• Atlanta housing market making a dramatic turnaround

    By: Jim Strickland


    HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - A new report on metro Atlanta's housing market shows such a dramatic turn around, with some counties seeing second-quarter construction double the same period in 2012.

    Cherokee County is one of them.

    Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland met Cherokee County home buyer Jennifer Gandia as she was taking pictures of the home she just purchases. She told Strickland she paid the asking price.

    "I just felt these homes were moving very quickly. I didn't want to miss out on a great opportunity," she said.

    Traton Homes vice president Josh Hilscher said they have more than 100 homes under construction across the metro. Only four are finished and unsold.

    "They don't get to the point where they finish and sit anymore. They're gone," Hilscher said. "The number of available houses out there is really low, so the supply has not met the demand."

    Builders are back booming, trying to increase the market's housing stock. Metrostudy housing economist Eugene James crunched the numbers.

    "The second-quarter of '13 starts are up 77 percent from a year ago. That's a big number," James said.

    The real estate firm Zillow said metro prices are up 17 percent in a year.

    "Most agents tell me that there's actually a little bidding war going on for every listing here in the Atlanta market," James said.

    Higher prices mean all homeowners are regaining some equity lost in the bust. Buyers who low-ball offers could lose out.

    "When you find a house that you want, you need to act on it quick. Make a fair offer on it so there's not a lot of back and forth, when somebody else can swoop in and get your house," Hilscher advised.

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