Atlanta home prices continue to fall
Although there have been small signs of recovery in the job market and economy as a whole, recently released data indicates that it will probably be some time before the housing market recovers. In fact, the market has worsened, with home prices continuing a three-month decline in November, the most recent month for which data is available.
According to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index, home prices fell from October to November in 19 of the 20 major cities tracked. Prices also fell from November 2010 to November 2011 in 18 of the 20 cities. Analysts believe that the decline is due to a constant stream of homes in foreclosure combined with high unemployment and tight lending requirements.
Atlanta was one of the cities in which housing prices have continued to drop. Actually, in November, Atlanta-area home prices actually fell to their lowest point since the housing crisis began. Nationwide, home prices have dropped more than 30 percent since the housing market crash.
One of the reasons for the decline in home prices is the high number of homes for sale. Currently, there is about a seven-month supply of homes on the market. A healthy supply is about six months, analysts say.
According to economist Paul Dales, homeowners should not expect their homes to increase in value much in 2012. In fact, he said, home prices may not rise consistently for two or three more years.
However, there are a few hopeful signs. Sales of previously occupied homes have risen in the last three months, and home construction reportedly increased in the final quarter of 2011. It remains to be seen whether those growths will continue in the new year.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Home prices dropped in November in most U.S. cities,” Derek Kravitz, Jan. 31, 2012