Category Archives: real estate

What About New Construction…

300px-Wrought-iron-fencing

Over the last few days, I decided to drop into a couple of North Gwinnett County’s newest subdivisions.  I wanted to get a feel for how sales have been going.

The first subdivision has been in pre-sale since December.  They really didn’t start pushing sales until early January, though.  I saw about 87 lots, with 17 of them marked as sold.  Their Model Home is up and ready to run (I was pressed for time, so I didn’t stop to see if it was actually open).  There were homes being built on at least half a dozen lots.  Most of those were pre-sold, but there were a couple of that might have been spec homes (homes the builder was ordering so that there would be some standing inventory for buyers not wanting to wait on construction).

December 31, 1958

The other subdivision was a completely different story.  Out of 51 lots, 26 of them were marked sold.  The first home has yet to be completed.  There is no onsite sales center.  There are a few foundations going in and one home (presumably the sales center) is nearing completion, but probably a few weeks away from operational.

In the case of the first neighborhood, having around 20% of the lots pre-sold is fantastic.  Before the boom that would have been a tough feat.  During the crash, it was obviously impossible.  But to have over 50% of the lots sold before even having a sales center on-site is incredible.

If you are looking in the North Gwinnett area… especially in the North Gwinnett High School cluster, you need to give me a call.  There is some great builder activity as well as some really nice resale homes on the market.  There are a few standing inventory new homes to be found as well.  But things are picking up… that means rising prices and fewer choices.

I’m working at finding some new resales to get on the market as well.  If you have a home you are thinking about selling, please give me a call.  I can’t seem to keep my listings on the market long enough…

Ruby Forest Snapshot June, 2014

Ruby Forest Price Trend 6-11-14

Ruby Forest is starting to pick up some traction, but there are some sellers that are going to let their best chance for a sale pass them by, while there is an opportunity for those that are motivated.

By looking at two different sets of numbers, I see a disparate picture.

On the one hand are the historic sales figures.  As noted in the chart to the right, the “sweet spot” seems to be just under $240k.  A year ago, we were dealing with huge inventory shortages and it was possible to draw offers that were on the high side… buyers were motivated by the lack of choices.  But now we have more inventory available on the market (there are 7 active homes in Ruby Forest now vs. just 1 or 2 this time last year).

Ruby Forest Price Trend 6-11-14On the other hand, looking at the currently available listings I see a much different picture.  The lowest price property just dropped its price to $244,000.  The median price is $284,900 and the average is $283,800.

Over the last year, close to 70% of the homes successfully sold in Ruby Forest have sold in the first 30 days, averaging 98%  of their list price.  When we look at the homes selling between 31 and 60 days after being listed, that drops to just 90% of that original list price.  From there is goes down further as the period gets longer…

As a professional Realtor®, this tells me a couple of things…

  • Sellers feel that they still have all of the cards that they had a year ago.  Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.  Inventories are up, and now we are seeing new construction in the immediate area.
  • Sellers need to compete for buyers… buyers don’t need to compete as much for sellers.
  • Homes that are on the market for more than a month or two are getting “stale” and the prices sink further than if they had been priced competitively to start with.

There is another red flag that I see that could get tossed into the field…  appraisals.

Appraisers base their numbers on sales in the last 6-12 months.  The prices that I see may not be as supportable as the sellers and agents expect.  Keep in mind that I’m not an appraiser and I haven’t broken each of these homes out to compare it to the sold comps.  They might be able to make it through appraisal, but they also might not.

Statistically, ALL of these homes are priced well above average.  Yet, statistically, half of these homes are NOT above average is size/features/amenities.  We DO need to look outside Ruby Forest in other subdivisions that are districted to Roberts Elementary to have a perfect picture, but there is enough activity in Ruby Forest to have a good idea of how things could go.

And this is where the red flag gets tossed…  Let’s assume that one of these houses were to get an offer and go under contract near the asking price.  If there were a problem at the appraisal stage, the sellers could see their expected price evaporate.

What is the Good News

For a motivated seller, there is abundant opportunity.  There IS buyer activity and interest in Ruby Forest.  A home coming on the market in the sweet spot would have a solid chance of selling in the next 45-75 days (15-30 days to contract and 30-45 days to closing).  Selling with a reasonably aggressive price, comparatively, would mean that the contract would likely happen faster and instead of working on keeping the home in “showing shape” for months on end, you could concentrate on getting packed up for your move.

A year ago we were in a classic “Seller’s Market”.  Now we are in much more of a “Balanced Market”.  Actually, in the long run, this is much easier to deal with.  Most sellers are moving to another home, and the balanced market allows for a smoother flow from one to the other.  In a Seller’s Market, the sellers make out great on the sale of their home, but get their added equity wiped out while negotiating for their new home.  In a Buyer’s Market, the sellers get smacked around on the front end, but might get to make it up on the subsequent purchase.

 

If you are ready to talk about listing your home, give me a call…

Lane Bailey

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Buford, GA, Market Report, October 2013

Market stats for Buford, GA, October, 2013 indicate that there were 325 properties on the market, a decrease of 9 from last month. Overall, there was about an 4.1 month supply of properties (Absorption Rate or A/R). There were 69 sales for October, down from 81 last month and down from the 76 sales Oct12. It isn’t the strongest market in Gwinnett, but the A/R is nothing to sneeze at. It is still in Seller’s Market territory.

DSCN0574

DSCN0574 (Photo credit: lane.bailey)

In the sub-$200k arena, there were 106 listings, with a 2.5 month supply. This was the largest price segment in this market area, so strength here usually equaled strength across the whole local market area. Sales were down from last month 38 (v 42 last month), and down compared to last year (58 sales in Oct12). But, the A/R is well under the 6 months that would be considered fairly balanced… pointing towards a solid seller’s market. This time of year we are usually seeing a decrease is sales… and listings.

Between $200k and $400k, there were 156 listings for sale, and about 5.3 months of supply. The 25 sales recorded were down from the 34 last month and way up from the 14 sales last year for October. This had been one of the weaker segments in the county, but had improved dramatically until a few months ago it was fairly balanced, though tilted towards buyers… now it is a little less into Seller’s Market territory.

From $400k to $600k, there were 43 homes on the market. The absorption rate is 8.6 Months. There have been 15 sales in the last 3 months (7 in August, 5 in September and 3 in October). When the market is rolling, there should be 4-5 sales a month during this part of the year. Just for comparison, there were 7 sales in the Aug-Oct period in 2012. This segment has been bouncing all over the place, though… (as a note, the A/R was 17.25 three months ago).

In the $600k to $800k arena, there were 8 listings. Absorption Rate is 12 months… but it jumps around a lot. Sales in this range are pretty sporadic, but steady when looking at the long-term. The drop in inventory over the last few months from 14 homes to 8 had made things look less slow… but they are back on the rise. There was 0 sales in October last year and 0 in September this year. There were 2 sales in October this year.

The range from $800k to $1m, there were 4 homes listed. Trends are hardly definable. Listings are down. February was the last previously recorded sale. There was 1 sale in October. So it now has a 12.0 month Absorption Rate. (the decrease in listings is what dropped the A/R)

Above $1m, there were 9 properties listed. There was sale in the segment in April… of 2009…and then May, 2011… and 2 sales in June, 2011… also 1 in July and September, 2012. There was 1 sale in August. So, we have 27 months of inventory. I am hoping, but am not expecting, sales to be more consistent.

Buford, GA is a suburb of Atlanta in Gwinnett and Hall Counties. The population is 2000 was 10,668, but that only included the area inside the city limits, and it had seen tremendous growth since that census. Buford is home to Lake Lanier, one of Georgia’s premiere recreational areas, and Lake Lanier Islands. Recently, the City of Buford has revamped their old town. It is also home to Buford (Buford City Schools aren’t a part of Gwinnett County Schools), Mill Creek, Mountain View and Lanier High School (Lanier opened for the 2010-11 school year).

I have a page dedicated to Buford Market Data.

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Sugar Hill, GA, Market Report, October 2013

Market stats for Sugar Hill, GA , October, 2013 indicates that there were 103 homes on the market, up 2 from last month. Overall, there is about an 3.2 month supply (2.9 last month). There were 33 sales, compared to 29 last month and 36 last October. There were 122 listings on the market.

English: An ornamental iron fence built for th...

English: An ornamental iron fence built for the City of Sugar Hill, GA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For Sugar Hill homes priced under $200k, there were 49 listings, with about 2.5 month supply. There were 16 sales this October, below last year for the same time (28). There were 17 sales last month. Inventories have been fluid, rising and falling. This time of year we often see a decrease in listings… and we are already very low. In fact, sales may be stifled by lack of inventory. Things have been a little choppy, though… up one month, down the next, then back up.

Sugar Hill Listings between $200k and $400k, there are 45 listings for sale, and about 3.6 months of supply. Last October there was a 5.7 month supply. There were 7 sales then, this year there were 17. Last month had 12 sales. We are still in Seller’s Market territory. Of note, from May, 2012, to June, 2012, the Absorption Rate dropped from 10.5 months of inventory to 5.4. It had spent almost a year above 10… and now has spent over a year below 10.

For listings in the $400k to $600k range, there were 7 homes on the market. The absorption rate was around 21 months, but with 0 sales this month, it is tough to calculate accurately. Obviously, a sale or two could make a BIG difference. I’ve finally started to see some consistency here. Hopefully we’ll have a little more action during the rest of the active selling season.

In the $600k to $800k, $800k to $1m and Above $1m (combined), the sales are too inconsistent to have a solid read on, but there were 3 homes listed for sale in these price ranges. No sales have been recorded in the last 2+ years.

Sugar Hill, GA is a suburb of Atlanta in Gwinnett County. The population is 2000 was 11,399, but that only included the area inside the city limits. The name comes from a bag of Sugar that spilled on a hill while in transit between Cumming and the railroad in Buford. And while it is actually a big market, it is in the shadows of Lawrenceville, Duluth and Suwanee… which all are nearby. That also makes it a great location, as it is close to everything that Gwinnett County, GA has to offer.

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Suwanee, GA, Market Report, October, 2013

Market stats for Suwanee, GA, October, 2013 indicate that there were 300 properties on the market (down from 310 last month). Overall, there was about a 3.4 month supply of properties (up from 2.9 last month). October had 68 sales. Compared to Oct, 2012 (82), this year was down, but inventory was down compared to 2012 (350). There were 88 sales last month, so this month was also lower. This is traditionally when things start slowing down… kids are going back to school and parents avoid buying and moving their kids…

English: This is a picture of the front entran...

English: This is a picture of the front entrance of Lambert High School in Suwanee, Forsyth County, Georgia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the Under $200k arena, there were 43 listings in Suwanee, GA, with about a 3.2 month supply (compared to 2.8 months supply last year). This October’s sales were 9 (33 last year, 16 last month). It used to be a county leader, though, for now it is moving back to one of the best price/locale segments again. The next level up is coming up fast, though. Last year at this time, there were 94 listings. Sales are being killed by last year’s, but the way the inventory has dropped, there is a pretty good chance that the low inventory is still constricting sales.

Between $200k and $400k, there were 167 listings for sale (157 last year, 147 last month), and 2.9 months of supply. Sales in October, 2013 were 49 (56 in September), compared with 36 for the same period in 2012. Sales have rocked for the last few months. This shouldn’t be a “peaky” market/price segment. Unlike most of the county, this is the largest price segment in the area, and its direction plays a major part in how the area looks. Make no mistake, this is still way in Seller’s Market territory. This is one of a very few areas where the $200k-$400k segment is ahead of the under $200k segment.

From $400k to $600k, there were 56 homes on the market. The absorption rate was at 4.9 months (3.9 in September). There were 8 sales in October (12 last month)… down from 8 last year at this time. Looking at the three month average, there were 34 sales this year and 23 for the same period last year. This segment had become dramatically stronger in the last couple of months.

In the $600k to $800k arena, there are 28 listings, with about a 7.6 month supply. Sales at this level are not consistent, but there were 5 sales this month (2 last month). Looking at one month makes the numbers jump around. For the last three months, sales were 11… For the same time last year, the sales were 5. With the huge decrease in listings over the last couple of months, I was looking for this to become one of the strongest $600k-$800k area in the county. Now the sales increase might make that happen.

The range from $800k to $1m, there are 8 homes listed and 24 months of inventory on the market. There were only 4 sales at this price level in 2011. There were 7 in 2012. This is a tough segment to try to sell in right now, but if inventory stays low, it won’t be quite as rough. But there still needs to be some more sales activity. There was 1 sale in March and 1 sale in September. Such a difference between this segment and the one below.

In Suwanee, GA, Above $1m, there are 19 properties listed. The current absorption rate indicated about 28.5 months of inventory, but because of the smaller numbers of sales, this could be significantly impacted by just a couple of sales. In this segment, we should be seeing reduced inventories… There were 22 homes listed in this segment at this time last year. There was 1 sale in September.

Suwanee, GA is a suburb of Atlanta in Gwinnett, Forsyth and (just a little bit) in Fulton Counties. The population is 2000 was 8,725, but that only included the area inside the city limits, and it had seen tremendous growth since that census. Money Magazine rated Suwanee in the “Top 10 Best Places to Live” in 2007, and it is one of the wealthiest parts of Georgia. Recently, the City of Suwanee has revamped their old town, adding a large park with a bandshell, condos, town homes and small businesses. It is also home to North Gwinnett High School, Peachtree Ridge and Collins Hill.

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