High housing demand in Hot Atlanta

Real estate is reviving in Atlanta, as high demand pushes prices, and builders see the light again.

The city was hard hit during the housing crash, with one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. It was slow to bottom out, but with the help of hungry investors, there are now fewer distressed homes and more regular homeowner demand.

"Sellers are selling for record highs, and buyers are getting fabulous interest rates, so they are snatching the homes off the market before the sign is popping up in the yard," said Adesola Badon, a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway–Perimeter.

A skyline view of Atlanta
Raymond Boyd | Getty Images
A skyline view of Atlanta

Inventory in Atlanta is up 3.8 percent from a year ago, but still at just a 3.8 month supply at the current sales place, according to the Atlanta Board of Realtors (ABR). A balanced market is a six month supply. Sales in April were up 8.6 percent from a year ago, and the median sale price of $229,000 was up 12.3 percent from 2014.

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"We have seen several consecutive months with positive year-over-year gains in median and average sales prices in metro Atlanta. 8 of the last 11 months have positive year-over-year gains in single family home sales as well," board President Ennis Antoine said in a release. "This strongly indicates that the selling season will continue to be very active. Labor and economic statistics continue to look positive, which will also largely impact the number of first-time home buyers and the ability of millennials to obtain the necessary financing to purchase a home."

Builders are also seeing opportunities, although they are still focused on the move-up buyer. Those buyers may be moving more quickly, trying to take advantage of still low mortgage rates.

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"We are seeing more residential builders taking full advantage of the market due to the lack of inventory," said Badon. "We are also seeing a lot of buyers scurrying to get into the game due to the impending threat of interest rates going back up."