A look at Atlanta’s median sales prices shown monthly, by year, illustrates the degree to which prices in 2009 have declined compared to other recent years going back to 2003.
Only in November and December of 2009 were median sales prices slightly ahead of the depressed prices during those months in 2008 and well below those of previous years.
Since failed listings in the fourth quarter of 2009 were 59.5% of total listings, and overpriced listings were 87% of total listings, the pressure on sellers is immense.
So, is hope alive?
Well, recovery hawkers and confidence builders touting easier money and steadier sales make their case for 2010 as a year of growth. Robert Freedman, the Senior Editor of REALTOR magazine, stated the following in a 2010 outlook article, which quotes Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors:
“Economists disagree about how the economy will fare in 2010, but they agree the recession will be firmly behind us. Yun forecasts economic growth of 2.8 percent, up from a recessionary –2.5 percent in 2009. Varvares puts growth at a more robust 4.2 percent.
Improved stock market performance, the need for business to replenish inventories, and the continuing impact of the federal government’s stimulus efforts are all playing a role in boosting the economy, they say. Supporting it all is the improvement in housing. As home prices stabilize, households feel wealthy and start spending again, which drives retail and other business growth, in turn boosting confidence and the stock market, and creating a virtuous cycle of growth.
Yun predicts home prices to grow 3.6 percent in 2010, a significant rebound from 2009’s 12.9 percent national price decline.”
Lets see how the first quarter numbers shake out – as long as Uncle Sam is holding up the housing market, the housing market has every reason to start feeling better…