Prices up, but home sales down in November

KeysThe number of home sales plunged last month, but the typical price continued to edge upward, according to a report issued this morning by a key real estate group.

There were 3,056 homes sold in metro Atlanta during November, a 24.7 percent drop compared to the month before. That brought sales to almost precisely the same level of sales as in November of 2014, according to the Atlanta Board of Realtors.

“What we are experiencing is a historically normal housing market in the fall,” said Ennis Antoine, board president. “Average and median sales prices remain firm, continuing to increase in comparison to 2014 and also up from the previous month. As prices continue to rise, it will encourage more sellers to enter the market.

Inventory – that is, the number of homes listed for sale – continued to be a problem for the market.

The region listed 15,220 units for sale during the month, down 23.3 percent from October and a dip of 1.7 percent dip from a year earlier.

November’s inventory represented about 3.6 months of sales, slightly down from a year ago. That is roughly half of a healthy inventory, experts say.

With the number of for-sale homes limited, the median price of sales was $224,000 – up 2.8 percent from October. But compared to November of last year, median prices were up 9.3 percent.

The average price of a home sold last month was $283,000, reflecting a higher share of more expensive homes.

Gwinnett was the most active county last month, with 642 sales, the board reported. The median sales price was $196,000. That made Gwinnett the lowest priced of the core four counties.

The highest median price was in Fulton: $327,000.

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