Oct 4, 2023 - Real Estate

City, suburbs or country: Where to buy in Atlanta

Data: Redfin; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals
Data: Redfin; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

You might find slightly better real estate deals inside the perimeter compared to way down in Upson County.

What's happening: Home prices in rural Georgia increased by 70% from March 2019 to September 2023. Meanwhile, they increased by 67% in the suburbs.

  • The city of Atlanta, which has seen red-hot growth over the past decade and now has a median sale price of $417,000, saw the smallest increase by comparison: 61%.

Why it matters: It's not a good time to buy, experts say.

The big picture: Mortgage rates soared past 7% this summer, and "they're unlikely to fall in a meaningful way," Bankrate chief financial analyst Greg McBride told Axios.

State of play: Homeowners β€” particularly those who purchased well before the Fed started hiking interest rates β€”Β are hesitant to sell and take on a more expensive mortgage.

  • In addition, developers can't meet demand, creating a strain on supply.

Zoom out: Much of the new construction is in the suburbs, Michael Carnathan of the Atlanta Regional Commission told Axios earlier this summer.

  • Intown Atlanta isn't full, of course, but the city's relatively few remaining large patches of land are more likely to become mixed-use developments, data centers or public projects β€” not subdivisions.

Intrigue: Metro Atlanta has consistently ranked near the top of Florida Atlantic University's index of areas with overvalued home prices.

The intrigue: Cross-state relocations will continue to rise through 2023 and beyond, Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather predicts.

  • If people move, they'll move to cities where they can afford to buy.

πŸ’­ Thomas' thought bubble: Given the chance to choose a country house anywhere in the world, I'd gladly accept this 3,546-acre ranch in Hawaii.

  • Which one would you pick?

Go deeper: Leaves will fall. Housing prices won't, experts predict


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