Staying put? It's a great time to buy a Condo in the Atlanta Real Estate Market!
Across metro Atlanta, about 9,000 existing condominiums are for sale and another 17,000 new units are planned, indicating that the city's condo market is becoming oversupplied. The city has almost a one-year supply of condos on hand, say real estate agents. However, while the nation as a whole has experienced a slow down in real estate condo sales, many realtors in Atlanta say they are not feeling the pinch as hard as other areas. Condominium sales in Atlanta have continued to hold their own through a period of heavy local growth, pitted against sluggish national sales.
In Atlanta, new condos are becoming a lifestyle choice for many people, from fast-paced corporate personnel to retirees wishing to immerse themselves in the downtown culture. The city is drawing people from all over the world who want to experience Atlanta's inherent hospitality, and strong commerce and industry. New residents are on their way, and builders are responding with prime locations and customized condo units.
Geoffrey Greene, real estate consultant for The Art of Real Estate says Atlanta is further becoming a top cultural and business destination of the south. Also, in the longer term, the percentage of baby boomers moving into retirement could also bode well for condos. Eighty percent of all condos in 2004 were owned by people 55 and up.
If developers pull back on new construction, and the economy and interest rates remain on course, the supply issue could correct itself in many markets in about a year or two. However, condo owners and potential buyers should be aware that it may be best to invest in a condo if you plan on staying put for a while… possibly up to 5 years or more. Of course, for buyers, this means condos may be a deal. A Buckhead penthouse Motley listed was originally priced at $1.2 million and is now priced in the $600,000s.
One lucky buyer recently purchased a condo in Spire at 860 Peachtree St. for $449,000 that was originally listed at $515,000, according to sales records in the First Multiple Listing Service. Another buyer snagged a condo listed at $515,000 for $475,000 in Spire and the seller even threw in a large flat screen television as an incentive. "If you are not selling your condo at the right time, you will lose [money]. And you don't know that timing, or we'd all be making a killing," Motley said. If someone thinks they are going to come into Atlanta and buy a condo and sell it in a very short period and make a profit, this just doesn‘t happen in the Atlanta market.
So, what are buyers doing with their newfound power? They are demanding, and getting bargains and upgrades. Included are -
New kitchen cabinets
Center kitchen islands
New stainless steel and upgraded dishwashers, microwaves and refrigerators
Upgrades to commercial ovens
Upgraded flooring, such as bamboo
Chances to win something, such as a car.
Roughly 40% of developers are saying yes to these cosmetic perks, and that’s double the number from six months earlier, according to a December NAHB survey of more than 500 homebuilders. “It works,” said McAllister. “Builders don’t want to have inventory standing, and they will do what it takes to move product. Buyers like perks because they feel like they’re getting a good deal.” New homeowner Wilson can attest to that. “I would have never even looked at the home without those incentives,” she said. “It was a blessing.” Developers are more likely to offer incentives to move product if they have a back-up of inventory, or a home has fallen out of escrow, or if it is a sluggish time of the real estate cycle. “It’s a win-win. It’s an excellent way to move property and get buyers loyal to a certain builder.
So, be patient Buyers, be prepared for the longer haul with your condos, and get your great deal now!