New condo and townhome communities continue to spread across the metro Atlanta landscape, and homebuyers can’t seem to get enough. Quite a few new projects are coming available. Still, there’s room for more.
“Condo and townhome inventory continues to be at an all-time low in all Atlanta submarkets. One indicator of market conditions is the statistic that tracks months of inventory,” said Anne Schwall, Vice President of Developer Services at Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty. “In Buckhead, months of inventory has hovered at three months or less since January 2017.” She explained that a market is considered favorable for sellers when there’s four months of inventory or less.
Schwall reported that, in the first quarter of 2018, 351 condos/townhomes were sold in Buckhead, and 325 condos/townhomes sold in Midtown. “Shortage in inventory is especially apparent in Midtown condo sales where many condos coming to market are seeing multiple offers, resulting in condos selling for higher than list price,” she said.
Buyers have gravitated to townhome communities because they allow a maintenance-free lifestyle they can’t experience in single-family homes in desirable walkable neighborhoods.
Despite the low supply, existing condos in 2017 sold at a faster rate than in 2016 and at higher prices, according Christa Huffstickler, president and CEO, Engel & Völkers Atlanta.
“Buyers are increasingly demanding homes in the city’s core, allowing amenity-rich, centrally located developments to thrive under current conditions,” Huffstickler said. “New construction Intown condo projects like 40 West 12th, The Sutton and No.2 Opus Place are expected to come online in the next few years, so it will be interesting to observe their effects on the market.”
Huffstickler noted that buyers want high-end design features – chef’s kitchens, expansive master suites, terraces or patios – but what’s just outside the home is also a major factor. “Location isn’t just about a shorter commute, it’s about the lifestyle, and Intown offers a rich suite of amenities just outside your front door in your choice of several vibrant neighborhoods. Buying an Intown condo gives you that coveted walkable, culturally-connected lifestyle…and it’s low maintenance, so it’s a win-win for today’s city dwellers.”
David Tufts, president/principal, Ansley Developer Services, predicted that with the three-month supply of new inventory in most Intown markets, “the projects that are being planned are likely not going to move the needle on inventory shortages.”
He pointed to a long list of new developments that have buyers excited. Buckhead Park North, luxury townhomes on Peachtree Street, start at $1 million. The 17 homes have classically elegant, elevator-ready interiors, and rooftop terraces that offer breathtaking city views.
Also in Buckhead, Broadview Place is a new community in the Lindbergh neighborhood that features 33 sophisticated 3-story townhomes ranging from the $300s to $400s. Residents enjoy Intown living and walkability along with a modern open floor plan and small, semi-private yard. With pre-construction pricing that starts in the $900s, Belvedere on Peachtree’s 20 townhomes, with 3 or 3.5 bedrooms, boast a Peachtree Street location and finishes like hardwood floors and top-of-the-line appliances.
The townhomes at 3700 Peachtree in Brookhaven give homebuyers open layouts, high ceilings and elegant finishes. Available homes offer 3- to 3.5 bedroom and range in price from the high $700s to low $800s. The Swift sits in the heart of the Grant Park community, near a future branch of the southeast BeltLine. Pricing starts from the $390s for the townhomes with urban styling and modern amenities that include a community garden and social lawn.
“Townhomes and condos offer a happy medium between a single-family home and an apartment,” said Huffstickler. “It’s an investment opportunity. There are a variety of space and floorplan options and many condo buildings are offering amenities you’d normally find at a luxury hotel.”
In Midtown, it’s all about condos and who offers the best lifestyle, the best amenities and the homes with the best views and design touches, Huffstickler said. “Buyers want to live in mixed-use settings, whether in the context of a master-planned community like Atlantic Station or on Peachtree Street with walkable access to shops, dining, entertainment and daily errands.”
She reports that there’s been a lot of early interest for 40 West 12th, which will be part of Selig Development’s new Midtown project with an Autograph Collection hotel, retail and office spaces. Sales for the 73 luxury condos will start this summer. The condos start in the $500s and top out at $1.3 million, targeting the underserved “move-up” market, according to Huffstickler. Features are uniquely tailored to the Midtown lifestyle and include a one-acre sky garden, onsite bike facility, residential concierge and access to all hotel amenities.
“Many people are looking for an easier lifestyle but still want the feel and space of a single-family home,” said Tacha Costner, Intown Real Estate Expert at Ansley Atlanta Real-Estate & Ansley Developer Services, The Residences at Studioplex. “There’s a big demand from empty nesters moving into town who are looking for a lifestyle change, but still need space for all their prized possessions.”
The Residences at Studioplex is a new Thrive Homes development that sits directly on the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. Nineteen luxury townhomes, starting at the pre-construction price of $1.2 million, will be built above SPX Alley, space that will house specialized shops and exceptional restaurants. Residents can choose from 4- or 4.5-bedroom layouts with features that include floor-to-ceiling windows, custom kitchens, indoor fireplaces and handcrafted millwork.
“This is Atlanta’s ocean front property,” Costner said of the BeltLine location, and reported that the demand has been incredible. Phase One is sold out, but pre-completion prices are still available for the next phase.
“Prime location has always been a key factor in the success of real estate and that is why projects such as the Residences at StudioPlex are able to break the price barrier for Old Fourth Ward achieving a price tag over a million dollars,” Schwall said.
“Other projects such as the new condo project in Buckhead, The Sutton, provides an ideal location within walking distance to the Shops at Buckhead Atlanta and allows buyers breathtaking views of downtown.” She added that what sets the high-rise condos in Buckhead Village apart from other typical Buckhead projects is the attainable price point of homes starting in the mid $500s. “The Sutton opened for sales in late February and buyers have flocked to take advantage of this amenity-rich building in the heart of Buckhead at these great attainable price points,” Schwall said.
The Charles Buckhead, another new condo project in Buckhead, is now 60 percent sold, she reported. “The Charles allows buyers an opportunity to have a spacious well-appointed home right in the heart of Buckhead Village,” Schwall said. “Buyers enjoy large outdoor terraces with room for fireplaces and outdoor kitchens. Homes have designer Gaggenau appliances, custom Pedini cabinetry and Franke fixtures.”
Dowling at the Park, on 14th Street in Midtown, allows residents to enjoy the Ansley Park lifestyle just steps from Piedmont Park and Colony Square. Eight luxury flats, ranging from $1.6 to $2 million, are expected to be move-in ready next spring. There are many highlights, which include 10-foot ceilings with abundant natural light, outdoor living rooms with fireplaces and controlled access entry.
According to Abby King, Associate Broker, Ansley Atlanta, the homes provide lock-and-leave living at its best. “The Dowling offers all the finishes of a high-end home, and the low maintenance lifestyle appeals to a large range of buyers who want to create equity but don’t want the burden of maintaining a large home or yard.”
King said that there has been phenomenal interest, and one of the penthouses is already under contract. “We see this as a bellwether to the success of the community,” she said. “This is a unique offering in that it’s a boutique property with all of the high end finishes that one would expect in a $3 million single-family home. During this early phase, home customization is possible.”
Tufts noted a couple more projects that are drawing great interest, like the 24 modern townhomes of Ironside East Atlanta, with pre-construction prices from the high $400s. Located at Flat Shoals and Glenwood, the townhomes offer private patios and balconies, custom lighting, concrete countertops and unique tile.
Eighty percent of the condos at 764 Memorial in Cabbagetown are already sold. The 24 1- and 2-bedroom condos, starting in the high $200s, feature 10-foot ceilings, sealed concrete floors and quartz countertops. The controlled-access building has street-level retail and a rooftop deck with a fireplace.
Other popular choices for Intown homebuyers include: MODA Lavista, with 36 Intown homes available in 3-, 4- and 5-bedrooms, starting in the $500s and delivering this fall; MODA Decatur, offering 3- and 4-bedroom townhomes that start in the $700s located 10 minutes from Decatur Square; and MODA Reynoldstown, 1- and 2-bedroom condos a short walk from Inman Park, starting in the $200s.
“The Atlantic is also doing well, with over 100 homes sold last year after a conversion from apartments to condos,” Huffstickler said. “People love being part of a walkable neighborhood with Target, Publix and a movie theatre while having easy access to Midtown’s main business district through a free shuttle.”
The 2- and 3-bedroom homes in the art deco tower are priced from the $500s to $1,400,000, and offer all-new floorplans, stunning skyline views and white glove amenities.
Huffstickler reported that townhomes are the hot product in Atlanta’s traditionally upscale submarkets further north. “Brookhaven Wilshire offers ultra-stylish townhomes by Harrison Design, so you get that luxury home feel inside and can walk to Town Brookhaven and other area hotspots right nearby,” she said. The townhomes are priced in the $800s, and offer covered terraces and a private, gated entrance.
“They’re large – four stories and over 3,700 square feet – and offer a lock-and-go lifestyle without sacrificing the space of a single-family home. It’s perfect for a submarket like Brookhaven that balances the best of both the city and the suburbs.”
All this development goes back to the real estate market’s downturn, Schwall explained. Developers took advantage of lower land prices and began buying up smaller in-fill lots in neighborhoods that were being primed for new mixed-use developments such as Ponce City Market.
“Over the last several years, these lots have been developed into new townhome communities that give buyers the ability to live in new homes with upgrades, finishes and features in the most desirable and trendy neighborhoods,” Schwall said.
That looks like exactly what Intown homebuyers want.