Rarely a day passes that I am not asked, “How’s the residential real estate market?” My typical answer is, “It depends. Are you looking to buy, sell, or invest?” The reality is that the best time to purchase real estate was last week. My point is that the real estate market is ever-changing, and one’s perspective will be modified based on their current circumstances.
Another essential factor to consider is that while most statistics reference large areas of geography, real estate is truly hyperlocal. It is no secret that highly ranked schools and nearby access to lifestyle amenities drive housing prices upward. Within a large neighborhood, one street may sell better than another. That is why it so important to use the resources of a local market expert such as me.
My primary markets are Sandy Springs, Buckhead, Brookhaven, Dunwoody, East Cobb, and the adjoining areas. Breaking these markets into five pricing groupings may help answer the questions about current market strength. The clusters that I use are entry-level, mid-range, near-luxury, luxury, and ultra-luxury. Each price cluster will vary somewhat based on the location, but my comments closely align with my primary markets.
Entry-level in my primary markets is generally anything under $200,000. This price range is very hot due to the high level of investor activity. Buyers in this price range need to be prepared to act quickly when a property is identified and also willing to spend money to make desired upgrades and repairs. This segment remains a strong seller’s market.
The mid-range is above entry-level up to $600,000. Buyer demand in this price cluster remains strong, significantly due to the historically low mortgage interest rates that we continue to experience. This segment is neutral without advantage to buyers or sellers.
Near-luxury homes priced between $600,000 and $900,000 make up the majority of my primary markets. These properties typically will sell rather quickly if they are properly marketed. This segment is also neutral without advantage to buyers and sellers.
Properties valued at $900,000 up to $2 million are considered luxury in the Atlanta market. This segment has slowed down a bit lately, likely due to volatility in the financial markets, but this cluster still has good buyer demand. Buyers in this group generally want a property that does not require updating or repairs; … amenities and condition are very important. The luxury market is slowly progressing toward a buyer’s market as more inventory comes on the market.
The ultra-luxury segment in Atlanta consists of homes priced at $2 million and above. While activity in this segment has risen in the past few years, it remains a buyer’s market with supply outpacing demand, especially at the higher end of this segment.
Debbie Sonenshine, with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, can be reached at Debbie@SonenshineTeam.com, www.SonenshineTeam.com.