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Analysis: Decatur Real Estate Is On Freakin' Fire!

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Over the past couple of months, we've caught some flak for pointing out a handful of properties around Decatur that — on the surface — appeared grossly overpriced, given the area's reputation as a somewhat affordable intown living alternative. One home, a cramped and dated 1956 time capsule that begged for a complete overhaul, was priced at $369,000; an updated but hardly extravagant mid-century ranch was asking about $900,000. Ouch. Comps in those areas suggested that sellers weren't as bonkers as they'd initially seemed, which could be even more frightening for young couples who aspire to settle in Decatur once their Midtown party days have expired; and it could be music to the ears of current Decaturites. Now, the real estate blog A Is For Atlanta has taken stock of trends in Decatur's single-family sales world, and the year-over-year stats are mindboggling. The website named Decatur the "Submarket of the Year" in 2011 after average sales prices had swollen by 4 percent in a single year to $362,624. Turns out, that was nothing. "Hard to believe, just two years later, the average sales price is $451,674," the blog notes. "It's not inconceivable that within the next twelve months that the average sales price in Decatur is pushing $500,000."

Some have suggested that Decatur's appeal has been exacerbated by scandals in Atlanta and DeKalb public schools. Sure, top-notch schools, above-average walkability in many areas, a burgeoning dining scene and public-transit connectivity can't be discounted. And landing on national Top 10 lists like this one released last week doesn't hurt, either.

But still, can those attributes explain why the average days-on-market for a Decatur home has plummeted by 53 percent in a single year, as the website points out? The average list price has climbed nearly 7 percent, and foreclosures are all but nonexistent. Average sales prices are flirting with an 8 percent jump — in a single year. As the website puts it: "This is a big deal."

· Decatur Real Estate Update [A Is For Atlanta]
· Is The Decatur Area Losing Its Prized Affordability? [Curbed Atlanta]
· Decatur Lauded As Top 10 'Great Neighborhood' In U.S. [Curbed Atlanta]
· Mid-Century Decatur Ranch Seeks Whopping $899K [Curbed Atlanta]

[ABOVE: Medlock Park images via activerain.com]