Atlanta Real Estate Reality Check

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I recently took a quick snapshot of this real estate “”sign topper”” in Grant Park:

The sign belongs to fellow Keller Williams Realtor Tony Raffalovich.  The day Tony put his sign up, he received an offer.  Within 48 hours, he received three more offers.  The home is, understandably, now under contract to close.

It’s just one piece of anectdotal evidence, but it is indicative of what I’ve been seeing in the market.  It is not, however, reflected in what I’m reading about the market.

Last week, we were treated to our monthly “”10,000 foot perspective”” of the Atlanta housing market: The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.  Case-Shiller is the leading national measurement tool of the U.S. housing economy, a much-watched report by economists, pundits and politicians.  With regards to Atlanta, Case-Shiller basically takes everything it can find in Atlanta- single family homes, condominiums, foreclosures, south of the city, north of the city, you name it- and wraps it all into one (not so) pretty picture.  This month, a sampling of what we learned (courtesy of the AJC):

1. Metro Atlanta home prices fell to the lowest point since 1998 as a mass of foreclosures and short sales continued to batter the market

2. Home prices in Atlanta fell for the fourth straight month in November, with a 2.5 percent decline that followed a 5 percent drop in October

3. “Atlanta continues to stand out in terms of recent relative weakness,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Indices

For me- and most Realtors that I know- the strange irony is that these headlines have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the market that we’re experiencing right now.  Barely two months into 2012 and I’ve already been in six multiple-offer situations.  Together the relatively low inventory levels intown (in areas with “”better”” public schools specifically), and increasing home buyer confidence has really started to heat things up.  This might not provide a lot of comfort to the underwater home seller, but it’s becoming an emerging, highly underrported trend that’s hard to miss for those of us working in the industry.

Atlanta simply can’t be viewed as one single housing market.  In reality, it’s hundreds of sub-markets.


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Jon Effron is widely regarded as one of the leading Realtors in Atlanta, working with both buyers and sellers throughout the metro area to maximize their real estate investments. In 2014, Jon was the #1 individual agent at Keller Williams Intown, one of the largest brokerages in Intown Atlanta. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Jon was the Vice President of Development at Tujay Group, an Atlanta real estate development firm. His career pre-real estate included stints at, eGroups (now Yahoo! Groups) and Elite Traveler magazine, where he served as the Vice President of Marketing.