With an otherwise lethargic economic recovery, real estate was one of the positives of 2012. The most recent numbers indicate new construction and home prices had increased for the ninth straight month. Home prices increased by 5% in 2012 and there were 2 million fewer houses underwater. In addition, new house formation continues to rise as those who rented or lived with family are entering the market. With concerns over the job market, the Fed plans to keep interest rates low. At my last closing, the buyer’s interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.25%!
Recovery is particularly noticeable in the West where foreclosures have been bought up by investors pushing down inventories and sending prices upward. As we look at the beginning of 2013 we see a real estate market that is healthier than it has been in the past 5 years.
My office had an unusually high number of sales in December, a month which is usually quiet. This tells me that we are headed into a very active Spring market in Atlanta. If you are considering buying a home, begin the pre-approval process with your lender so that you are poised to act quickly when you see the right house. Sellers should not be shy about entering the Atlanta market with low inventories and prices edging upward.