Red Hot Housing Market Brings Supply Crunch

For Sale sign in front of a Marietta home.
Credit Al Such / WABE
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If you are looking to buy a house, it’s tough for many metro Atlanta home buyers right now.

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Realtors say a six-month inventory of homes for sale is about average. That’s industry talk for how long the current number of existing houses for sale would last if no new houses were built.

In Atlanta right now, there’s a three-month inventory, said Atlanta Realtors Association President Bill Rawlings. He said the market has just gotten weird.

“Multiple offers occurring, bidding wars, escalation clauses, and those types of scenarios that are not typical of the Atlanta market,” Rawlings said.

Why is this happening? Rawlings said, right now, it’s all about getting into a good school district.

“You have some of the suburban areas north of the city, the North Fulton Schools, South Forsyth Schools, certainly some East Cobb continues to be very strong,” Rawlings said. 

Low inventory, of course, pushes up prices. Rawlings said the average home price has already risen about 5 percent this year.

ReMax-Georgia Vice President John Rainey said there’s a shortage of smaller, more affordable homes in metro Atlanta.

“First time home buyers typically like to come in at a lower price point, what they can afford,” Rainey said. “They’ve just started careers, and what not.  So the price point they can afford are what’s being affected right now.”

Rainey said a mismatch of supply and demand is driving prices up. 

He said Fulton County has seen the biggest jump, where the median sales price in June was $400,000.  The second-highest prices were in DeKalb, at $287,000.