The spring real estate season, usually a busy time for buyers and sellers, is getting under way in Atlanta. It seems that 2014 should be a bit different from other years in terms of what’s available and the price sellers can expect to get for their homes. A number of real estate trends in the area suggest that the Atlanta market now favors sellers more than buyers, but that doesn’t mean buyers can’t still get a great price for a home or a great rate on a mortgage.
1. More new construction
This year is expected to be a big year for new housing in the Atlanta area, according to a report from Metrostudy. Last year, the area saw nearly 14,000 new homes built, and just over 12,000 of those new homes were closed on by buyers. The number of new homes built in 2013 in the Atlanta area was 67 percent higher than the number of new homes built in 2012. Reporting in Metrostudy predicts that new housing starts in 2014 will be about 25 percent higher than in 2013.
2. Rising home prices
The price of homes is expected to go up in the Atlanta area, and this has already happened in many cases. By February 2014, the average home price was up by slightly more than 14 percent, according to data by Zillow reported in the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The rise of prices in Atlanta mimics real estate trends across the country; according to the Business Chronicle, home prices nationwide have increased by 5.6 percent over the last year.
3. Low inventory
Inventory in the Atlanta area was up nearly 8 percent in February, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, but it was still comparatively low for a number of reasons. A decline in new home construction through 2012 has led to fewer houses on the market. Reduced home prices have also led to a drop in inventory because many sellers have waited to list their homes until the price rebounds. While low inventory won’t last forever, it should remain the case for spring.
4. Buyers want more amenities
Buyers are going to want more from the homes they buy in 2014. Convenience might be the keyword this season as people look for homes that offer easy access to stores and other amenities.
5. Interest rates will go up
Another important trend for spring 2014 is the anticipated rise in interest rates. Rates might go up to 5 percent by the end of the year for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. The predicted increase in rates by the year’s end could lead to more demand from buyers in the spring and early months of the year when rates are still hovering around 4 or 4.5 percent. Although interest rates are expected to increase, the jump shouldn’t be enough to deter people from getting a mortgage. Compared to past years, an interest rate of 5 percent is still a good deal.
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