Residential Housing Off to a Slow Start in Fourth Quarter

Following a strong summer, the final quarter of 2016 has been weaker than the previous months for the Atlanta residential real estate industry. Fortunately, 2017 is looking mighty bright. The Cal-Culator, which rose 0.2 last month is staying stagnant at 7.7 as Atlanta saw decreases in home prices, sales and inventory. However, many positive predictions about 2017 is bringing optimism and confidence to buyers and sellers.

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The median price for homes sold in Atlanta was $219,000 in September, 4 percent lower than in August and 7 percent higher than September 2015, according to RE/MAX of Georgia Inc. as reported by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. September’s months supply of inventory rose 16 percent from August, but is down 8 percent from 2015.

Atlanta Realtors Association reported there were 4,383 home sales in the 11-county area, a 1.9 percent yearly decline and a 20 percent monthly decline. Atlanta area housing inventory totaled 16,222 units in September, a decrease of 1.8 percent from September 2015.

Though new listings increased 11 percent from September 2015 and up 3 percent from the previous month, the supply for sales over a 12-month period remained at 3.5 months. According to 2016 Atlanta Realtors President Lane McCormack, “Inventory remains near an all-time low.”

Although the fourth quarter of 2016 has thus far been mild for the residential housing industry, multiple predictions anticipate an upswing come January due in part to positive news regarding purchase mortgage originations and first-time homebuyers.

Mortgage Bankers Association predicted $1.1 trillion in purchase mortgage originations in 2017 thanks to overall economic growth, job and wage growth, and low rates.

In National Mortgage Professional’s “If Today’s Housing Activity is Dull, Wait Until 2017,” the publication expects millennials to ramp up homeownership, based on a new Realtor.com survey. The survey revealed 52 percent of millennial, first-time home shoppers believe they will be in a new home next year, up from 33 percent last year.

“This represents an ‘Oh, shift’ moment in housing,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Realtor.com. “With so many first-time buyers in the market, competition will be even fiercer next year for affordable starter homes in the suburbs. Those looking to buy may want to consider a winter home purchase in order to avoid bidding wars and higher prices spurred by a potential increase in Millennial buyers.”

The last Cal-Culator of 2016 will be released on December 2017, and will reflect on an uplifting year and look forward to an exciting year ahead.

 

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