Home inventory in Atlanta is getting depleted quickly. Based on recently released statistics, some people might come to the conclusion that the Atlanta real estate market is running out of homes for sale. On the surface this appears true.
The number of resale homes, townhomes and condominiums for sale based on the First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS) database shows that at present there is only a three-month supply of homes available. This is the lowest amount of inventory on record. Historically, Atlanta has had a six to seven month supply of homes, and that is what is considered “normal.” Home inventory surged to almost 14 months during the peak of the real estate bust in mid 2008. The current number indicates that Atlanta is in a seller’s market for properly priced, good condition homes in desirable locations.
This decrease in supply led to a rise in overall resale prices (including foreclosures) of 6.5 percent during 2012. Local Realtors also report multiple offers and the occasional bidding war on the best-priced and most desirable homes.
Completed unsold new construction by homebuilders has also decreased, and at the end of 2012 had reached what market observers consider a historical equilibrium of 3.6 months supply. This number is expected to drop further. This is versus an almost one year supply of vacant new homes available in 2007.
All of these statistics are encouraging for the overall housing market in Atlanta. While short and possibly midterm inventory availability is definitely tightening, with the resultant price rise, we will more than likely see a continued stream of homes coming to the market. Homeowners that had previously been unable to sell their homes due to owing more on them than their current value, or being “underwater,” will start putting their homes on the market. In addition, homebuilders will continue to ramp up production as demand increases.