Realty Times feature article by Blanche Evans
For the same reason it was a major target of the Union army during the Civil War, Atlanta remains a desirable Southern strategic location today. A major airport, ground transportation and cultural hub, Atlanta offers tropical warmth, room for growth, and a romantic, star-crossed history. It is one of the most important relocation destinations in the country, with over 5.2 million residents in the metro area. Atlanta is also the 3rd-largest home for Fortune 500 companies including CNN, Coca-Cola, Home Depot and UPS as well as many emerging anf high-tech companies.
Despite the new home slowdown, Realtors expect a busy buying season due to continuing low interest rates and the fact that the home buying market has been slightly depressed long enough for buyers to be drawn in by the inner city's values.
"In the in-town market in particular," says Realtor Chuck Cook, "I have noticed that listings are staying on the market a little longer and selling near the same price or slightly lower than this time last year. This is especially true with higher dollar homes."
However, with continuing low interest rates, buyers are starting to show more interest. "Buyers, don't wait for the interest rates to go any lower," advises Cook. "I don't see that happening. Sellers, as long as you price your home right and provide some value for the prospective home buyer, you will have no problem selling your home."
Adds Realtor Cathy Wilson, "Metro Atlanta is still a buyer's market! Inventory is very good at present with many relocating families buying homes this time of year to assure kids being settled into their new neighborhoods, meeting friends and preparing for a new school in the fall."
Particularly desirable are new in-town homes that are being built, say Realtors Janie Gray and Benita Carswell. "A new subdivision development of bungalow homes in the historic Kirkwood neighborhood offers homebuyers the opportunity to live in one of Atlanta's most dynamic in town neighborhoods in a home with all the charm of 1920s Craftsman architecture and all the conveniences of the 21st century.
"The homes have been designed to blend in with the surrounding neighborhood. Fifty homes will be built in 8 different styles based on Craftsman architecture from the 1920s - the predominant style of Atlanta's in town neighborhoods. The development will have sidewalks and streetlights to complement the adjoining streetscape. A one-third mile greenway walking trail will also be developed as an additional amenity."
Suggests Realtor Donald Bell, "Many new community sales offices selling homes in the $400,000 to $700,000 price ranges are reporting increasing sales and are running out of standing inventory."
Will Atlanta rebound? Some Realtors suggest that it already is. "Atlanta has experienced explosive growth over the last 30 years due primarily to its central location and lack of geographic boundaries," says Realtor Warren Owen. "The availability of developable land enables home buyers to find virtually any kind and price of housing they desire."
Blanche Evans is the publisher of Agent News and the associate editor of Realty Times, the Internet's largest independent real estate news service. She is the author of two best-selling real estate books: The Hottest e-Careers In Real Estate, Real Estate Education Company, an Internet marketing primer for real estate professionals, and homesurfing.net: The Insider's Guide To Buying And Selling Your Home Using The Internet, Dearborn, a consumer homebuying and selling guide. In 2000, she was recognized by the editors of REALTOR(r) Magazines as one of the 25 Most Influential People In Real Estate.
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