By Kirsten Ricci
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), national home sales fell in June for a third straight month. On the surface that looks like a struggling market but it is not due to weak demand, rather a shortage of properties on the market… essentially there is nothing to buy so total sales are low. There are concerns in the industry that rising mortgage rates coupled with the higher prices are also causing a downturn.
Overall, existing home sales slipped 0.6 percent in June, according to NAR, with a total of 5.38 million units. Sales rose in the Northeast and Midwest. They fell in the West, which has seen a sharp rise in prices, and the South, where most of the homes are sold. Existing home sales, which make up about 90 percent of U.S. home sales, dropped 2.2 percent from a year ago in June. They have declined on a year-over-year basis for four consecutive months and decreased 2.2 percent in the first half of 2018.
Locally, the metro Atlanta area saw record prices in June of homes that were sold and we hit a low in the actual homes on the market. The median price is up over 7 percent from this time last year with homes priced right in desirable areas selling fast. Sales are being stymied by acute shortages of homes on the market. Rising building materials costs as well as shortages of land and labor have left builders unable to bridge the inventory gap, pushing up house prices. Additionally, most local municipal governments are opposed to any sort of large-scale projects so most home sales will come from existing inventory. All of this means the local supply crunch is unlikely to ease soon.
On the local side, folks in Roswell have been buzzing recently at the news of a new Crabapple Middle School being built. Crabapple is in the heart of Roswell, situated near Canton Street and many desirable neighborhoods. In July, Fulton County School System signed a letter of intent to purchase a 29-acre parcel on Woodstock Road near the intersection of Jones Road. At press time, the final deal was still being worked on and no renderings are yet available. The construction would be completed by August 2021, and the current school would operate as normal until that time.
Of course this has led to much speculation online about what is next for the current site and Fulton County Schools had no comment. The present location of Crabapple is a highly desirable area so that land is very valuable. It’s an understatement to say local residents are watching the situation closely. As soon as I hear something you will know.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.