Posted in Atlanta Market | Posted on 02-24-2015 | Written by Metrostudy News
- The Atlanta region is showing strong job growth and strong levels of single-family home permits
- Annual Single Family Home Starts are up 15% in North Atlanta, and up 28% in South Atlanta
- Inventory Levels are low, and the difficulty of finding a replacement home is keeping many people from listing their existing home.
February 2015: The Atlanta employment statistics through December 2014 show that the region has experienced positive job growth through 4Q 2014. Net jobs in Atlanta through December 2014 increased by 67,400 positions, up 2.6% year over year. Atlanta ended the year as the eighth most populous MSA in the country, seventh for job growth and ranked third highest for single family building permits. Foreclosure activity has hit a twelve year low and resale inventory remains low. All key metrics point towards stronger housing growth for 2015.
“There were 73,099 single family detached used and REO properties sold over the past 12 months ending in 4Q 2014,” said Eugene James, Regional Director for Metrostudy. “21% of these closings were REO sales (one year ago it was 25%). The 4Q14 median sales price was $166,900 11% above the year over year median sale price of $150,000. Pre- foreclosure activity continues to decline and is at a twelve year low, resulting in fewer foreclosed homes and additional upward pressure on home prices. December single- family listings moved upwards by 9% YoY to 15,700 but the months supply remains very low (and declined this quarter) to 3.8 months. Equilibrium or a normal month’s supply of resale inventory for the region is about 6 months. The difficulty of finding a replacement home is keeping some people from listing their existing home.”
Collectively the Atlanta region saw annual construction starts increase by 18% (as forecasted) to 16,437 and new home closings increased by 23% to 14,806 units closed (move-ins). Metrostudy expects slow but steady growth in 2015.
Metrostudy’s 4Q14 survey of the Atlanta housing market shows that there were 16,437 Annual Single Family Housing Starts in Metro Atlanta, up 18% from 4Q13. The fourth quarter 2014 Quarterly Starts of 3,993 were up nearly 18% as well, from 4Q13. Single Family annual Closings reached 14,815 units at the end of 4Q14, up a whopping 22.6% from 4Q13. 4Q14 Quarterly Closings of 4,087 are up 19% from the 4Q13.
Total housing inventory – a figure that includes houses under construction, model homes and finished but vacant or unsold houses, is at or below equilibrium levels and the months supply declined to 7.9. One year ago it was an 8.1 month supply. The most important housing inventory metric to pay close attention to is the Finished Vacant inventory (homes completed but unsold or still vacant) months supply which is at 2.9. Normal for the region is about 3.5 months.
According to Metrostudy the Atlanta metro area’s new home prices continued to climb higher this year closing out 2014 at a median price of $271,700, up 4% from the prior year and marks the fifth consecutive year that new home prices have increased year over year.
“The Atlanta metro area is creating jobs at a healthy pace, up 2.6% year-over-year and has averaged above 2.3% growth for the past two years. With 2.51 million people now employed, Atlanta has set a new record for total people employed. Despite good job growth, unemployment was relatively high due to migration into the region thus expanding the labor force faster than the economy could absorb. But solid job growth has spurred consumer confidence which is helping to move the housing market toward a stronger recovery. 2015 should be another good year for housing in the Atlanta region”, said James.
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