Every week, we ask an Atlanta real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in Atlanta real estate.
This week we talk with Suzie Crowe, a nine-year veteran and top producer who has worked in Harry Norman, Realtors’ Cobb-Marietta Office for the last six years. An Accredited Relocation Specialist and Accredited Buyers Representative, Suzie has lived in Georgia for more than 50 years, and knows the Atlanta area and all of its surrounding counties.
Atlanta Agent (AA): We recently reported that foreclosure inventory is way down in the Atlanta area. Do you see much distressed inventory in your markets?
Suzie Crowe (SC): I do not; I am not showing any foreclosures anymore, and there are not many that I even come across in the market. People in the office even comment that they hardly see any.
So the market has definitely improved because of that, and I know that investor activity was a big part of it. Whenever I had buyers who were interested in foreclosures, we would have 10 investors in front of us. The majority of the time, it was always that way. And sadly, it would end up hurting our first-time homebuyers who were trying to get into that market, because they would always get beat out. Of course, the banks wanted to take the cash, because they wanted to avoid appraisals.
AA: Time on market in Atlanta is also down; why do you think activity has picked up?
SC: The only thing I can say is, we still have low interest rates, but also, the word is getting out for more people to list their homes because of how low our inventory is. I do think buyers are nervous that interest rates could jump, so they’re getting out and looking. Everybody feels good about the market right now.
Last year, it really took off around April and May. Everything I listed after that time I priced a bit higher, and people purchased at that price. This year, I have done that with several of my listings, but for a few, we did drop the price a little, and that created more activity. We’re still trying to get the sweet spot with pricing.
AA: Finally, Millennial homebuyers (those aged 33 and younger) receive quite a bit of attention from analysts; based on the Millennial clients you’ve worked with, what are some of their unique qualities, at least when compared with other consumers?
SC: I have worked with a good many Millennials this year, and I’m finding that they want newer homes, good schools (because many are starting to have children) and the convenience of walking to restaurants or nearby stores. So, they’re wanting a special niche.
They really are wanting new. All the young couples that I’ve worked with this year have wanted new. They are not interested in re-sales. Also, the builders were giving us really good incentives, though with the high demand for new construction, that’s changing. Builders are realizing they can charge what they want and get it.