Atlanta Real Estate “Hitting On All Cylinders”; Beacham & Company, REALTORS® Sales Double in January 2015
Posted by Dac Carver — February 10, 2015
ATLANTA, GA - Atlanta real estate is poised for a robust year in 2015 as increasing inventory levels, less restrictive lending standards and sustained job growth are expected to make it the best year for home sales since 2007.
“The Atlanta real estate market is hitting on all cylinders,” said David Haddow, president of Haddow & Co., an Atlanta-based real estate consulting and analysis firm, during a housing summit at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta on Feb. 5th.
Haddow was joined in his use of superlatives to describe the current state of Atlanta real estate by Domonic Purviance, Senior Financial Policy Analyst for the Atlanta Fed who called Atlanta “the most affordable housing market in the country.”
Early signs point to an enormous rebound year even as 2014 narrowly missed becoming the third consecutive year for declining home sales. January closings were up 11% from January 2014 according to FMLS. Dac Carver, Vice President and Managing Broker for Beacham & Company, REALTORS®, said his firm’s January home sales and dollar volume sold were both double what they were last January and should double again in February.
Pictured: The sale of 1384 N. Morningside Drive in January by Donna Boynton and Joy Myrick of Beacham & Company, REALTORS® was part of a record January for the firm. Overall, Atlanta home sales were up more than 11% in January from a year ago.
A greater supply of homes for sale is the single greatest reason for the early year surge in Atlanta home sales, Carver said. Atlanta MLS resale inventory is up 8.7% from the same time last year even as the absorption rate remains at four months. Also, David Ellis, president of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, told the housing summit that Atlanta new home permits were up 14% last year compared to just 3% nationally. Other factors are also helping:
• Job growth is accelerating. Purviance said that the number of new jobs created in Atlanta last year was greater than the net migration of new residents. Still, Atlanta has gained back only 12.5% of the jobs it lost during the Great Recession, Purviance said. Sectors that have fully recovered are professional and business services, hospitality and travel, and education/healthcare. Employment levels for construction, information and finance are still well below pre-recession levels.
• Georgia wages grew for the first time since the Great Recession in 2014. “We are just starting to see income growth and as we see more of that, you’ll see more people enter the (housing) market,” Purviance said.
• Mortgage interest rates remain at historical lows and mortgage credit is loosening. If the most underserved part of the market (credit scores between 680-750) gets on track, it should have a domino effect for the rest of the market. More than 22% of home purchases were made by buyers with credit scores of 680-750 prior to the Great Recession. Now, they represent just 5% of all purchases.
• Atlanta housing remains very affordable relative to other markets around the country. Purviance measures affordability by looking at how home prices, interest rates and income relate to one another. “Affordability has declined in most (other) markets (around the country),” he said.
About Beacham & Company, REALTORS®
Beacham & Company, REALTORS® is an independent, locally-owned, full service residential real estate brokerage firm that specializes in Atlanta luxury real estate. The firm is located in the heart of Buckhead at One Buckhead Plaza next to the St. Regis Hotel and across the street from Buckhead Atlanta shopping district. With more than 90 licensed sales associates, Beacham is the top selling office in Atlanta by dollar volume of listings sold and its agents are the most productive by dollar volume of real estate sold.