We are now well into the 3rd quarter of 2012; after the start of school and into that period of late summer / fall before the holiday season begins in November. While buyers will continue to look through the end of the year, the next 90 days is when most of those relocation buyers will purchase a home. It’s also when those local sellers take that offer so they can move on up to that larger home, or in many cases, downsize into the smaller space that offers less maintenance and lower costs.
Now is the time of year when sellers should put the full-court-press on to get their home under contract. That may mean a price adjustment or some staging changes inside the home. But home sellers are still being helped by positive news reports and lower inventory in our housing market here in North Atlanta.
A recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that median single-family home prices rose in 110 out of 147 MSA’s for the 2nd quarter of this year. In that report Metro Atlanta median prices for Q2-2012 rose 1.1% over Q2-2011.
Additionally, inventories of for-sale homes have dropped 24% nationally from a year ago, even thought housing starts rose 6.9% nationally. What has aided that drop in inventory has been fewer foreclosures from the banks and investors snatching up some of the most affordable housing stock we have seen in years.
Right now, at the time of this post, there are over 50 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes in Forsyth County that are listed under $100,000. With rents for a 3 bedroom hovering around $1000 to $1250 per month an investor can realize a sizable return annually.
Currently in North Fulton, there are 1265 active listings. Last year at this time there were approximately 1723 active listings. We are down almost 27% from August 2011. At this point in time in North Fulton and based on our absorption rate, we have less than 5.5 months of inventory.
As that inventory continues to decline we will technically be looking at a sellers market very soon. I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s technically correct. It’s not, however, seasonally adjusted. Inventories always decline in the fall and winter, rising again in the spring and summer. But make no mistake, if you’re buying in the next few months – expect the choices to become much more limited.