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Despite Strong Sales, Supply Struggles May Hamper Atlanta Housing in 2016

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Metro Atlanta’s housing market seems poised to build on 2015’s gains

atlanta-housing-market-january-2016-abr

The Metro Atlanta housing market began the year in an encouraging fashion, with sales and prices both in positive territory, according to the latest report from the Atlanta Board of Realtors (ABR).

With 2,694 sales for the month, January’s transactions were up 3.3 percent over where they were a year ago, while median sales price ($213,000) and average sales price ($275,000) were up 9.2 and 8.7 percent, respectively.

Although sales were down markedly from December – by 37.3 percent, according to ABR – yearly stats are a better metric on where the market is, considering that transactions routinely fall month-to-month at the start of the year.

Supply Issues Continue to Dog Atlanta

Despite ABR’s positive news for sales and prices, the association reported that Metro Atlanta continues to struggle with its housing supply.

At the end of the month, there were 13,242 active listings in Metro Atlanta, a 3.8 percent decline from Jan. 2015 and 4.3 percent decline from December that brought inventory to a 3.1-month supply. New listings were similarly down, dropping 6.8 percent from a year ago.

Lane McCormack, ABR’s 2016 president, spoke to the inventory issue in her comments in the association’s report.

“January was a signifier of the healthy home sales and prices that we are predicting in 2016,” McCormack said. “Inventory is still a concern and is continuing to be one of the major hindrances to the overall market.”

Home Sales at the County Level

As it has done in past months, ABR also broke down Metro Atlanta’s home sales to the county level, and reported that Gwinnett, with 537 sales, saw the most activity of the metro area’s 11 counties.

Below, we’ve broken down the four top-performing counties, based on ABR’s stats:

County Home Sales Percent Change from January Median Sales Price Average Sales Price
Gwinnett 687 27.93% $200,000.00 $233,000.00
Cobb 589 24% $224,000.00 $270,000.00
Fulton 552 11.52% $311,000.00 $385,000.00
DeKalb 470 22.4% $220,000.00 $285,000.00

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Comments

  • Gregg says:

    I was surprised the article does not include how the low supply is projected to impact home prices this year similarly to 2015.

    • Peter Thomas Ricci says:

      Gregg,

      thanks for your comment! You’re absolutely right that low inventory has aided sellers and fueled the price growth in many areas of Metro Atlanta. We’ll be sure to look into that in subsequent reports.

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