Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Sept. 20, 2023

New Construction Homes: Making Homeownership Accessible with Unbeatable Offers

New Construction Homes: Making Homeownership Accessible with Unbeatable Offers

Unlocking Homeownership with Irresistible Incentives

Navigating Today's Housing Market

If you've been keeping an eye on the housing market, you know it's a challenging landscape. Soaring mortgage rates have put a dent in buying power, and builders are facing their own set of hurdles, from labor shortages to increased costs. But here's some good news: builders are pulling out all the stops with incentives to help you secure your dream home.

What Builders Are Offering

  • Reduced Prices: Recent data shows that 32% of builders slashed prices in September, with an average discount of 6%.
  • Special Sales Offers: A whopping 59% of builders rolled out various sales incentives in September, from free upgrades to covering closing costs.
  • Interest Rate Subsidies: Some builders are stepping in to lower your mortgage rate for the initial years, easing your financial burden.
  • Targeting First-Timers: The focus is shifting towards entry-level homes, as 42% of new single-family homebuyers in the past year were first-time buyers.

Why This Matters to You

These aren't just marketing tactics; they're well-thought-out strategies to boost sales and make homes more budget-friendly. With mortgage rates hovering above 7%, these incentives can be a game-changer in your home-buying experience.

Buyer's Guide

  1. Research: Look into local builders and the incentives they're currently offering.
  2. Bargain: Feel free to negotiate for extra benefits or better terms on existing incentives.
  3. Seek Expert Advice: Partner with a real estate expert who can help you navigate builder incentives.

Wrapping It Up

If you've been hesitant about diving into the housing market, these builder incentives could be the nudge you need. It's a buyer-friendly market, and builders are laying out the welcome mat for you.

For more information, check out:

Share this blog post to help others navigate the complexities of the housing market. Let's make owning a home achievable for all!

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 31, 2023

Discover the secret to homeownership in a high-interest-rate market!

Unlock Your Dream Home Today! Don't Let High Interest Rates Hold You Back!

Introduction

Hey future homeowners! Feeling the heat from rising interest rates? Take a deep breath. We've got low down payment options to help you secure that home, even in this challenging market.

Current Interest Rates

Right now, interest rates are at a 23-year high, with the average 30-year mortgage rate sitting at 7.98%, and the 30-year fixed FHA rate at 7.478%. But don't let these numbers push you away; there are ways to work around them.

Zero Down Programs

USDA Loans

  • Who's Eligible: Residents in rural areas, with some income restrictions
  • Perks: No down payment, minimal mortgage insurance

VA Loans

  • Who's Eligible: Veterans and active-duty military personnel
  • Perks: Zero down payment, no PMI

Guild Mortgage Zero Down

  • Who's Eligible: FHA borrowers
  • Perks: A second mortgage that covers both the down payment and closing costs.

Zillow Home Loans 1% Down

  • Who's Eligible: First-time homebuyers in Arizona (and expanding)
  • Perks: Zillow contributes 2% at closing, so you only need to put down 1%.

1% Down Programs

A few lenders still offer 1% down payment programs, a lifesaver if you can manage a small down payment but are hesitant due to high interest rates.

How It Works

  • You put down 1%
  • The lender adds another 2%
  • You start off with 3% equity in your new home

Why These Programs Are Your Best Bet

  • Lower Initial Costs: Zero or low down payments mean you can become a homeowner sooner.
  • Flexibility: High interest rates become less of a concern with low initial costs.
  • Quick Equity Build: Lender contributions in 1% down programs help you build equity faster.

Conclusion

High interest rates shouldn't be a roadblock to your dream of owning a home. With these low down payment programs, that dream is more achievable than ever.

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 25, 2023

Adapting to Change: How the NAR Lawsuit Could Transform the Real Estate Landscape for Agents and Brokers

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has faced legal challenges that could reshape the real estate industry. Here's what agents and brokers need to know:

The Lawsuit

The lawsuits against NAR focus on commission structures and alleged anti-competitive practices. Some claim that the way commissions are shared between listing and buyer's agents may inflate costs and limit competition.

Potential Implications for Agents and Brokers

If the lawsuits lead to changes in how commissions are structured, it could impact the way agents and brokers do business. There might be more transparency in commission fees, and buyers might have more responsibility for their agents' fees. Changes to NAR's rules could lead to increased competition among brokers and agents, more competitive pricing, increased scrutiny on ethical practices, regulatory changes, and potential impact on smaller brokers.

Conclusion

The NAR lawsuits have the potential to bring significant changes to the real estate industry. Agents and brokers, including those in your areas of focus, should stay informed about the legal developments and be prepared to adapt to potential changes in commission structures, competition, and regulation. Consulting with a legal professional or industry expert who is familiar with the specific details of the lawsuits might provide more tailored insights for your business.

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 23, 2023

New Home Sales Surge

New Construction Home being Built

New Home Sales Surge in Metro Atlanta and Metro Detroit: A Hot Summer, but Is a Chill Coming This Fall?

The housing market trends have been sizzling this summer, especially in the new home sales and home construction sectors. With new home sales up a staggering 31.5% year-over-year in July, the real estate market in 2023 is showing no signs of cooling down. But could rising mortgage rates and shrinking home affordability bring a chill to the market this fall? Let's dive into the details.

A Boost in July: New Home Sales Up 31.5% Year-Over-Year

New home sales in July were up 4.4% compared to June, according to the Census Bureau. Home buyers have been turning to new construction as existing home inventory remains scarce in Metro Atlanta and Metro Detroit real estate markets. However, with mortgage rates now topping 7%, home sales are likely to cool.

Median Home Prices and Home Sizes: A Shrinking Trend

While new homes have been getting smaller, median home prices remain above $436,000. The median home price of new homes sold in July was $436,700, down 8.7% compared to a year ago. The median square footage of a home under construction was 2,191 in the second quarter, the lowest since 2010.

Supply and Demand: A Delicate Balance in Real Estate Economics

As new home sales have increased, home inventory continues to decrease, falling significantly lower in inventory compared to 10 months a year ago. Home builders are already sensing a shift in the real estate market, with some noting that spiking rates will deter home buyers from making a purchase for now.

The Impact of Mortgage Rates: A Key Factor in Home Affordability

Heading into fall, mortgage rates will continue to be a driving factor in new home sales. "With borrowing costs rising, buyers' purchase budgets are shrinking, leading builders to recalibrate their pipeline," said George Ratiu, chief economist at Keeping Current Matters.

Conclusion: A Market in Flux - Real Estate Forecast for Metro Atlanta and Metro Detroit

The new home sales market has been hot, but experts warn that rising mortgage rates and shrinking home affordability could mean a cooler market in the latter half of 2023. Builders and buyers alike will need to adapt to these changing dynamics as we head into the fall season.

Stay tuned to Fort Knox Realty for the latest updates on housing market trends, real estate investment, and property management in Metro Atlanta and Metro Detroit.

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 18, 2023

Metro Atlanta, GA Housing Market Trends

Metro Atlanta, GA Housing Market Trends

Atlanta, the bustling capital city of Georgia, has seen significant growth in its housing market over the past years. Known for its rich history, diverse culture, and economic prosperity, the metro Atlanta area has consistently attracted newcomers. Here's a deep dive into the housing market trends in metro Atlanta.

1. Growing Demand

Atlanta’s booming job market, with its strong foothold in sectors like information technology, media, and logistics, has consistently attracted professionals from across the nation. This influx of young professionals, families, and even retirees has ramped up the demand for housing.

2. Shift Towards Suburbs

While the heart of Atlanta remains an attraction, there’s a notable shift towards suburban areas. Neighborhoods like Alpharetta, Marietta, and Roswell are becoming increasingly popular. The allure of larger homes, spacious yards, and quality schools is drawing many to these suburban areas.

3. Rising Home Prices

The increased demand, coupled with a limited supply, especially in the most sought-after neighborhoods, has driven up home prices. While this trend benefits sellers and homeowners who gain from the equity, it also makes affordability an issue for many potential buyers, particularly first-timers.

4. The Role of Technology

Virtual home tours and online real estate platforms have seen a surge, partly accelerated by the pandemic and the ongoing digitalization trend. This has enabled buyers to search, view, and even finalize homes without the traditional physical walkthroughs.

5. The Rental Market

With rising home prices, the rental market in metro Atlanta has also been active. For those who are priced out of buying a home, or those looking for more flexibility, renting remains an attractive option. This has led to an increased demand for rental properties and has made the multifamily sector particularly robust.

6. Renovation Wave

Many homeowners are choosing to renovate and update their current homes instead of navigating the competitive buying market. This trend is particularly evident in older neighborhoods where residents wish to maintain their community ties while modernizing their living spaces.

7. Affordability Challenges

With the housing demand outstripping supply, affordability remains a concern. Programs aimed at first-time homebuyers and affordable housing projects are essential to ensure that the dream of homeownership remains within reach for all sections of the community.

8. The Future Outlook

While predictions vary, many experts believe that the metro Atlanta housing market will remain strong, though the pace of price increases may slow. Factors such as interest rates, economic health, and job market performance will play crucial roles in determining the direction.

Conclusion

Metro Atlanta's housing market, with its dynamism and resilience, reflects the city's spirit. As the city continues to grow and evolve, so too will its housing market. Prospective buyers, sellers, and investors should keep an eye on these trends and work with local experts to navigate this ever-evolving landscape.

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 4, 2021

Will Millennials continue driving the housing market surge?

According to Barron’s, Over the past year, millennials made up the largest share of homebuyers: 37%. Experts are predicting that that trend is expected to continue.

Millennials ages 26-41 are said to make-up 22% of the total U.S. population. Since the pandemic a large group of them are in the market extremely motivated to purchase a home. Homeownership for adults between the ages 30 and 44 years old  has increased by 1.3 million since the COVID pandemic began.

Information released by the National Association of REALTORS® reveals that married couples aged 31 to 40 were more likely than any other age group to purchase homes during that time. Additionally, the largest group of single people that purchased homes were younger millennials, aged between 22 and 30 years old. NAR cites new opportunities for remote work as a core reason.

Additional factors during this time that are contributing to the home purchase boom, are the continuing low mortgage rates and couples with growing wealth. According to Barron’s, Millennials are approaching their peak earning years and data shows they are trending to cheaper starter homes. Analysts attribute that trend to student loan debt. My professional opinion is that we can expect the Millennial buyers to continue moving the housing market forward.

Posted in Market Updates
July 18, 2021

Should You Get a Home Inspection Before Selling Your Home?

  

   Let's Take a Look...

  Is it time to upgrade or move on to a new home? If you are planning on listing    your home for sale in the near future, you will have a few key considerations to    make. Do we paint? Finish the basement into a suite? Renovate the bathroom,      or leave it?

  However, before you start worrying about renovations it can be helpful to understand how your home has stood the test of time. Let's have a quick look at a few reasons why you may want to consider investing in a professional home inspection before selling your home.

Assessing Your Home's Current Condition

Give some thought to your home's current condition. How old is it? When was its last professional inspection? Has your home suffered any significant weather or other kinds of damage? Take a walk around and look at the key structural areas. Do you see any issues with the roof? How do the walls or siding look? Are there visible cracks in the home's foundation? If there are obvious issues, it is time for an inspection.

 

Do You Need A Speedy Sale?

Another excellent reason to get your home inspected early in the selling process is that it's likely to speed things along. If there are any repairs required, you can have them taken care of before you start staging your home, having professional photos taken and hosting open houses.

A recent inspection can also give you a competitive edge over nearby or similar homes that are for sale. It signals to potential buyers that you have done some of the heavy lifting in the process and that they are unlikely to uncover any major issues when they have their own inspection done.

 

Take Care Of 'Deal Breaker' Problems

Finally, a home inspection ensures that you will be able to take care of any potential deal-breaking issues that could ruin a sale. Even if you decide to skip repairing some of the minor issues, taking care of things like cracks in your foundation, mold problems or old electrical wiring will all help with keeping your sale on track.

These are just a few of the great reasons to invest in a professional home inspection before listing your home for sale. To learn more about the home selling process or to get started, contact us today. Our listing team is happy to share our experience to ensure that your selling process moves along quickly.

 

Don't Want To Deal With Repairs, Cleaning, Staging, Or Marketing?

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Posted in Home Selling Tips
July 1, 2021

For Builders and Buyers, Lumber is a Bummer

Over the past several years we’ve seen real estate prices climb higher and higher due to a limited supply and an increased demand, but a new factor is pushing prices up even further: the skyrocketing price of building materials. So, what’s behind these increased prices, and, more importantly, when can we expect some relief?

We’re all painfully aware that the pandemic triggered widespread supply chain issues, and building materials have been no exception. Supplies of steel, aggregates, and cement have dried up, but the trend might be most noticeable when it comes to lumber.

There's gold on that there truck!

Nearly every aspect of home construction necessitates lumber – framing, trim, doors, flooring, windows, railings, and cabinets. The pandemic shut down lumber mills across the country, and supply chains were slowed by a shortage of truck drivers. Low interest rates and a lack of existing inventory increased demand for new construction, and all that new construction increased demand for lumber. It’s a perfect storm of demand outpacing supply.

According to Markets Insider, lumber prices rose by over 400% between May of 2020 and May of 2021, with the price per thousand board feet going from $327 to $1,645 during that time span. That figure has corrected since May, but, as of this writing, prices are still substantially higher than this time last year.

The rise in lumber prices has added almost $36,000 to the price of an average new single-family home, and nearly $13,000 to that of a new multi-family home.

Building material supply shortages, coupled with increased prices for land, means buyers will continue to see high prices for new builds for at least the foreseeable future.

Last year, home price inflation reached 11.4%, but experts predict a slowdown to 8.1% through 2021. By 2023, price growth is expected to slow to 4%. To put it another way, the surge in home prices is expected to slow, but it’s going to take a few years as supply chains and workforces return to pre-pandemic levels of productivity.

Posted in Market Updates
June 22, 2021

Mistakes First-Time Home Sellers Make and How to Avoid Making Them

 

Are you thinking about selling your home without the assistance of a knowledgeable agent? If this is your first time going through the selling process, you may be wondering if everything will go smoothly. Selling a home is usually a smooth process – there are thousands sold each day – but issues can arise if you're not careful. Let's explore four mistakes that are commonly made by first-time home sellers and how you can avoid them.

 

1.     Trying To Sell Without Experienced Representation

The first and most significant mistake that some first-time sellers make is to try to go it alone. Selling a house is a major financial and legal transaction and one where experience is crucial in getting things right. Invest in an agent who has a track record for quick, efficient sales and you're going to have an advantage.

 

2.     Choosing Emotion Over Reason

Next, you'll want to avoid letting your emotions control how you react or respond during the selling process. Many homeowners become emotionally attached to their homes, which is fine while you're living there but can be a problem when you're selling. It's important to let logic and reason guide the sale. Don't let yourself get caught up emotionally or you may make a critical mistake.

 

3.     Pricing Outside Of A Realistic Range

Asking too much – or too little! – for their home is another common mistake made by first-time home sellers. It's critical to understand that the local real estate market has a lot of influence on the correct asking price for your home. Current listings and recent sales of similar homes in the area tend to set a price range in the minds of buyers, so these will need to be observed. Your real estate agent will be a big help in choosing the right sale price.

 

4.     Selling At The Wrong Time

The final mistake we'll cover today is listing your home for sale in the wrong environment. The local real estate market is in constant state of change due to a variety of factors. The seasons, other local home listings, interest rates, new home construction, local municipal zoning changes and all sorts of other factors can influence your sale. Unless you are under a time constraint, it's best to let your agent advise you when it's a good time to list your home.

 

Selling your first home can be a daunting experience, but with the right frame of mind and professional representation, it will go smoothly. To learn more about the home selling process or to list your home for sale, contact us today at 678-674-7929. The Fort Knox Realty team is happy to assist.

Posted in Market Updates
June 1, 2021

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates