By Ron Barnes
Prudential Georgia Realty
At our last meeting of the Pickens County Board of Realtors®, we enjoyed a presentation by Todd Emerson who is the current president of the Atlanta Board. The message is that we are nearing a return to “normal” in real
estate. While Pickens is part of the Atlanta Metro Statistical Market Area, we have a trailing pattern with the heart of that market. The numbers we saw show that our market is about to take a significant positive step. (See Chart)
The chart notes that all the pricing lines are up by large margins. This is largely because of flushing out the glut of foreclosures that were dragging our prices down. Foreclosures now represent 5.2 percent of the market, compared to over 20 percent a few months ago, a reduction of 45 percent from their peak. That percentage will only account for 1.7 percent in 2014.
The continuation of rising rents will encourage potential homebuyers to enter the market, along with the number of people now moving out of their parents’ homes. Existing single family home prices are expected to rise 8 percent in 2014. The state economic outlook predicts job growth of 1.8% percent with a 1.3 percent population growth to support the increased demand.
Another major factor is the projection of mortgage rates for this year, which are expected to rise above 5 percent with decreased federal support in the market. That’s still a very good rate, so those who are serious about saving interest in buying a home will be anxious to enter the marketplace.
It’s been a long and difficult journey for sellers and those involved in the real estate business, not to mention those who were victims of foreclosure and short sale during the economic crisis. This report is the best news we’ve had in seven years of struggling. Congratulations to those who were savvy enough to buy during this time period, because it appears the bargains are almost at the end. Over the next few months there will still be time to take advantage of the opportunity.
Please keep those in mind who were dedicated to the business of real estate during the times when there was no low-hanging fruit to pick. This has been a tough and thankless business for some time. Also remember your Board of Realtors® also lobbies for the sake of your rights as well as their own, and not all agents are Realtors®.
Ron Barnes is a past president of the Pickens County Board of Realtors, currently an associate broker with BHHS Georgia Properties. He can be reached at 678-520-6648 or www.RonBarnesRealEstate.com Equal Housing Opportunity. Statistics furnished by Trendgraphix and FMLS. Special appreciation to Todd Emerson of the Atlanta Board of Realtors®.