Tight supply stifles metro Atlanta housing sales

Mortgage

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 Remax 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 Remax.

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.

Gwinnett led the region in May sales, with 1,195, followed by Fulton at 1,087 according to Remax. 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 Remax.

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 homebuyers from listing their current properties,” he said.


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