ABCs of Atlanta HousingCs are Becoming the New Bs

Kids all over the metro area would be delighted if the Cs on their report cards suddenly became Bs. Maybe they need to talk to crafty homebuilders on how to do it! Friday morning’s first quarter Metrostudy briefing shed some interesting news on lots and locations. With the developed lot supply of desirable A and B lots diminishing rapidly, Atlanta home builders are finding ways to make C location lots the new Bs as they turn these less desirable locations into ‘the place’ to be. They accomplish this by building the right product and right amenities at the right price. Even South Atlanta is slowly recovering, getting stronger and seeing more closings.

Atlanta has more available lots than any city in the United States, but more than half are D, E or F lots that are located way out in the hinterlands. This has lead to a lot shortage in the most desirable areas of town. Presently 82 percent of all starts and 81 percent of all closings are in North Atlanta. The popular places to live are:

  • Forsyth
  • Gwinnett
  • Cobb
  • North Fulton
  • Cherokee

Annual job growth is up, and 2.3 million people are employed in the metro area. And, as unemployment decreases, consumer confidence increases which leads to better housing market. The population of the Atlanta 22 metro county area is now at 5.4 million people, and housing starts are not keeping up with this growth.

New home starts are up 60 percent annually. In fact, new home starts have moved ahead of closings for the first time in seven years. Many of these are pre-sales. Atlanta currently has about 8.7 months supply of total home inventory, but this is misleading because half are already sold through presales causing under supply of inventory in some areas. In other words, half of our home inventory in Atlanta is under construction. Annual building permits for 2013 look to be around 14,000.

Median home prices are up 30 percent (including foreclosures); however, keep in mind this is coming off all time low in 2012. Homes are still incredibly affordable especially with continued historic low interest rates.  In the resale market closings are up 6 percent and inventory is down 37 percent. Resale inventory is at a low of a 3.2 percent supply.

For more information on lots and housing starts in the metro area, contact Metrostudy. Eugene James, Atlanta Regional Director can be reached at 404-370-9001 ex.111.

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