Druid Hills is one of the most sought after intown Atlanta neighborhoods, and the its Fernbank Elementary is one of the top public schools in town. Unlike many nearby neighborhoods that have seen rapid change and redevelopment over the last few decades, Druid Hills has always been relatively stable, due in large part to its close proximity to Emory University (like thisclose, as the university is essentially part of the neighborhood). The neighborhood pretty much nails the fundamentals that all homeowners are looking for: good schools, choice location and a phenomenal diversity of home types.
Being the real estate nerds that we are, we took a look at sales data from 2017, and compared it to 2012. Single family homes zoned for Fernbank Elementary according to FMLS (First Multiple Lising Service), some data for consideration:
Year Total Sales % of Homes >$1,000,000 % of Homes <$400,000 Avg. Sales Price Days On Market Sales/List Price Ratio 2012 87 6% 44% $500,284 76 95% 2017 124 12% 9% $713,807 41 97%
Here are the nuggets that I found most interesting:
- Sub-$400,000 was a big part of the market in 2012. In 2017, in almost ceased to exist– While it’s easy to loosely associate Druid Hills homes with the grand dames that sit on the grand avenues (Springdale, Oakdale, Lullwater, et. el), the reality is that the Fernbank district is comprised of a much larger community. North Parkwood, Chelsea Heights and Clairmont Heights, just to name a few. Collectively, these neighborhoods offered plenty of opportunities to purchase under $400,000 just five years ago. As the real estate market finished its recovery and the seller’s market took hold, these opportunities all but vanished. $500,000 became “the new $400,000” in the area.
- Substantially lower days on market almost always leads to a higher list price-sales price ratio– Days on market are down across the board, which typically means that sellers are reaping the rewards of having to stay “on market” for a shorter period of time. That said, even in the hottest submarkets we’re seeing houses sitting for longer than they should. Too many sellers are misinterpreting the seller’s market, and their home’s place in said market. Overpricing is overpricing, regardless of market. Cross that line, and your house will sit.
- If you’re looking for a foreclosure, look elsewhere– No record in FMLS of any foreclosure sales for three years running. Even back in 2012- as the market was starting to turn upwards- there were only 2 foreclosures sales. If you want a foreclosure, you’re either going to have to look elsewhere, or figure out a way to time travel.
- The “high end” of the market is growing, but not as explosively as in some neighboring areas– Don’t get me wrong- the million dollar+ market’s expansion is significant, with transactions growing from 6% of all sales to 12%. That’s real growth. That being said, there are far fewer new construction homes built “on spec” (ie. a builder or investor buys a tear down and builds new) than you’ll find in Virginia Highland or Morningside. Not sure that this really amounts to a pile of beans. Some people like new construction, others don’t. The Atlanta real estate market offers both.
- Total number of sales remains stable– Total Fernbank Elementary home sales, 2015-2017: 123, 110, 124. To put it in rough terms, this is about twice the amount of real estate activity we saw during the depths of the market.
2018 should be another winner for Druid Hills, as inventory remains at historic lows. Buyer demand intown shows no signs of waning- if anything, the looming fear of rate increases may very well drive demand even higher. Interested in more information on real estate in Druid Hills,and the Fernbank district in general? Holler at me, I like talking about real estate.