Georgia Housing Market Showing Steady Improvement at Midyear

The housing industry in Georgia is stronger through the first six months of 2013 than the year before as home prices are up, while days on markets and new listings have fallen.

According to the Georgia Realtors, median sales prices are 35% higher at the midway point of 2013 compared to a year ago. Additionally, the average sales price for a home is up 24% and sellers are receiving 4% more than the original listing price, the state professional association, which has approximately 26,000 licensed real estate brokers and salespersons, reported.

Other data released by the Georgia Association of Realtors is that pending sales are up 5% so far this year and new homes listed on the Multiple Listing Service are down 4%. Overall, prospective buyers have had fewer days to purchase homes, as days on market until sale has decreased 16% at the midway point of 2013 compared to the previous year.

The GAR housing indicators report is derived from data from Multiple Listing Services in Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, Macon and Augusta.

“Intown Atlanta real estate has really exploded over the past six months,” said Sheila Brower, 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.”

One distinction to note in the GAR indicators report is that the affordability index has declined by 25%. Robin Lance, president of the Georgia Realtors, said higher home prices coupled with rising interest rates is affecting affordability, but she remains optimistic that the state’s housing recovery will continue on a positive note in the coming months.

“However, compared with the height of the boom, home prices are still affordable and we still have historically low interest rates,” Lance added. “All in all, we are on a firm upswing in Georgia, and I expect that to continue for the remainder of the year.”