Gwinnett Real Estate Market – Feels Like A Rollercoaster Ride

August numbers are in and analyzed, and it appears that the wild real estate rollercoaster ride we just survived in Gwinnett has calmed, once again.  When the big bubble burst (around 2007) at the top of an overheated market, we felt the rapid decent with no end in sight.  As prices reset and the market began to stop sliding (around 2009), it seemed that we could possibly be through the worst of it.  Along came the tax credits and with them the hope and promise of “moving the market”.  Tax credit version 1 (TC1) seemed to give a little push and further evolved into tax credit version 2 (TC2).  TC1 occurred going into what is a traditionally slower period for Metro Atlanta real estate.  The increase in home sales brought by TC1 was a welcome change from the sharp plunge we had just experienced.  Then, TC2 came along just in time for our peak selling season and the combination was explosive.  Rates of contracts and sales went ballistic, and prices felt a little boost.  For so many who really needed to see a possible end in sight, this was a welcome event.

 April 30th came and TC2 went, taking along with it the excitement and continued momentum to continue through our summer selling season.  May numbers came in and the rate of contracts and sales took that sharp drop, once again.

So, where are we now and how did we get here?  The good news is that, since the last drop in May numbers have gradually come back to our “new normal”.  It would appear that the TC2 really just “borrowed” buyers from the few months which followed.  The number of April contracts above expected appears to be very close to the number of contracts missing in the following months.  Would we have had the buyers without TC2?  I don’t know who can answer that, certainly not me.    

In April of 2010, real estate contracts in Gwinnett came in around 300 more than in 2009.  In May, the number of contracts dropped about 250 less than the 2009 level.  Since then, the number of contracts has come back to a much closer level, being down about 25 (give or take) from 2009.

Contracts Written (Single Family, Detached Homes)

  April May June July August
2009 704 750 772 737 778
2010 1,014 503 612 632 751

Average sale prices in Gwinnett have increased since the beginning of the year, but don’t let that fool you.  Price is still of the utmost importance when selling your home. 

Average Sale Price  (Single Family, Detached Homes)

  April May June July August
2009 $167,314 $170,192 $170,031 $177,412 $167,519
2010 $175,526 $163,839 $169,876 $172,318 $166,417

Prices vary greatly by location, school district and floor plan to name a few variables.  If you are considering putting your home on the market, a detailed market analysis is vital to planning your strategy.  Typical “retail” listings are the dominant force in available homes for sale.  However, “wholesale” or distress properties such as foreclosures, estate owned, corporate owned and other value priced properties still hold the largest market share for sold properties.  You must be competitive and focused to reach your goal. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some “organic” real estate activity to smooth out this rollercoaster ride.  A nice long drive over a few gently rolling hills sounds much better to me right now!

**Data and charts supplied by REDataCenter.