Robust Market: Intown real estate agents forecast home sales for 2018

When it comes to emerging trends in Intown’s real estate market, robust is the buzzword for 2018.

Industry professionals point out that buyers – seeking easy access to work, shops, restaurants and recreation – will find just that in Intown’s hot neighborhoods.

“The Summerhill community is set to explode with activity as more parts of the redevelopment plan start to take shape with the new [Georgia State University] stadium,” said Christopher Burell, managing broker and chief motivation officer, Ansley Atlanta Real Estate. “Continued infill occurring around Decatur and the potential completion of annexation of Emory could have major impacts on neighborhoods like East Lake, East Atlanta, Woodland Hills and Lenox Park.”

Other booming areas include the Atlanta BeltLine area, Reynoldstown, Cabbagetown, parts of south Grant Park and Westside, Burell said.

Chris Burell

What will prove more challenging to buyers who’ll have new home construction, high-rise condominiums and renovation projects to choose from, however, is finding a surplus of inventory or low prices, thanks to a housing shortage that reared its head in 2017.

“I believe that you will see more discussions in 2018 about the challenge of affordable housing options as prices continue to rise along with building costs,” added Burell,
Burell shared data from a First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS) statistical report from November 2017 that shows a drop of roughly 16 percent year-over-year in single-family detached residential inventory and an inventory drop of nine percent year-over-year in attached single-family residential.

The FMLS report, according to Burell, “also pointed to a four-percent increase year-over-year in the number of closings for detached single family and an increase of three percent year-over-year for attached single family. Published reports also have shed light on concerns over a shortage of single-family homes nationwide.

“This means that while demand may continue to be high, the supply is less for buyers to choose from, and, as we all know, when the demand is high, but supply is low it continues to drive prices up.”

Mark Camp

Mark Camp, associate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Georgia Properties, also notes an increase in price in Intown’s housing market. “Prices are up just over five percent from 2016 to 2017, according to TrendGraphix,” said Camp. “The lack of homes for sale has caused bidding wars in some cases, along with some homes selling for over asking price.” He added that “homes that are priced right and in ‘show-ready’ condition are selling the first week, if not the first day the home goes on the market.”

In such a competitive market as this, developers and homeowner associations are making sure to enhance the amenities from which buyers will have to choose.

“Outside spaces continue to lead the way as a sought-after amenity for which consumers are willing to pay top dollar,” said Burell. “These range from larger patios and terraces in condos to whole rooftop oases for townhomes and single-family residences. Concierge-type services, including a front desk concierge, access to pet walkers and housekeeping services are big on the list as well.”

Buyers are also after spa-like amenities, he adds, to include saltwater pools, well-equipped gyms and steam/sauna facilities. Updated common areas and security are also large selling points. Some of the high-end condo and townhome sales even have such amenities as guest suites and cigar rooms.

Amy Faulkner

In one particular booming area, Old Fourth Ward, properties spend “minimal days on the market,” according to Amy Faulkner, managing broker, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Intown Office. That’s largely due to its location, charm and amenities – such as the style options available.

“The neighborhood has everything from beautifully restored bungalows with a modern mix of both old and new to contemporary newly constructed homes,” said Faulkner.
She added, “rooftop features with views of the city are especially chic and sought-after in the townhomes in this area.

“With all of the new development in the area, Old Fourth Ward is sure to be one of the hottest places to live in 2018.”

For other must-have amenities, Camp points to updated kitchens with stainless steel appliances, granite or quartz countertops and gas cooking, along with a master suite with hardwood floors, large closets and a spa-like bath.

It all adds up to a market in many ways resembling that of 2017, particularly considering an interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve in December 2017, and around three other Fed increases expected for 2018. That’s according to Scott Askew, owner, Engel & Volkers Intown Atlanta and Engel & Volkers Brookhaven.

Scott Askew

“As long as the economy is thriving, we’re going to be fine,” said Askew. With the shortage of inventory being a reality, he added, “buyers just have to buckle up. If you see what you want, buy it. A heated market, a higher demand and lower supply causes prices to go up.”

Before starting your search, be sure to “get approved by a lender,” Askew advised, “because when you go out looking, if you see something you want, you’ve got to jump. If you hesitate, you lose.”

Still, it’s an exciting time in real estate for Intown and the mero area. “I see 2018 being a robust year for housing,” said Burell, “especially in our Intown neighborhoods. It truly is a historic time to be living in a city of such synergy and economic development.”

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