Peggy Slappey Properties, Inc. (PSP) is a trusted real estate brokerage with 39 years in the metro Atlanta area. The brokerage has seen several ups and downs in the market over the years. Today’s market, however, looks a little different. Rising prices, low housing inventory, and huge demand could be leading to a generational shift in the area.
Real estate in the metro Atlanta area is hot. Homes are selling fast, often within just one day of hitting the market. It is now normal to be in a multiple offer situation with upwards of 20 or more offers. There are more buyers in the market than sellers, and new home inventory is continually playing catch up with demand. Agents are scheduling showings in 15-minute increments back-to-back for days on end. Homes are selling “As Is,” sometimes sight unseen by out-of-town buyers. Many are wondering if this pace is sustainable. Where is the market really headed?
Shortage of Homes for Sale
Part of understanding this market begins with understanding why there is a shortage of homes for sale. More jobs are moving to the area. From the entertainment industry to production and distribution centers, companies are creating thousands of new jobs, which draws new residents. It is often said that for every two new jobs, one new home is required. Unfortunately, since 2007 and the subsequent economic slow-down, nearly 75% of the builder industry has disappeared.
Fast forward to 2020. It was a pandemic year, but home sales never really slowed outside of the initial lockdown in March and early April. Classified as essential businesses in Georgia, home building and real estate sales continued and picked up pace as the year passed and more buyers looked to escape urban centers. Materials for new houses, however, were harder to find as businesses across the country that were shut down worked to catch up their inventory lists. Builders continue to see back orders for everything from lumber to appliances to windows and flooring. These shortages are contributing to higher prices.
Not only are there fewer home builders in the industry, but it now takes longer to build a home and costs more, as well. Add to that the difficulty many builders have in finding skilled labor, and it is a perfect storm for inventory shortage. It is estimated that Georgia is 400,000 housing units short of what is needed.
Will Prices Ever Come Back Down?
Increased material costs, labor shortages, and feverish buyer demand are all driving factors of today's rising home prices. Importantly, foreclosures remain low and continue to trend downward. This is, itself, a sign of a strong market.
Peggy Slappey, Owner and Broker of Peggy Slappey Properties, reminds us all that, “Georgia has been a much more affordable market than many, many states. We still are, even at these new rising prices.” She sees the current market as a transformational moment in our state, and she expects that prices will stabilize and slightly increase but will not decrease in the short term.
Georgia is experiencing a population shift, an influx of people moving in to take good paying jobs. These jobs are concentrated in areas like the I-85 corridor and the Savannah Port. Experts predict that the new starter home will soon be just under $300,000, which will cause families to rent for longer periods of time. That means that right now – today – is the best time to buy. Mortgage rates remain low, and prices are only going up.
What Does It All Mean for Active Buyers and Sellers in Metro Atlanta?
If you are a potential seller, it is a great time to list your home. Offers are coming in over asking price and buyers are actively working to make theirs the most attractive offer on the table. Your PSP Realtor can help you sort through those offers and narrow down the elements most important to you, whether it is an accelerated closing date or an all-cash closing. If you are thinking of selling, now is the time to pull all that equity out of your home! You might be surprised what your home is worth today. PSP Realtors have the market experience and training to help you at every turn.
If you are a buyer, it is more important than ever before to connect with a qualified, experienced agent who can help you navigate these new waters. At PSP, agents know that preparation is key. Buyers should spend time with a lender, closely examine their financial health, and clearly understand that time is of the essence. In this fast-paced market, there is often no time to “sleep on it.” Decisions must be made quickly because competition is fierce. PSP agents are expert negotiators who understand what sellers look for in a multiple offer situation; they will work to make your offer shine above the rest. Preparing your expectations and choosing a knowledgeable Realtor before you start your home search could be the keys that open the door to your new home.
Peggy Slappey Properties, Inc. is a Metro Atlanta real estate brokerage with 39 years of experience in real estate sales and marketing. From new home construction to resales, we can help you find the home of your dreams. To see our current listings, visit www.psponline.com and call us for expert advice at 770-271-5555. Keep up to date with the latest PSP events and offers by checking in on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/peggyslappeyproperties and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/psponline.