According to a recent Metrostudy report, everything in the Atlanta real estate market is not all doom and gloom. In fact, the national housing data and consulting firm is reporting that segments of the market have shown signs of improvement during the first quarter of 2011.

Even though the Atlanta single-family detached and townhome market had a combined decrease of 31% in quarterly starts, it still managed to show an annual increase of 7%, thanks to a previously strong starts pace. However, quarterly closings were down by 34% and annual closings were down by 30%.

An interesting statistic from the report shows that closings have outpaced starts for the past four years, causing housing inventory to be depleted by 79%. Some sub-markets in the region have a months-supply as little as 4 months. (The normal months-supply of houses for Atlanta was about 9. Perhaps due to the reduced amount of available new homes, builders actually increased their prices over last year by 1%, the first price increase seen in years. This increase brought the median new home price up to $245,100.

According to Eugene James, the director of Metrostudy’s Atlanta Region, new jobs are the key to the recovery of the housing market. While the Georgia Department of Labor reports that net jobs in Atlanta decreased by 4,900 positions through March 2011, James stated that private sector jobs have actually increased by 3,400 positions. In fact economists continue to predict that the Atlanta MSA could see more than 30,000 new jobs by the end of the year.

So while there are certainly reasons to be wary about the Atlanta real estate market, there are also several bright spots for those who choose to see them.

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