Are you thinking about buying a home in Atlanta, Georgia in 2018? If so, you’ll want to bring yourself up to speed on current real estate market conditions. And that’s where we come in. Here are five things you need to know about buying a house in Atlanta in 2018.
1. House values are up nearly 10% over the last year.
During the 12-month period from July 2016 to July 2017, home values in Atlanta, Georgia rose by nearly 10%. That’s well above the national average for annual price appreciation. This is based on data reported by the real estate information company Zillow.
So the first thing you need to know about buying a home in Atlanta in 2018 is that you will encounter higher housing costs, compared to those who purchased a house over the last year or two.
As a buyer, you’ll want to enter the real estate market with a realistic sense of what you can afford, and how much house you can get for the money. The best way to do this is by looking at recent sales prices in the area where you want to buy. Fortunately, this information is available for free online. You can use property listing websites like Zillow or Realtor.com to find out how much homes are selling for in your target area.
2. Atlanta home prices are expected to continue rising into 2018.
In July, the analysts and economists at Zillow issued a housing market forecast for Atlanta, Georgia. They expect the median home value in the area to rise by another 5.3% over the next 12 months. This outlook was published in July 2017, which means it extends into the summer of 2018.
This is an important consideration for someone planning to buy a home in Atlanta in 2018. Given this realistic prediction for rising home values, one could make a strong case for buying a house sooner rather later.
The general consensus is that home prices in Atlanta will continue rising over the months ahead. If that happens, buyers who postpone their purchases until later in 2018 would encounter higher housing costs.
3. The local real estate market could outpace the nation.
Earlier this year, a panel of more than 100 economists offered their predictions for the nation’s housing market. On average, they predicted that home prices in the United States would rise by 4.8% in 2017, and by 3.65% in 2018.
So Atlanta’s 12-month forecast estimating a 5.3% increase in home prices puts it slightly above the national outlook.
Of course, these are just forecasts. So you should not bank on them. The point is that home prices in Atlanta are expected to continue rising through the end of 2017 and into 2018, and they could outpace the national average in terms of year-over-year appreciation.
4. The housing inventory situation still favors sellers over buyers.
According to housing experts and economists, a “balanced” real estate market has around 5 to 6 months worth of supply. In June, Atlanta was reported to have less than a 3-month supply of homes. That means the market still favors sellers over buyers, due to limited inventory.
If you’re planning to buy a home in Atlanta in 2018, you should be prepared to move quickly when the right house comes along. Making a strong offer in a timely fashion can make the difference between having that offer accepted, or having the house slip through your fingers.
This is where market research comes back into the picture. By having a sense of what the market is doing, you will be better able to make a realistic offer on a house. This will increase the chances that your offer gets accepted by the seller.
In a real estate market with limited supply, like Atlanta, it’s important to be as efficient as possible during your housing search.
5. Mortgage rates are expected to rise in 2018.
The outlook for the local housing market calls for rising home values in 2018. This is an important factor for those who plan to buy a home in Atlanta next year. But there’s another factor that could increase housing costs for many buyers, and that’s mortgage lending rates.
The latest forecast from a key industry group suggests that mortgage rates will creep upward through the end of 2017 and also throughout 2018.
In its July 2017 finance forecast, the Mortgage Bankers Association predicted that the average rate for a 30-year mortgage loan would climb to 4.5% by the fourth quarter of this year, and would rise above 5% by the end of 2018.
Again, these forecasts are the equivalent of an educated guess. So you probably shouldn’t use them for financial planning purposes. The takeaway here is that experts expect housing costs to rise over the months ahead. And that could have a measurable impact on those buying a home in Atlanta in 2018.