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Photo by Jim Francis

A perspective on the Big Canoe home market

By Michelle Toups
Realtor, Associate Broker
All Mountain Realty

There has been recent discussion about the health of the Big Canoe home real estate market. So, I looked at information from FMLS, the state-of-the-art property listing service used by over 42,000 real estate professionals throughout the 25-county area surrounding Atlanta.

We all know of the Great Recession, begun in 2008, and the devastation to the financial and housing markets. Recovery was slower here relative to other areas around Atlanta, but finally began in earnest in late 2015. Sales volume rebounded first, then pricing, now, the days it takes to gain a contract are still declining.

  • Only 80 homes sold in 2008. In 2018 that number was 248 (See footnote)
  • Days on market—the days to achieve a binding contract after being listed for sale—dropped two-thirds since 2009 to 201 (6.7 months) averaged for all 2018 sales.
  • Then, prices paid were 18 percent below asking price. For 2018, that number was 5 percent
  • Prices paid for all the homes sold in 2018 was 6.7 percent higher than those sold in 2017 and 14.5 percent over 2016
  • New Construction began its recovery even before resales and have held at 1-1.5 percent of housing stock since 2012 (Source: POA Financials)

The years 2017 and 2018 were such banner years that it would be reasonable to expect a moderated 2019. However, through June 2019 versus through June 2018, the broad indicators remain quite strong.

  • Sales volume is highly consistent with 2018 with only four fewer homes closed (that difference will be erased once the closings from late Friday, June 28 are in FMLS)
  • Prices paid as a percent of list price remains very consistent at close to 95 percent.
  • Average days on market (time to achieve a contract) are still declining, now down to 167 (5.6 months)
  • The number of pending sales (under contract with set closing date) is substantial, a good leading indicator of the health of the market.
  • More homes have closed above $600,000, at a modestly higher average price and shorter days on market

While matters on the world and national stages introduce caution in forecasting the remainder of 2019, the counterbalance is that Big Canoe has far fewer homes listed for sale than in recent years. Perhaps Great Recession-related pent-up desire to sell is finally exhausted. Speculation is not my purpose, but rather to share information and provide overall context.

In my view, Big Canoe’s housing market is very healthy, in fact STELLAR. Spread the good news!

(1) It should be noted that not all home sales are done through FMLS. New homes built through the Big Canoe Company and others may never reach the listing service, largely because they are not speculative builds, but custom built for known buyers. Therefore, POA Board communication about sales volume is different.

Michelle Toups began her real estate career in 1976 and has worked in both commercial and residential sales, leasing, financing, acquisitions, development, construction and management with various local and national real estate firms. Today her work includes land and home sales throughout Pickens and Dawson counties.

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