Tight supply stifles metro housing sales

Metro Atlanta housing got a healthy dose of same-old, same-old in two new reports.

Same: Rising prices.

Same: Fewer homes for sale.

Old: Not the lists of homes for sale – they get snapped up awfully fast, according to a report from Re/Max Georgia.

In other words, the story isn’t changing much. And the imbalance between supply and demand seems to be growing worse.

The average time-on-market in May was 43 days before a sale, down from 48 days in May 2016.

The quickest turnarounds were in Gwinnett and Cobb, where a home was on the market just 36 days on average. Among the core counties, the slowest sales were in Clayton, which averaged 62 days, according to Re/Max.

The median sale price in metro Atlanta last month was $232,500 – a 5.4 percent increase from the same month of last year, according to Re/Max.

A separate report, released by the Atlanta Realtors Association, showed the median price of a metro Atlanta home up slightly less, but with a higher closing price. Prices rose 4.9 percent in May from the same month a year ago, said the Realtors.

The median price in May was $258,000, according to the Realtors report, which was calculated for the association by First Multiple Listing Service. https://www.fmls.com/MemberLogin/login.cfm

Gwinnett led the region in May sales, with 1,195, followed by Fulton at 1,087 according to Re/Max. Cobb was third with 1,027 sales, and DeKalb followed with 797.

There were 9,317 sales in metro Atlanta overall, up just 2 percent from last year, the report said.


But when it comes to diagnosing the market’s health, most experts focus on inventory – that is, the number of homes listed for sale. A healthy market has enough homes for sale to give buyers and sellers roughly equal footing in negotiations, but Atlanta has increasingly been a sellers’ market.


A balanced market has inventory equal to six or seven months worth of sales. Metro Atlanta has just 2.4 months of supply, down from 2.9 months a year ago, according to Re/Max.

Experts have struggled to explain the shortage in home listings.

“We believe the continual rise in prices along with very limited inventory in metro-Atlanta may be keeping some potential move-up home buyers from listing their current properties,” he said.


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