“It’s definitely a seller’s market,” said Dac Carver, vice president and managing broker at Beacham and Co., Realtors.
Dan Parmer, president and CEO of Harry Norman, Realtors, said there is about four months of housing inventory on the market now in the Buckhead/Sandy Springs area, which is more favorable to sellers compared to six months of inventory a year ago, which indicated a more balanced market. He said sellers are now seeing multiple offers on their homes which can drive sales prices up.
Michael Rogers, president and CEO of Dorsey Alston, Realtors, said there has been a trend of lower inventory and an increase in sales transactions compared to last year in both Buckhead and Sandy Springs, which has resulted in an increase in sales prices.
“From this time last year to this time this year, our inventory [in Buckhead] has dropped almost 17 percent while our number of transactions has gone up 12 percent,” he said.
Jenny Pruitt, CEO and founder of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, said the average sales price in metro Atlanta was up 26 percent in November compared to the same time last year.
“This phenomena is due largely to fewer sales in the very low price range [like foreclosures],” she said.
Though it is a more favorable climate for sellers than in years past, Rogers said it is still a good time to be a buyer as interest rates are still at a historically low level and prices are not at the height they were six years ago.
However, Carver said buyers will have to watch the market more closely and move quicker to see homes. He advises buyers to register on real estate websites and sign up to receive new listing alerts.
Parmer said as more sellers list their homes, it will be an advantage to buyers.
“Those homes [whose owners were waiting for prices to come up] will come back on the market and will give our buyers more choices,” he said. “Also, new homes are coming on the market, which is also going to help give our buyers more choices as well.”
Carver said in September, metro Atlanta saw the first year-over-year increase in inventory in seven years.
“The challenge this year wasn’t that we couldn’t sell houses. It was that [real estate agents in the metro area] didn’t have enough houses to sell,” he said.
Carver said he thinks 2014 will be a more robust sales year than 2013.