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The Year In Atlanta Real Estate

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves

Now that Christmas (and 2009) is behind us, it's time to look at "the year that was" for Intown Atlanta real estate.   The vast Intown market requires we chunk this data down to more granular levels.  It's only there, in the market-by-market comparisons, that information like this is of value. 

But to keep things simple and to lay our foundation it makes sense to take a macro view of the entire market.  From there, we can break out individual neighborhood markets in subsequent posts.

What are we looking at? 

Today, we'll look at the how 2009 compared to 2008 for the overall Intown Atlanta marketplace - that's 34 zip codes. 

We'll cover the 3 key market indicators:

1. total sales volume comparisons

2. changes in average sales price

3. average days on market for homes sold this year vs. last.

How's The Market?

The primary indicator of the strength or weakness of a givien market can be found in "total sales volume" comparisons.  This key figure functions as a leading indicator of overall buying demand and gives a macro view of how the market is performing this year (2009) vs. last (2008). 

Real estate, for all it's complexities, boils down to very simply "supply and demand" ratios.  Fewer homes for sale with more buyers means higher prices and a strong market.  More homes for sale and fewer buyers means lower prices and a weak market.

Simple.

Interestingly, total sales volume is one of the most overlooked and under-reported numbers in our industry.

So how did the Intown Atlanta real estate market fair in 2009?  In 2008 we saw a total sales volume of $597,488,145.  In 2009 that number dropped a whopping 29% to $423,301,844.  That means the total value of all single family homes sold in the Intown Atlanta real estate market dropped nearly $175 million (one-third) when compared to the same figure a year ago.

How Much Did It Sell For?

The average sales price for the overall Intown Market (check out the 34 Intown Zip Codes) was down 8% for the year with an average sales price of $394,932 in 2008 vs. $365,108 in 2009.   

It's worth noting the disparity between the total loss in sales volume (29%) vs. this less worrisome drop in average sales price (8%).  What does that mean exactly?  To me it means that Sellers have been slow to reduce prices to keep demand strong.  

How Long Did It Take?

The Average Days on the Market was up just 1% in 2009 vs. 2008 going from 80 to 81.  Keep in mind, this number only accounts for those homes that successfully sold.  It doesn't account for the thousands of homes that sat and languished on the market for hundreds of days not selling.

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