The September 2022 real estate market was all about supply and demand, interest rates, and home equity. It was a month of market transition and normalization. The previous half-year of 20% plus price appreciation slowed to 16% which felt like depreciation to sellers who had entered the market with lofty expectations.
While buyers were relieved to retrieve some of their power in the market, they were also hit with rising interest rates which certainly dulled their victory. However, buyers may yet enjoy a net gain. Jaiyi Xu, Economist with Realtor.com says:
“There is no doubt that the increasing mortgage rate will make homebuying even more challenging… Buyers may still find opportunities, as these changes coincide with the time of the year when buyers have historically found the best market conditions to obtain more bargaining power.”
Even though interest rates have been on an upward trend, it is possible Buyers may receive another break in the near future. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist with First American say:
“The aim of Fed tightening is to curtail demand in an effort to tame inflation, and when it comes to the housing market, the Fed’s actions are working.”
If the Fed sees less inflation, they will have no need to raise rates. This is good for buyers and sellers alike. Stabilized interest rates bring buyers back into the market and also makes sellers happy with the natural increase in demand. It means we are returning to normal market trends and fluxuations. It means that it is time for Claire and me to adjust our monthly market update. Rather than discuss the month-over-month statistics which were the most important stats in a high-velocity market, it is time to go back to year-over-year statistics as they are now more relevant and appropriate. Those statistics reveal a more measured and proper comparison taking into account the normal buying and selling yearly seasons. Since it has been a while since we considered those trends, let’s do a quick review of what IS normal.
Take a look at this chart from our local MLS in Atlanta showing the number of homes sold from 2017 to 2019. This is the historic yearly trend of the market. It starts slowly in January, rises to May-June-July crescendo, and then falls toward Thanksgiving with a bit of a jump going into December. Rinse and repeat!
You can see on this chart showing average days on market versus median sales price that there was a normal ebb and flow to the market up until 2020 where days on market suddenly plummeted from 37 to 16 and median prices climbed from $300 thousand to $430 thousand. At the far right of the chart, you can see days on market heading back up and prices heading back down to normal. Supply and demand are coming closer together.
So here we all are feeling a bit disconcerted with the market change and yet grateful to be headed back to familiar and predictable territory where buyers do not lose out on homes flooded with 20 offers and neighbors are not complaining about traffic jams on their suburban streets caused by open houses….
While buyers are cautious because of interest rates, the net difference may not be that much. The shifting market has created a shell game.
Early 2022, a house listed at 700,000 received 25 offers and closed at 825,000 thousand dollars at a 4.5% interest rate and a monthly payment of $3762.
In late 2022, a house listed at $700,000 closes for $670,000 at a 6.5% interest rate and a monthly payment of $3811. That’s a whopping $49 difference!
And the less expensive the house, the smaller the difference! Supply and demand has balanced out the effects of rising interest rates.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s dive into the local data of the Top 7 North Atlanta Suburbs! Let’s start with Milton.
Milton’s average price was $1.3 million. This is a month-over-month decrease of 4% but a 30% year-over-year increase from September 2021. Days on market were 39 as opposed 45 last September. There were only 20 active listings at the beginning of October compared to 86 at the beginning of September so prices will likely hold their own since supply is very limited and demand remains strong for homes offering residents a spacious country feeling while situated quite close to high-end shopping and restaurants.
The average price in the Lake Lanier housing market was $1 million, exactly the same as August 2022 and exactly the same as September 2021. You will recall that these numbers only represent single family homes WITH docks. Thirty homes were sold compared with 44 last September. However, the 90% sales price to list price ratio compared with 95% last September indicates that sellers are continuing to price their homes at early 2022 prices. Interestingly, days on market were 37, also exactly the same as September 2021. In past years, it was normal for the Lake Lanier market to cool with the weather. Will that trend return as we head into winter? We shall see.
The average price of $742,000 in Roswell was up by 19% year-over-year while the month-over-month average was up by 8%. Active listings at the beginning of October were slightly up from 133 in September to 144. Sales price to list price ratios hovered around the upper 90s in 2021 and 2022.
For the 86 houses that sold in Suwanee in September, month-over-month prices went down by 5% while year-over-year prices were up by 21% to $687,000 in September. Days on Market hovered relatively unchanged around 25. Houses sold for an average of 97% of list price as opposed to last year’s 101%. October began with slightly fewer active listings than September so Suwanee is a good example of a market returning to normal.
In Johns Creek, the average year-over-year price was up by 24% from $673,000 in 2021 to $836,000 in September 2022. The 32 homes that sold maintained a sold price to list price ratio of 98% compared with 102% last September. Last year ‘s Days on Market were a measly 16 compared to 24 this year. October began with 78 active listings compared to 81 in September.
In Alpharetta, there was a month-over-month price increase of 1% and a year-over-year increase of 10% for the 124 homes sold, going from $692 thousand in 2021 to $758,000 in September 2022. Days on market went from 22 last year to 26 in this year and buyers paid about 97% of list price compared to 100% in 2021. There were 200 active listings at the beginning of October which is 7 more than September.
Lastly, the month-over-month average price in Cumming decreased 7% while its year-over-year price increased 11% landing currently at $584,000. The number of homes sold was 219 compared with 305 last year. There was an increase in average Days on Market of 8 days from last year to 24 days in 2022. Buyers paid 97% of list price compared with 105% in 2021. October began with 421 Active listings, 30 more than September.
As we said last month, we are returning to normal, and this is honestly great news!! So is it a good time to sell?
It depends. All of the market factors combined with personal circumstances render a different answer to each individual household. There is so much to consider! But sometimes life circumstances compel you to move and when that happens, you need an expert to represent your best interests who knows the local market and can navigate you through the chaos, advise you on staging, marketing and timing. Data shows that smart sellers will price at or below market price and be flexible and ready to pivot quickly depending on buyer response.
If you are ready to buy, give us a call so we can sit down and discuss your particular situation. We are very much in touch with the changing market and can save you time, money, and headaches with our proven strategies. And we have a lender that offers free refinancing in the first 3 years of your mortgage and another lender who offers a Buy Before You Sell program as well as a Cash offer program.
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