Now that the sales data is all in for March, we can take a look at the quarterly home sales for North Fulton. Comparing the first quarter of this year to 2013, the biggest thing that jumps out to me is the drop in total transactions.
In a market recovery, which we are experiencing, conventional wisdom would be that sales would rise. That is happening around the country in various places, but in North Fulton they have actually dropped by 10 percent.
However, we are seeing asking prices rise and, in turn, sale prices rise a good bit (9 percent and 12 percent, respectively). Total days on market is down 27 percent, but keep in mind this is an average across all price ranges.
There are a few factors that could be affecting the drop in the number of home sales. Interest rates are a little higher, for instance. Also, as prices rise, inventory at the lower price points has nearly disappeared and loan requirements have tightened; first-time buyers are getting closed out of the market to a certain degree.
But I think the real culprit is the jump in prices coupled with the low inventory levels. As buyers are presented with the decision of paying more, they are more closely scrutinizing value. That value would be found in overall size, condition and location of the property. And, by most accounts, if a buyer isn’t finding what they want, they’re choosing to keep looking rather than settle. These are the factors a home seller needs to scrutinize when pricing their home today.
I’ll share quarterly numbers for Forsyth County next week.