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Georgia Housing Market Showing Steady Improvement at Midyear

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ATLANTA, July 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Georgia REALTORS® (GAR) released its monthly housing indicators report today, and improvement in the housing market is apparent throughout the state. Compared to the first half of 2012, the following numbers indicate a steady recovery for Georgia's housing market in 2013:

  • Median Sales Price is up 35 percent
  • Average Sales Price is up 24 percent
  • Percent of Original Price Received is up four percent
  • Pending Sales are up five percent
  • Days on Market Until Sale is down 16 percent
  • New Listings are down four percent
  • Affordability Index is down 25 percent

The GAR housing indicators report is derived from data from Multiple Listing Services in Atlanta (Georgia MLS and First Multiple Listing Service), Columbus, Savannah, Macon, and Augusta. While 100 percent of all activity in the state is not accounted for, the indicators do give an accurate representative sample of the housing market activity and trends throughout the state. However, activity does vary across the state.

"Intown Atlanta real estate has really exploded over the past six months," says Sheila Brower of Harry Norman, REALTORS®, who serves as one of four Vice Presidents for the Georgia REALTORS®. "Homes are going under contract the day that they are listed, and sometimes even before they are listed. Also, it is not uncommon to receive multiple offers on a property."

The Columbus market is seeing a slower, albeit steady, growth. "Our inventory is down 25 percent from the previous two year's supply," says Barbara Kennon of Coldwell Banker Kennon, Duncan, Parker and Key in Columbus. "We have gone from a twelve month supply to a nine month supply. A year ago the sales of luxury homes were virtually at a halt; however they are definitely moving now," she says.

The Savannah housing market reflects a mix of what is happening in both Atlanta and Columbus. "Homes and condos are flying off the market and seeing sizable price increases in the downtown historic areas and on Tybee Island," says Robin Lance of Robin Lance Realty in Savannah. Lance is also the 2013 President of the Georgia REALTORS®. She adds, "The south side of Savannah has plentiful inventory. We have actually been seeing more transactions year over year, but not necessarily higher prices, and certainly not the 30 percent increases other areas of the state are seeing."

One distinction to note in the GAR indicators report is that the Affordability Index has declined. Lance explains, "Higher prices coupled with rising interest rates do have a negative effect on affordability. However, compared with the height of the boom, home prices are still affordable and we still have historically low interest rates." She adds, "All in all, we are on a firm upswing in Georgia, and I expect that to continue for the remainder of the year."

The Georgia REALTORS® (also known as Georgia Association of REALTORS®) is a voluntary professional association of approximately 26,000 licensed real estate brokers and salespersons engaged in all aspects of the real estate business throughout Georgia. GAR is the leading advocate for the real estate industry in Georgia, committed to protecting private property rights and free enterprise, maintaining ethical and professional standards, and enhancing the public's awareness and confidence in REALTORS®.

CONTACT: Brandie Miner Director of Communications & Marketing Georgia REALTORS bminer@garealtor.com 678-597-4111

Source: Georgia REALTORS