By Mary McPherson, Managing Broker of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Alpharetta
The year 2012 ended on a positive note for folks who were buying or selling their home in Alpharetta. After a few challenging years, the real estate market is starting to rebound, and properties are selling and prices rising. If this continues, it’s reasonable to be optimistic that the real estate market here is returning to what was ‘normal’.
Prices jumped at the end of last year, after being depressed for quite some time. In December, the median and the average sales price for homes rose 21% and 23% respectively over December 2011.
One of the reasons we’re seeing prices increase is because the number of homes for sale in Alpharetta is low. Right now, there is less than a 6-month supply of homes for sale, which means that if we continue to sell at the current rate, they will all be sold within six months. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand – when there are more homes on the market, prices fall. When there are fewer, prices rise.
The amount of time that homes are sitting on the market is another positive sign. In December of 2012, the average time on the market was 76 days, which was a significant decrease from December 2011, when it was 115 days. We are seeing houses sell quickly if they’re priced properly and in good condition. In fact, we’re beginning to see multiple offers on good quality homes for the first time in a few years, and that’s driving prices up as well. The people who are looking to buy a home are doing so for a variety of reasons. First-time buyers are starting to move out of rental properties and purchasing a home. We’re also seeing people who want to downsize leave their large homes for something smaller and more comfortable. And as the economy improves, we are beginning to see more buyers coming into our market who are being transferred here by their employers.
Although we do not have a crystal ball to predict the future, if consumer confidence continues to rise, interest rates to remain low, and the unemployment rate continues to drop, we should continue to see a trend upward in both home buying and selling.