Housing: Atlanta Continues to Rise from 2012 Price Bottom

Atlanta, Georgia was one of the last metropolitan housing markets to hit bottom after the housing crash. Home prices in Atalanta peaked during the summer of 2007, began to fall shortly after that, and finally hit bottom in spring of 2012.

There were some ‘double dips’ along the way, keeping homeowners on an emotional (and equity) roller coaster. But prices eventually found a floor.

According to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Atlanta’s housing market hit a firm bottom in March 2012. And they’ve risen considerably since then. The latest index, published on March 26, showed a price gain of 13.4% from January 2012 to January 2013.

According to the real estate website Zillow, the median sales price in the Atlanta real estate market has risen by nearly 24% over the last year or so.

Realtor.com shows a 17% rise in list prices over the last year. In March 2013, the median list price for this metro area was $187,500, a gain of 3.59% over the previous month and 17.26% from March 2012.

Housing inventory has declined across the Atlanta area. According to Realtor.com, the total number of listings dropped by 17% over the last year. This is putting upward pressure on home prices. Currently, it seems the year-over-year price gains are more a result of shrinking supply than rising demand.

Another ray of light: homes appear to be selling faster in this metro area. In March, the median inventory age was 56 days, according to Realtor.com. That was 3.45% lower than the previous month, and 13.84% lower than the same time last year.

Atlanta’s housing market still has a long way to go. Home prices are still far below their 2007 peak. And prices in Atlanta were never really overinflated to begin with — at least, not like the speculation-driven markets of California, Florida and Arizona. So there’s still room for improvement, where property values are concerned.

Homes sales are lagging as well. According to the Atlanta Board of Realtors, 2,459 homes were sold in January 2013, across the metro area. That marked a 10% decrease in sales from the same time last year. But the ABR also reported significant gains in sales prices, as did the other sources listed above. According to their data, the median sales price rose by a whopping 42.9% from January 2012 to January 2013.

Local realtor Deborah Gilmore recently told Marketplace.org: “We do have a heartbeat now. We had flat line for quite a while, but we are beating. That’s good news.”