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Intown Atlanta real estate crystal ball: 3.5 changes coming

Atlanta median sales prices

CHANGE #1 stable mortgage fees, higher interest rates

CHANGE #2 home price stabilization…for the most part

Here is one headline grabbing way to look at that issue – from December 2013: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/study-shows-home-prices-booming-atlanta/ncZFn/

Here is yet another way to consider prices in Atlanta – from February 2014: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2014/02/25/spcase-shiller-home-prices-dip-for-2nd-straight-month-in-december/

Huh? Who is right?

Call me if you want a real analysis of a local neighborhood. Relying on indexes, pricing from years ago, Zestimates, costs of improvements, costs of maintenance, etc. etc. etc. can lead to a false sense of inflated value.

CHANGE #3 home price deflation in many submarkets – most analysts have been calling for stable, or flat pricing for some time now, running with the 3-4.5% (depending on who measures it) inflation rate that has been measured for decades. Many factors impact the submarkets that face deflation – some factors are geographic and demographic, while others are about housing stock quality and the overall residential strength of a neighborhood.

Thankfully, Atlanta is not among the most “unequal” cities for wealth disparity – Trulia would measure it against San Francisco or Fairfield and state that Atlanta is only half as disparate as those two cities. As such, we have widespread affordability.

We even have city funds for buyer downpayments – bountiful, government funds. Come get some.

Still, we will see deflation. Jed from Trulia nails it with February data in this article about the “slowdown.”

In summary, in Atlanta, it has been cheaper per month, to buy and hold, in lieu of renting for probably 36-40 months in a row. Maybe more. Trulia has been tracking it, and recently purchase affordability placed us at #1 in the USA for buying vs. renting.

It would be delightful if we had enough suitable housing stock to fill the well funded, ready to buy demand.

CHANGE # 3.5 the fight for market share amongst real estate agents – every market’s market share…from online, to the flyer box, to the post-sale relationship with a client…every market opportunity for a real estate agent and broker is being challenged by some noisy challenger willing to pay for clicks, or tacky billboards, or an AM radio audience

In my next few articles, we will explore these matters in more hyper-local detail.

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