This article appears in the March issue of 400 Life Magazine
Although the pandemic largely affected businesses, restaurants and schools, it didn’t slow down the housing market. In fact, the market has remained incredibly strong and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.
According to the 400 North Association of REALTORS®: Market Brief Report, which provides a monthly Housing Report, the average sales price for homes in Forsyth County showed a 16 percent increase from 2019 to 2020 in the month of December, and in Dawson County a 31.6 percent increase.
Jennifer Baxter covers the metro-Atlanta area as an Associate Broker and REALTOR® for RE/MAX Regency.
“The inventory is lower than I’ve ever seen and has been met with an extremely high demand of people looking to purchase because the mortgage rates are so low,” said Baxter.
These low mortgage rates are a major reason the housing market has been able to stay so strong despite the pandemic. For sellers, lower rates means more people in the buyer pool and better affordability while allowing buyers an opportunity to upgrade from their current home.
“Mortgage rates being as low as they are has encouraged a lot of people who have been renting to purchase, as well as those who have been looking for larger homes being able to upgrade, because with extremely low rates the purchase power is significantly higher and they are now able to better afford homes,” Baxter said.
Although the market has remained strong, this also has caused significant lower inventory. In December of 2020, the monthly supply of homes available to purchase showed a 68.1 percent decrease in Forsyth County from 2019.
“The market being so strong has made it harder for people to find homes to purchase so instead of selling they are investing into their existing home with updates,” said Baxter.
Additionally, the pandemic has contributed to a strong market as more people are working from home and kids are doing virtual learning. This lifestyle change has caused an increase in home improvements, the need for larger homes to make space for home offices, or a desire to move farther out as daily commutes have changed.
“Because of the pandemic, a lot of people are trying to move out of the city into neighborhoods as they’re working from home and need more space or want a bigger yard. I think that is why we are seeing so much growth in the northern areas of Ga. 400 near the [North Georgia Premium Outlets] as these areas farther out are becoming more desirable.”
As the market continues to trend strong in the new year, there are many things to consider when looking to buy or sell. Baxter advises those looking to sell to be picky on the offers received, “With this being a sellers market, not only are you going to be able to get a strong price but, you can also negotiate for other extremely favorable terms in regards to timelines and additional stipulations most people wouldn’t include.”
For purchasers looking to buy a new home this year, make sure financing is squared away and be ready to make an offer.
“Buyers don’t have time to go home and think about it. Be looking at homes in which you are ready, willing and able to make on offer. Put your best offer forward and be realistic,” Baxter said.
While the pandemic may have disrupted many areas last year, the housing market was not one of them. This seems to remain true for 2021 as we enter March and the spring season. Ashley Ball, vice president of marketing for RE/MAX Regency predicts “the forecast for the market in 2021 is that demand will remain strong, pricing will continue to increase, and interest rates will remain low.”
If you are looking to buy or sell your home and would like to connect with a real estate agent, RE/MAX Regency has three local offices. You can reach out by calling 678-318-7900 or visit www.REMAXRegencyATL.com.
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