Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in real estate.
This week, we talked with Rhonda Duffy, the broker/owner of Duffy Realty of Atlanta. The documented No. 1 agent in Georgia for 11 years in a row (according to the MLS and FMLS), Rhonda has been licensed in real estate for 20-plus years, and has been a broker in seven stages. An honored member and invitee of the Georgia Real Estate Commissioner’s Task Force, Rhonda is also an advisor to the Canadian Task Force for The Competition Bureau and the Canadian Real Estate Association
Noted Speaker for many organizations.
Atlanta Agent (AA): How will higher interest rates impact Atlanta’s housing market?
Rhonda Duffy (RD): Unfortunately for buyers it will create another buying frenzy as buyers grasp to not be pushed out of their price range with higher payments. This will ultimately create another intense seller’s market which is both exciting and confusing for sellers. Because we have already had such low inventory hovering around 35,000 listings compared to 2007 where we had well over 100,000 listings, buyers have already struggled to find their dream home. And when they do find their dream home, it is often the dream of another buyer as well which creates a multiple offer situation. Great for the seller, frustrating for the buyer.
AA: Are your clients concerned about rates increasing?
RD: Some of my clients have already been pushed out home buying with the higher interest rates because it pushed them out of their ideal price range. So yes, my clients, like all buyers are sensitive to the interest rate for purchase.
And we cannot forget about the sellers’ psychology – it’s more difficult to get a higher price for your home when interest rates start to rise. In America, people are conscience of payment amount. Even a quarter of a percent will make a difference. So when people research what homes are available, and they cannot find what they want in their shrinking price range, they end up settling and staying where they are at.
AA: Finally, what other trends are on your radar for the 2016 market?
RD: I believe we’re going into a recession in 2016 or 2017. Election year, China, oil fracking, baby boomers retiring and the fact that we came out of the last recession too quickly make a dangerous mix. However, just like everyone else, I would love to skip all of that. Recessions in real estate are no fun. Although we do well with short sales, they are not fun. Let’s all hope for the best because it is far more fun for everyone to be able to make the American dream happen for their family.