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Mostly Sunny or Partly Cloudy? Forecast For Atlanta Housing Market

Perspective is key for contextualizing any forecast. After many years of strong appreciation, the local real estate market in north metro Atlanta is normalizing. The annual increase in home prices has begun slowing and the number of days on the market before selling is gradually increasing.

Price Point is a Factor

While lower price points under $300,000 are still seeing multiple offers and occasional bidding wars, the higher price points are seeing slower appreciation and longer days on the market, with sellers having to negotiate more to achieve a sale.

As our market moves to a more balanced market between buyers and sellers, annual appreciation is moving closer to historical appreciation of 4% per year, as opposed to appreciation in the 7-12% rate in recent years.

Having realistic expectations and understanding local market trends that can vary by county, and by neighborhood, is important to having success for both buyers and sellers in a changing market.

Interest Rates Remain Shockingly Low

With the largest price gains behind us, the time is optimal for a seller who wants to get their cash out of their home and pocket their equity. For a seller who is downsizing, getting top dollar for the “big house” makes good financial sense while interest rates are still at historical lows, between 4-5%.

Buyers are still in a great position to maximize what they get for their monthly housing dollar, due to low interest rates. Even though appreciation is slowing, it is better to buy while interest rates are low.

For example, a $200,000 loan at 4% interest is $955/month and the same $200,000 loan at 8% interest is $1468/month. For reference, interest rates have been at a high above 18% in the 1980’s to a low of 3.3% in 2012, which has a substantial impact on monthly housing costs.

Georgia has a Bright Future

While the market will adjust and become more balanced between buyers and sellers, Georgia is an excellent choice for real estate investment. Georgia is ranked the No. 1 place to do business in the country, due to our strong economy, skilled workforce, and pro-business climate. Georgia is also ranked No. 1 in the world as a movie-making location. Coupled with our relatively low cost of living, mild climate, natural resources, cultural and sporting events, and southern hospitality, we agree that Georgia is a great place to live!

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