ATLANTA — New numbers show January got an unexpected 8% increase in homes going under contract. Buyers were jumping on mortgage rates that dropped.
But, Channel 2′s Justin Farmer learned in the metro Atlanta area, home prices remain elevated principally because of one significant problem.
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“We need more houses, Justin,” real estate agent Erin Yabroudy said.
Harry Norman’s Erin Yabroudy has been selling houses in Atlanta for more than twenty years. She says while some parts of the country have seen the housing sector decline, in the metro area not so much.
“[Def] intently more buyers than sellers. Our biggest challenge is inventory. When I talk to other realtors, inventory is even tighter than it was last year,” real estate agent Maja Sly said.
Sly says she’s seeing the same thing in every desirable neighborhood all across various parts of the metro.
“We have to remember so many new people are moving out of state and relocating from New York and California. And, these prices are starter home prices to them,” Sly said.
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The transplants are driving up home prices and that combined with too few available homes means if you’re a buyer, you better be ready to compete if it’s a quality property.
“We’re seeing bidder wars again when sellers are more realistic on the lower side with their pricing,” Yabroudy said.
Yabroudy says one of her reasonably priced listings had 50 showings in a 3-day weekend.
The record demand is turning would-be buyers into renters and in the desirable parts of the city, rent continues to climb.
“Rent in Atlanta is at an all-time high. We’ve never seen rent rates like this. A one-bedroom is $2,800. It’s $4,000 for a two-bedroom in west midtown on Howell Mill,” Sly said.
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So what’s it going to take to get more houses here?
If people stop moving to Atlanta that would do it, but with a strong and diverse economy, that’s not going to happen.
It’s going to take more home construction.
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