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Archive for April, 2010

Atlanta by The Numbers: Price and Condition are still Selling Homes

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Atlanta’s home sales’ numbers and statistics for March are out and they are amazing! There are currently 27,042 homes for sale in the metropolitan Atlanta area and only 6,040 are “Pending” sales. That is a ratio of 18.2%, which roughly put, says that 4 out of 5 sellers didn’t, or couldn’t, sell their homes. Price and condition sell homes and to me, these numbers say that Atlanta home sellers are still over-pricing their homes for today’s market! In this same time period, 10,872 listings expired, or failed to sell.

For today’s market, unsuccessful home sellers have three choices. Quite simply:  Reduce it, Remain in it, Rent it. It is a market of the 3 R’s.

A Conversation with the King of Atlanta Homebuilders, JohnWieland

Monday, April 5th, 2010

This past Sunday, The Atlanta Journal Constitution‘s Tom Sabulis had a conversation with the King of Atlanta’s new homes, John Wieland. He talked about Atlanta’s real estate market and how he and his company, John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, are dealing with it.

Personally, I think John Wieland is one of Atlanta’s smartest home builders and one of the best things that has happened to the Southeast’s homebuilding industry. His homes are well-built and his philosophy accurately reflects the market. All of us in the new homes market knew he was scaling back in 2006 and 2007, predicting a down market. But in this interview, he talks optimistically of his view of Atlanta’s housing market now, in 2010, and going forward.

Here are several excerpts from Mr. Wieland’s interview :

  • Q:  It’s been a brutal few years for the housing industry. Is this the worst you’ve seen it? 
  • A:  I predicted privately to friends that it was going to be severe. Now I have a new definition for severe. Nobody in their wildest dreams thought that anything like this could happen. And I think that’s largely why  it happened. Nobody saw the consequences of inappropriate lending, shall we say.
  • Q:  Have you lost much sleep over it?
  • A: No, but I do a lot of thinking about it. How do you measure when it’s turned? And I really think it has turned this spring. Where do you go from here? What does housing look like?  What’s totally amazing is how consumer preferences have changed.
  • Q: How’s that?
  • A: Everybody’s more conservative than they were three years ago. More conservative as to how much house they really think they need to live in. And more conservative in how much debt they’re willing to take on for that purchase. And I think that’s a good thing.
  • Q: How do you react strategically to these changes?
  • A: We sort of had to redial the entire company. Two of the biggest factors are developing more efficient plans; more efficient to build, and more efficient to live in. Secondly, we’re putting more emphasis on being closer to jobs, transportation, downtown Atlanta, the airport.
  • Q: You’re focusing closer intown now?
  • A: Along with [people saying] ‘I don’t want to pay as much for housing’ comes [people saying] ‘I don’t want to drive so far to go home’ syndrome. I think it’s all part of we’re a more conservative America than we were four years ago.
  • Q: Your company built around 200 homes in Metro Atlanta in 2009. How many will you build this year?
  • A: Probably 250. I know we’ll do better. Our sales in March [2010] were the best month in three years . . . we’re juiced up.

Sue and John Wieland are long-time donors to the High Museum of Art. Mr. Wieland also spoke of his optimism on the contemporary art front. But, this blog is about Atlanta real estate, so forgive me if I don’t quote that portion of the interview. I’m just thrilled about his enthusiasm for Atlanta’s 2010 housing market and that he believes that the market has turned!

Moving to Atlanta

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Atlanta dropped from No. 1 but remains a top 10 destination city, according to U-Haul International’s annual migration trend report for 2009. The Big Peach ranked 7th after being ranked the top destination in 2008.

The # 1 destination for relocating Americans is now Houston, followed by las Vegas, Chicago, San Antonio, TX, Orlando FL and Austin TX. Ranker after Atlanta, are Sacramento, CA, Kansas City, MO. and Denver.

The moving company said its rankings show destinations for movers traveling more than 50 miles and includes every city regardless of size. However, the data is not stated as a percentage of population and is not reflective of overall growth, U-Haul said. The report was compiled from more than 1 million U-Haul truck transactions last year.