A review of Atlanta housing trends from 1st quarter ’11 to 1st quarter ’12 shows that parts of three counties in the greater Atlanta real estate market saw the largest percentage increase in home sales. Inventory continues to drop all over, however the percentage of distressed sales (short sales and foreclosures) remains over 50% in 12 of the 41 MLS areas and over 40% in another 7 areas considered “metro Atlanta”. In an area of Gwinnett County, distressed inventory is over 66%. Yet many of these same areas have low months of supply of inventory. Buyers in many areas can’t find a home but the data shows ample inventory and dropping values; what gives?
The “what” is the influence of distressed inventory. This cannot be overstated or ignored; while Atlanta didn’t have the same bubble as other areas did, the area is heavily impacted by distressed homes. Atlanta sprawled like a spilled beer and saw unbridled and unsustainable new construction, speculation and the continuing problem of mortgage fraud. Short sales also remain a significant factor, many eventually foreclosing and going back to the lender. The reality is that distressed homes impact all facets of this market and will for several years.
Consider the overall picture:
- Distressed homes were 57.9% of sales under 100K in 1stqtr ’12
- Distressed homes were 41.8% of sales 100K-199K in 1st qtr ’12
- Distressed homes were 42.5% of all sales in 1st qtr ’12
Their impact is felt across every aspect of Atlanta real estate; appraisal issues, underwriting issues, buyer attitudes, seller attitudes, list prices…all areas of real estate are affected. But this is the market and successful buyers and sellers educate themselves, adapt and overcome. Quality homes in areas with demonstrated appeal will sell; buyers continue to enjoy ridiculously low rates and those properly prepared will find what they like. Caution and prudence remain the key buzz words.
More detailed info is available for review. We invite you to sign up below for free weekly Altos Data reports on over 100 area zips or drop us an email for more research on whatever area you’re interested in. Of course, don’t forget to visit and bookmark the Atlanta Real Estate Market Conditions page – updated weekly. And as always, feel free to call or email with any questions or concerns. Thanks to Chartmasters for another great collection of quarterly Atlanta real estate data.