Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Atlanta Real Estate Sales- 4th Quarter 2010 Market Statistics

Single family home sales in Atlanta were down in 2010 7.9% below 2009.  Early gains in sales in 2010 fell off mid-year after the government homebuyer incentives expired.  4th Quarter 2010 sales fell -19.9% compared to the 4th Quarter of the previous year following increases in the first two quarters of 2010. These early year increases show that the government incentives artifically boosted sales and that the upwards sales trend failed to sustain once those incentives expired.  The chart at left shows the months of supply by pricing category.  The total months of supply is 11.1.  This means that if no new listings were to come on the market, it would take 11.1 months to sell all of the homes currently on the market given the current demand.

Foreclosure sales as a percent of total sales declined slightly in 4th Quarter 2010 and represented approximately 19.5% of the market, but when you include short sales to the category of "distressed sales" they represented 39.9% of total sales in the 4th quarter and 36.3% of total sales for the year.  This means that sellers who are not in a distressed situation still have to compete with short sales and foreclosures in order to be successful in this market. As the number of distressed  sales increased, the median price of non-foreclosure properties decreased.

A bright spot in the market is that two price categories had sharp increases in the 4th quarter of 2010.  Sales of homes priced at $750,000-999,000 increased by a whopping 35%  and sales of homes priced from $1 million and up increased by 25%.  This trend seems to be continuing into this year and it indicates that smart money is now investing in luxury homes here in Atlanta as investors feel that the bottom of the market is here or has already passed.

The median sales price also dropped last quarter by -9% from the 4th quarter of 2009.  As previously stated, this is in part due to an increase of sales of distressed properties and an increase in sales in the under $200,000 price category.

In the 4th quarter of 2010, 64 out of every 100 listings failed to sell.  Of the 36 sellers who did sell, the vast majority (70%) had to reduce the price at least once in order to sell.  Their median days on market were 181 days and they ended up taking 23.7% less than they originally listed their property for.  On the other hand, the remaining 30% of the total sales were able to get 96.7% of their asking price in under 30 days on the market without reducing the price.  What this tells us is that sellers who priced aggressively (meaning very close to what the recent sold comps in their market sold for) were able to sell quickly, and for very close to the asking price.  Their net was much higher than sellers who priced too high to start with.  In this market more than ever,  pricing strategies are extremely crucial to be able to sell- and for the highest dollar amount. 

If you are considering selling your home this year, it is important to understand what is happening with sales in your neighborhood and how it relates to the overall Atlanta market.  Please contact me at  and I can supply you the information you need to make your best decisions.

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