The Cherokee County and metro Atlanta real estate markets ended the year strong. New construction starts have continued to increase throughout the area. It is still a seller’s market, especially in the Towne Lake and Cherokee County real estate markets. This is not just the opinion of an experienced Realtor who lives where she sells, it’s in the statistics.
A market that is considered balanced—neither a seller nor a buyer’s market—contains a six month supply of listings. In the 2015 fourth quarter, only 2.7 months’ supply of listings existed, which is less than half that of a balanced market. This seriously skews the Cherokee County real estate market to be a seller’s market. Further evidence from last quarter’s sales shows that homes were on the market for an average of 50 days, which was a decrease of a whopping 24 percent.
What this means for home buyers is they need to be ready to make a decision quickly when they embark on the home search process. Homes in the Cherokee County real estate market go under contract quickly, so buyers can’t wait too long to make an offer. Going in with a strong initial offer is also something we frequently advise our home-buying clients to do in the current market.
Fortunately, the median sales price for the Towne Lake real estate market is currently $197,045. Distressed sales and foreclosures are now only 6.3 percent of the Cherokee County real estate market. Mortgage interest rates remain around 4 percent or slightly less, depending on the day.
Rates have remained near this level for some time but, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Some have predicted a half to a full percentage point increase by the end of 2016. For anyone with a goal of changing from a renter to a homeowner in 2016 would do well to keep an eye on these rates. A full percentage point increase could reduce your home-buying power by several thousand dollars.
As everyone turns their focus to the new year, a handful of publications posted their predictions for the hottest real estate markets for 2016. I’m happy to say the metro Atlanta real estate market made two of these lists, placing No. 5 on the Fortune list of the top 10 markets to watch in 2016. DailyFinance.com posted an article in December, sharing the 10 red hot housing markets to keep watching. Atlanta again came in No. 5.
The National Association of Realtors’ site, Realtor.com, has given the Atlanta real estate market high marks for 2016, predicting a 7.4 percent increase in existing-home sales and a significant 9.55 percent increase in median sales price.
One important thing to note is 2017 is predicted to be the year with the worst housing shortage ever, due to the delay in building starts after the down turn. It takes a long time for fewer housing starts to finally result in a shortage, but next year is predicted to be that year. What this means for Cherokee County home buyers (and home buyers everywhere) is 2016 would be a better time for you to find that new dream home. Not only will it be easier to locate, but at a lower price and financed at a lower mortgage rate than you will likely find next year.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s find a new place for you to call home. Contact Ursula & Associates today!
Ursula & Associates is a residential real estate team specializing in Towne Lake/ Woodstock, Cherokee and East Cobb Counties and are the number 1 home sellers in zip code 30189.
Keller Williams Realty Partners – Reach our broker: 678-494-0644