,000 3/2 on Flagler. The highest priced sale was a $1.25 Million 4/2/2 on Westminster. The average SOLD price in 2008 was $990,793.

There were 6 SOLD properties in Ansley Park since January 1, 2009 – on average, they took 48 days to sell, and the average sales price was $952,000.

I would say that Ansley Park is relatively stable, just like other Intown neighborhoods with good Elementary schools, lower crime and great lifestyle choices like parks and restaurants nearby.

However, with 72 withdrawn or expired listings since January 1, 2008 there is more sales failure than success.

If you have time, check out this post – an April 30 article – which features a link to the most recent Smart Numbers letter for Atlanta.

Also, check out this article that describes the broad gap between what sellers expect and what buyers are actually getting.

I believe that over the next two decades, the most conservative approach is to assume that your properties will not rise in value – the benefits of owning real estate usually outweigh renting and making a landlord rich, but being speculative about “rising prices’ is a sucker’s bet.

Anyone else who is pumping sunshine about the future of real estate should study spending trends and demographics and get more realistically grounded.

If you are interested in further study, start here, at Harry Dent’s web site – the article is called “real estate investing – where to buy.”

The good news is that Georgia, and particularly Intown Atlanta, will benefit from stable domestic migration and a popularity with younger people that will keep the city growing – growing demand will keep our real estate market much healthier than 90% of the rest of the country in the 21st century.

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