This article first appeared on March 3 at The Intown Atlanta Real Estate Examiner’s page…
Even though overall sales were +14% higher in the fourth quarter of 2009, not all segments had increased sales.
The activity for properties sold under $300,000 is particularly strong, with both new construction and resales up significantly from fourth quarter 2008 compared to fourth quarter 2009.
Gains were generally larger in lower price ranges and with resale properties compared to new construction.
By observing the numbers for new construction properties priced above $300,000, a gradual shrinkage is evident as prices increase, particularly in the $750000-$1 Million range and in the range of $1 Million and higher.
Of course, federal government stimulus is carrying the housing market and since the healthiest activity is under $300,000, the combination of relatively easy FHA lending and the federal and state tax credits are an evident catalyst.
Distressed properties still represent more than 1 in every 4 sales, keeping prices lower and days on market time longer for non-foreclosure properties.
Restating a regular theme here at the Atlanta Real Estate Examiner page, 87% of all properties are still initially being overpriced for current conditions, setting up price reductions, lower sales price to list price ratios and longer days on the market.
Closing that gap in realism is the only cure for a healthier Atlanta real estate market and until the gap shrinks, most sellers will fail and buyers will continue to glean the best terms and conditions for purchasing in history.
59.5% of all listings in the 8 counties were failed listings in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Looking ahead, the first two quarters of 2010 will probably look quite similar to the fourth quarter of 2009, but that is about as far ahead as this Examiner can see. All bets are off after the current stimulus package expires, and beginning in April, when FHA enacts their stricter lending guidelines.