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Looking for Reality and Reasons for Optimism in the Latest Atlanta Housing Numbers

One day Atlanta is the Case-Shiller whipping boy, the next day a dozen roses arrive. Their latest report shows Atlanta as biggest value loser by far (11% ahead of the next closest) from May ’11 to May’12 with values dropping -14.5%. Ouch.

However, they report that Atlanta saw a 4% increase from April’12 to May ’12, which was the second highest increase of the 20 metro areas studied. By a lot. Looking closer, there are more reasons to maybe be optimistic. FMLS data for the 2nd quarter shows strength:

• Sales to through June are up 13.1% higher than the same time a year ago
• Median sale price is higher by +5.9% in 2Q 2012 compared to 2Q 2011
• Median days on market is 80 days, down by -27.3% in 2Q 2012 compared to 2Q 2011
• Supply has decreased by -42% from June, 2011 to June, 2012, with 4.0 months of supply currently in the market

So is this a “Real” Comeback? We’ll see?There are key challenges to keeping the Atlanta real estate market moving forward:

• Appraisals and underwriting recognizing an improving market
• Continued availability of historically low interest rates
• Lenders need to be sensitive to the changing needs of buyers and adjust to reflect current conditions
• Measured release of bank owned homes so the market isn’t swamped again
• Accurate pricing by “normal” sellers; the temptation for agents and sellers to overprice homes is great
• Of course the local, national and global economy – folks not confident in their economic situation do not buy homes

Yaaawwwwnnnnn? Messrs Case and Shiller?.Love me love me, say that you love me. Fool me fool me, go on and fool me?.

-Hank Miller