The Atlanta real estate market is on fire, staying red-hot coming out of 2020, where homeowners saw median sales price increases, despite the pandemic, of upwards of 15% year over year. With current inventory in the Atlanta housing market at a month or less of supply, this trend seems to be continuing out of the gate in 2021.
This is, of course, great news for sellers needing or looking to sell their main residence or an investment property, with it probably being one of the strongest markets seen in quite some time. This, of course, is fueled by the limited inventory on the market, which has sellers often seeing multiple offers and bidding wars to purchase their homes. With the “spring market” coming, this can only lead to what I would assume to be an even stronger sellers’ market as pent-up demand collides with an inventory shortage.
So, what if you are a buyer? I am sure this leads you to the question of, “should you buy a piece of Atlanta to call home right now?” The short answer is absolutely, YES! The reason behind this answer contains many different factors. First is the strong housing market, followed by current financing options, low interest rates and the ability to build your own net worth. Let’s explore these a little, but first, let’s squash the idea that this a bubble and we are headed to the same fate we saw with foreclosures and people being upside down in the housing crisis of 2008. While nobody has a crystal ball, most indicators are against this happening, especially in the Atlanta market. While the pandemic has played a role in some people’s finances, people still have equity for the most part in their homes, which is an indicator that foreclosures will be less likely.
Now, with that aside, why should you buy in Atlanta, and why now? When it comes to thriving metropolitan areas with reasonably priced real estate, Atlanta and its suburbs still rank among the top contenders in the United States. Then we also must look at its bustling economy, the movie industry presence, continued population growth — according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution, over the last nine years metropolitan Atlanta added 730,000 new residents — our vibrant culture, and walkability. All of which round out Atlanta as one of the top choices not only to purchase, but for having a higher resale value in the future. Top all that off with the fact that the growth of home prices in Atlanta is projected to outpace national home prices this year, and this means that your buying ability in 2022 may be less than what you have today as home values increase.
So you want to buy a piece of Atlanta to call home — now what? As for having money to purchase, each person has a unique situation that would need to be looked at by a qualified mortgage specialist. However, financing today is not what it was years ago. The days of needing 20% down are long past, and today there are conventional loan options requiring as little as 3% down and FHA loan options that can be had for 3.5% down. In fact, some may even qualify for down payment assistance programs that allow for less than 3% down! So, home buying today is even more readily available to a larger segment of the population than in the past.
In addition, interest rates remain at some of the lowest right now in recent history, which means that in some instances your mortgage may be close to, if not the same as, what you currently pay in rent.