January is the Cruelest Month For Home Sales in Atlanta

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Real estate in the Atlanta area started 2015 on a rough note, according to new ABR stats.

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Creative Commons 3.0: John Phelan, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_house_on_Highland_Drive,_Peachtree_Park,_Buckhead_GA.jpg

January was not a kind month to the Atlanta-area housing market, if the new analysis from the Atlanta Board of Realtors is any indication.

According to ABR’s January 2015 Market Brief, there were 2,395 home sales in the 11-county Atlanta area for the month, which is down 9.7 percent from Jan. 2014 and 37.1 percent from Dec. 2014. Although median and average sales prices were up 13.4 and 10.7 percent year-over-year, respectively, the median sales price of $203,000 was down 3.3 percent from December.

There was one bright spot in ABR’s report – housing inventory in Atlanta was up 13.6 percent year-over-year to 13,579 units, and new listings totaled 4,374, a whopping 54 percent increase from December.

Low Investor Activity Drives Down Atlanta Market

Ennis Antoine, the current president of ABR, said low investor activity was to blame for January’s low number of home sales – and that though sales were low, such a trend indicates good things for the market, going forward.

“Investors bought fewer homes in the month of January, which accounted for the decline in sales, but that meant traditional sales made up a larger proportion of the market,” Antoine said. “Traditional sales tend to come at higher prices. Low interest rates, rising sale prices, economic expansion and balanced inventory support my expectation that the market will continue its strong and steady growth. I believe the dynamic economic recovery we are seeing is going to have a major impact on the 2015 Atlanta housing market.”

See our infographic below for a better idea on how Atlanta’s January market compared with past markets: