The Atlanta Business Chronicle recently had a feature section on local residential real estate. We thought we would share some of the interesting findings with you.
~~Now is a great time to buy! Prices are in bargain territory and interest rates are at record lows.
~~First-time buyers and investors are the majority of today’s purchasers.
~~A home that is presented well in a solid neighborhood and priced correctly will still sell in less than 90 days.
~~Tastefully updated, well-cared-for homes can be in high demand as the only alternative to subpar, bank-owned and distressed properties that come with a difficult, frustrating, and time consuming negotiating process.
~~Nancy Aroneck, an Associate Broker with 24 years in the industry, states that we are now out of the “buyers’ market” in homes of $250,000 and under, and well into a “sellers’ market” in that price range. She is also seeing the market pick up in the area of over $800,000.
~~Areas less impacted include Buckhead, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, South Forsyth and East Cobb.
~~The market is dragging in Gwinnett, South Fulton, and Stone Mountain.
~~The biggest glut is in the $400,000 to $750,000 price range. Sellers in that range are still having a difficult time selling their homes and many are still refusing to believe that their homes have lost as much value as they have actually lost.
~~Some of the homeowners that cannot sell are focusing on smaller remodeling projects to sustain the value of their homes. Those interviewed state that kitchen and bathroom updates, universal design (aging in place) and in-law suites are today’s smart investments in your home.
~~Those considering a remodeling project are cautioned against going with the lowest quote just to save money. Many have seen contractors quoting low prices out of desperation, and then cutting corners, which leaves the homeowner at risk or unhappy with the results.
~~Now is a great time to invest in real estate. Dan Forsman, president of Prudential Georgia Realty reports “investors are taking money out of the stock market and acquiring properties at prices substantially below historical values and then leasing them and enjoying a superior return on investment compared to stock market returns.” According to the NAR, investors accounted for 22% of purchase activity in August.
~~In an economy where down payment funds are scarce and lending is tight, houses for rent are hot. Many listings are rented in a couple of days, some before they even get on the market.
~~Rental rates for homes with three or more bedrooms were commanding an average of $1,637 per month in September.
~~2012 should bring some stability to the market, but it will take another two years before we see the end to the large number of foreclosures. The market is getting better—it is just taking very slow, small steps.
For more information, please see the entire section, dated October 28, of the Atlanta Business Chronicle.