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In Atlanta, is 1/4 dip in home sales cause for concern?

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Likely not, some say

A year-over-year comparison shows that home sales in the City of Atlanta fell off a cliff in September — dropping by a startling 121 percent 24 percent versus the same month in 2015, according to a new RE/MAX of Georgia report.

Should Atlantans panic, declare that 2007 has returned, and make funeral arrangements for the city’s post-recession boom times? Probably not, Atlanta Agent Magazine opines.

So ... why not?

First, the sales dip wasn’t exclusively an Atlanta thing. Several of the metro’s most active markets — Marietta, Lawrenceville, and Cumming among them — showed declines in September, though none were nearly as steep as Atlanta’s, per the RE/MAX report.

The magazine suggests the main culprit for Atlanta’s low sales could be a historically scant housing supply. Across the metro, housing inventories have dipped 8 percent in the past year. And even in the supposedly slower months of last winter, anecdotal evidence suggested bidding wars were becoming fairly common in the city.

Another possible explanation: A red-hot summer buying season truly cooled off in September.

"So September’s decline could be a simple matter of the market cooling off as kids return to school and prospective homebuyers take a breather," per the article. "[A]fter all, before the zany housing markets of the bubble (and post-bubble) years, housing traditionally slowed during the early autumn months."

There was a dollop of more positive news from the RE/MAX report — at least for homeowners — as it relates to the City of Atlanta's housing market.

Comparing the two Septembers, the city’s median housing price stepped up 7 percent to $315,000. And available homes are selling 6 percent faster this year — in 46 days on average.