Despite low inventory contracts remain elusive

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After the heated housing market of 2013, an even hotter 2014 was widely expected for the 400 corridor.

But this year the market has started more slowly than many had predicted, myself included. There are a couple of telling data points.

While inventory is flat compared to this time last year, the number of pending sales (homes that are under contract) is down over 40 percent in Forsyth County.

The numbers are similar in North Fulton, with inventory down slightly, but pending sales down nearly 60 percent compared to this time last year.

It seemed that the low inventory last year created a strong urgency and pushed buyers into grabbing what they could as soon as possible.

We did have two separate weeks in February this year when we were snowed in, a minor event in other parts of the country but significant here.

This year, buyers are fighting the same low inventory. Buyers also seem reluctant to pull the trigger on anything that isn’t just right.

Part of this is the condition and updates of some properties.

As more new construction comes up out of the ground, traditional sellers will compete more frequently against shiny and new.

Also, as we’ve seen prices increase over the past two years.

Buyers are scrutinizing value.

When they look at homes priced at the top end of a community they want to know they’re getting more updates, more square-feet and more value for that top dollar.

The sellers that offer this value are getting multiple offers and selling quickly.

BUS 04-9-14