Home prices flat in October, no increase in listings either

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Metro Atlanta home prices held steady last month, as the number of sales dipped along with the readings of the thermometer, according to a report today.

The median home price for the region in October was $205,000 – no change from the month before, according to the monthly data from Re/Max of Georgia.

That is 5 percent higher than the $195,000 media of October a year ago, roughly in line with the recent trend of single-digit annual growth.

There were 3,925 transactions closed during October, down 7 percent from September, according to Re/Max.

About a year ago, metro home prices were still rising at double digit rates, a pace that decelerated through the year. But the market is still more active – and prices higher – than a year ago.

So the slower October represents 10 percent more sales than October of 2014.

 

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As for inventory – that is, the number of homes for sale – that is still something of a problem, as it has been for more than a year.

In a healthy market, the number of homes for sale typically represents six- to eight-months worth of sales. In metro Atlanta, that inventory number has slogged along at low levels.

In October, inventory accounted for just four months of sales – the same as in the month before. A year earlier, listings weren’t much more robust, accounting for 4.5 percent.

Low inventories make for something of a sellers’ market, pushing prices up — at least in the more desirable areas. But a lack of supply can stymie buyers and dampen the kind of move-up mobility that a healthy market depends on.

First-time buyers can’t find homes at the lower end of the spectrum and it can also stymie current homeowners looking to move up.

Why the shortage? Among the reasons experts suggest: not enough new homebuilding and too many metro homeowners who can’t sell their homes because they owe more on their mortgages than the homes are worth.

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