Home Prices Continue Upward

By Kirsten Ricci

Before I get to the business side of residential real estate, I have some rather historical news to share. Recently the City of Roswell purchased Mimosa Hall (pictured, built in 1840) to save it from development. This was the result of local residents and Friends of Mimosa Hall and Gardens, who see the property as an asset and wish that it remain that way. But there is more to the story in that the friends of Mimosa are proposing to make it the oldest “net zero” building in the U.S. That means it will become a sustainable building by installing solar panels integrated into the roof, which can then use and store the energy. To help facilitate this they are having a spring fundraiser on Apr. 22 that will feature azaleas, ferns, artwork, and more. For more info on the event and Friends of Mimosa Hall and Gardens visit www.friendsofmimosa.org.

As I have been mentioning for some time now, prices of our homes are inching ever northwards and in the metro Atlanta area we are outpacing the nation. The pressure on the local market will only be increasing as new people move to Atlanta and millennials move to the suburbs. Year over year Atlanta has added nearly 90,000 new residents, which is the third highest gain in the country. This is leading to bidding wars throughout the area, especially on homes under the $500,000 mark but now stretching into homes up to $1mil. Across Atlanta nearly 34 percent of homes were subject to bidding wars according to FMLS and property records.

This, of course, means values are rising as area real estate is outpacing the national average. The median home sales price in Atlanta is up 9.8 percent year-over-year compared to 8.1 percent nationally. Homes on the market spent an average of 55 days there in Atlanta while the national average was 62 days. I would also stress that this is the metro average. In our area the average is closer to 14 days for homes under 500K.

Housing inventory is also frightfully low with area supply at just 2.2 months, with more inventory in the higher end. There is some relief with several new large residential projects on the way but none of those are in our area.

Locally, the market seems to be about maximizing existing land. In the historic district of Roswell for instance, there are numerous examples of builders placing homes between existing homes to maximize space. Also, there are examples of developers purchasing larger half-acre lots that now have just one home with the idea of putting two or more homes on the same land. These types of initiatives are resourceful but represent a very small answer to a large problem.

This is leading to expansive growth just north of us in Forsyth County and to the west in Cherokee County. There are numerous examples of large-scale developments in the works or planning stages. It will be interesting to see how this affects us locally as residents and how politicians will continue to wrestle with the balance of good development and quality of life.

Kirsten Ricci is a Roswell resident and a Berkshire Hathaway Agent who specializes in residential real estate in the north metro Atlanta area. She can be reached at 678-472-3832, kirsten@roswellrealty.net.