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Atlanta among Top 5 hottest housing markets in 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

Atlanta is #5 on the list of the top 10 up-and-coming metropolitan markets in the country, according to the 2016 Housing Forecast released by Realtor.com.

Compiled by chief economist Jonathan Smoke and his team, Realtor.com’s list took housing and economic data for the country’s 100 largest markets and ran them in a statistical model that predicts future values for home sales and prices. Markets whose forecasted growth was equal to or better than the U.S. average were then identified, resulting in the final list of the real estate markets that look the most bullish for 2016.

More page views, less time on market

Realtor.com also noted that each of the markets on the top 10 list have 60% more listing page views than the U.S. overall, as well as inventory that sells 16 days faster than the U.S. average, placing them in high demand.

Factors like a prosperous job market and growing household formation have been attributed as the cause of surging demand in each market. Millennials, Gen Xers, and retirees are seen as the ones to drive home sales in 2016. Altogether, the Top 10 markets have bright prospects, but with different underlying dynamics.

Hot in Atlanta

The Atlanta market has been considered a hot market for some time now and remains hot, joining other cities like San Diego, Sacramento, and Boston. The outlook for Atlanta has been consistently bright in the past few years, in the midst of its recovery from the worst real estate downturn in history.

A decade ago, the region was one of the leading markets during the building boom, and was among the last to fall when the bubble burst, causing a plunge in sales, prices, and construction of new homes. A modest rebound took around five years to get underway, and double-digit increases have been seen over the last few years.

Atlanta emerged from the recession as a robust seller’s market, with bidding wars and homes sometimes selling for over the asking price. High demand and low inventory also managed to put ATL in the list of Top 10 Overvalued Markets, prompting some cause for concern from industry watchers.

However, the rapid increase in home-price appreciation leveled off to some degree, and Atlanta was considered again as one of the fastest growing real estate markets, with predictions for 2016 showing continued gains.

Other rankings

Realtor.com isn’t the only source to list Atlanta as one of the top markets this year. The Urban Land Institute (ULI), a non-profit research organization that publishes its Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report each year, has also named Atlanta the #5 real estate market to watch in 2016.

The ULI report bases its rankings on feedback from interviewees and survey respondents, most of whom are real estate executives and housing experts. It shows a favorable view of all sectors in the Atlanta real estate market, with the local outlook being good for this year.

Zillow, an online real estate database company, also weighed in on the Atlanta market’s prospects for 2016, predicting that home prices will increase an additional 6% in 2016. It isn’t the 11-12% increases that 2015 saw, but then growth has been predicted to be slow (but continuous) across the country this year.