If you’ve made your way through Midtown Atlanta recently, you can’t help but notice that new construction is booming! With all the new residential real estate, shops, restaurants, and endless events, it’s an exciting time to live in or visit Midtown.
With that being said, there are a lot of hidden gems in Midtown for dining out, self care and entertainment. In this post, I’ll highlight some of these insider spots as well as point out some of the upcoming places to keep on your radar.
As we transition into summer, we’re seeing growing strength in the residential real estate market. Based on recent data and my observations and analysis over the last three months, I believe we’ll have a strong upcoming quarter and summer season. Continue reading
It’s no secret that curb appeal can improve home value. After all, often times the front of your home is the buyers first impression. It can serve as an effective way to get buyers to consider your home. In fact, according to the famous home improvement specialist, Bob Vila, good landscaping and exterior improvements can add up to an estimated 20% increase in the value of your home.
I often get asked about where the next “hot” neighborhood is in Atlanta and while I can’t predict the future, I can share with you how I assess up and coming neighborhoods to determine if they have strong investment potential.
When assessing Intown neighborhoods I have four criteria that I look for; grocery/dining, construction, architecture, assessability
Grocery and Dining
First I determine if any new and trendy local restaurants and coffee shops are opening up in the neighborhood. Then I look for chains such as specialty grocers like Whole Foods or a Starbucks. If I find higher-end dining and grocery then I know that these places will attract middle to upper-class households. Therefore I can speculate that eventually these businesses will begin attracting people to live in the vicinity. In fact, according to Zillow, between 1997 and 2013, homes closer to Starbucks coffee shops increased in value by 96%, compared to 65% for all U.S. homes. That’s 31% more than that of all U.S. homes!
When I drive around looking at real estate opportunities, I am always looking out for new residential or commercial developments taking place. If I see a more than normal amount of construction activity, it’s worth taking a trip to the city permit office for additional research. You can be sure that if developers are building then they believe that there’s a growth opportunity. However, you want to ensure you understand what’s being built, for example, trendy condos vs. low-income housing.
This is an interesting and often-overlooked assessment. If there is unique architecture in the area then that lends to trendy and unique renovations. Consider that some of the hottest real estate markets, like San Francisco, New York, and Boston all have amazing historical architecture. Historical residential architecture generally attracts higher-end buyers looking for unique home buying opportunities. Purchasing unique, historical architecture is like buying a piece of art, it’s exciting knowing that you have a one of a kind piece of history.
Lastly, I’ll evaluate the neighborhood’s proximity to major highways and public transportation. Ease of accessibility is becoming more and more important to buyers as they look to reduce commute and car time. According to US News, residential property values performed 42% better on average if they were located within a half-mile of public transportation. Additionally, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors was quoted as saying “When consumers choose a home, they also choose a lifestyle. Shorter commutes and more walkable neighborhoods matter to a growing number of people, especially those living in congested metro areas.”
As a last step in my evaluation process, after I’ve checked off the above criteria, I start looking at value indicator metrics such as sales price trends and how long homes stay on the market before they’re sold.
Here are my top picks for neighborhoods that meet these criteria in Atlanta:
I consider Downtown a massive up and comer in Atlanta where you can find very good value for property Intown. Downtown has a lot of exciting developments happening and it meets all of my criteria listed above. You can learn more about downtown opportunities from the post I wrote about downtown last year.
Cabbagetown continues to sit on my radar as an up and comer, especially as they extend the Eastside trail to run directly into the neighborhood giving it premium accessibility to everything the beltline has to offer.
Kirkwood is another neighborhood that’s been on my radar. Its like it’s own little small town within the heart of Atlanta. It has a fun historic downtown area, unique Victorian style homes, and cozy craftsman style bungalows.
I invite you to use some of these criteria as you evaluate your next home or investment opportunity. As always, I can be of assistance in evaluating neighborhoods in Atlanta then please contact me here.
2018 was a competitive year for the residential real estate market both nationally and locally, as median values of residential real estate rose throughout the year and inventory remained relatively low. With increasing mortgage rates, real estate values and low inventory, it was a seller’s market, with many buyers getting priced out of the market, especially first-time buyers.
In the post below, I’ll review what I expect in the 2019 residential real estate market for buyers, sellers and the local Atlanta market. I believe there will be some economic uncertainty that will affect the market, because of this, it is even more important to know where the opportunities are in the Atlanta market as well as how the opportunities should be valued.
So what’s in store for 2019?
Last year was an extremely competitive one for buyers, who were paying premiums in bidding wars for properties. I expect this trend to continue in 2019 but the competition over properties will cool. Rising interest rates and prices will ease the competition, giving slight favor back to buyers. However, the rising rates will test buyers mortgage budgets.
According to Zillow research, 30 yr fixed rate mortgages are forecasted to rise to 5.8% which will affect budgets by increasing monthly mortgage payments. This increase could price many first time buyers out of the market, thus reducing buying competition. Likewise, Zillow predicts that while home value growth will continue, it’s expected to cool from its highs, which will be favorable for buyers. All that said, I still expect inventory levels to remain flat to slightly up, holding back a buyer’s market.
Sellers will maintain the advantage in 2019, however, they will also feel the effects of rising mortgage rates as there will be fewer buyers competing for their properties. So in 2019 sellers will lose some control of the buying process and adjust their price expectations accordingly.
Nevertheless, I believe that the influx of millennials entering the market will help support current values, maintaining the seller advantage. According to Danielle Hale, Cheif Economist for Realtor.com, millennials will make up the largest segment of buyers next year, accounting for 45% of mortgages. And according to a survey from Trulia, 21% of Americans ages 18-34 plan to buy a home within the next 12 months.
As I noted in my previous post, Atlanta had been more resilient than the rest of the market, but in November, the South region and Atlanta started to see some of the slow down that the national market experienced in the fourth quarter. Showing traffic was down 5% in November, indicating that many buyers are getting priced out of the market or they’re on the sidelines waiting to see how mortgage rates move. According to a Redfin analysis, Atlanta sellers have been dropping prices at a higher rate than other major markets in order to attract more buyers.
I expect this pattern to trickle into 2019, similar to the national market, although the impact will be less in Atlanta due to more inventory coming available as developments are completed. It will still be a seller’s market in Atlanta but the competition will slow impacting sales and price growth. In 2019, according to Realtor.com, sales in Atlanta are expected to be down 1.9% and prices are only expected to grow a modest 3%.
Overall I believe homeownership will continue to rise, but at much slower rates than we’ve seen over the past several years. Home values will increase at a slower rate and inventory levels will slowly rise. Nevertheless, there will be a lot of uncertainty in the market and values will still be difficult to find. If you are planning on buying or selling a property it will be more important than ever to enlist an expert to help you navigate the best opportunities in 2019.
As you know the real estate market has been making headlines lately due to the slowing of new home sales, which fell 8.9% in October, falling four of the last five months.
In this post, I wanted to provide an overview of the national and local market as well as my point of view on the Atlanta market.
It may seem somewhat surprising that home sales are cooling given the strength of the economy, low unemployment, and growing household incomes. However, I believe there are some other factors that could be impacting the housing market.
Home Prices & mortgage rates
Median home sale prices in the US have increased 8% on a rolling 12-month basis, aided by the on-going low levels of inventory, which as of October was 3.1 months of supply nationally. Additionally, median household incomes have increased and stabilized back to pre-2008 levels, however, the growth has slowed and has not maintained the pace of the real estate market. Furthermore, rising mortgage interest rates, which are currently at a 5 year high, impacting buying power.
All this suggests that buyers are beginning to get a priced out of the market, anticipating a price correction or waiting to see if interest rates will pull back, which doesn’t seem likely.
Boomers looking to downsize are now competing with first time home buyers for smaller entry-level homes. Furthermore, buyers from Generation X are not buying the suburban houses that the boomers are leaving, choosing to live in more urban settings, further increasing buying competition. This competition along with the aforementioned low inventory continues to put pressure on pricing, keeping many buyers out of the market or cautious to overpaying.
Atlanta median home sale prices have increased 6% on a rolling 12-month basis and inventory levels remain low, at 3.1 months of supply, matching national averages. Atlanta seems to be lagging behind the rest of the country in a positive way.
In Atlanta, showings are up 15% from October 2017 but have been declining on a month by month basis in 2018. It appears that the Atlanta market has not reached the instability present in the rest of the country, but is still following the trajectory. Nevertheless, I view this slowdown as a positive for the real estate market, as it provides a rebalancing, making supply and demand more efficient as prices and supply adjust to the market.
All this said, there are still opportunities available if you know where to look, especially intown. Please reach out to me if you would like help tracking down and navigating some of these opportunities.
But there’s more soul to Buckhead than meets the eye. Underneath all it’s glamour is the tech hub of Atlanta and the Southeast. In fact, according to Forbes, Atlanta is considered to be one of the top 5 up and coming tech mecca’s in the country with tech jobs growing close to 40% since 2010.
Atlanta Tech Village
Lying at the center of all the tech growth is Atlanta Tech Village (ATV), located in the heart of Buckhead. Founded by David Cummings, The ATV, as it’s known, is considered the start-up hub of tech innovation in Atlanta attracting top start-ups and talent from around the country.
The tech and innovation attraction of Buckhead is one of the main reasons Buckhead is expected to exceed over 40% population growth in the next 20 years, with the largest demographic being people ages 25-34. This expected growth makes it ripe for real estate growth. According to the 2018 Buckhead Guidebook, there are over 22 new developments underway, of which 2,700 are new multifamily units. Additionally, 38 new development projects have been announced but not yet started, so developers continue to remain positive on growth within Buckhead. Even with all the development underway, according to mdjonline.com, there is still not enough inventory to meet the expected population growth.
So what does this mean for savvy real estate investors, new families and millennials looking to relocate? I believe there is a good buying opportunity in Buckhead right now. If you’re a person looking to be part of one of the top tech business communities in the country, love good food and plenty of premium shopping then Buckhead should definitely be considered.
The Charles Buckhead and The Eclipse Buckhead
In fact, there are some really interesting residential developments happening right now too, one of which, The Charles, a luxury condo development located next to The Shops at Buckhead and slated to be completed in 2019.
Here is a link to an overview of many of the Buckhead projects underway.
In the meantime, take a look at one of my latest listings a the Eclipse Buckhead Condominiums, a stunning 2 bed 2 bath right in the heart of Buckhead.
If you’re interested in seeing are learning more about properties in Buckhead please do not hesitate to contact me with questions.