As temperatures rose in Cobb last month, so too did median home sale prices, but those higher price tags have slowed the county’s home sales numbers.
The county’s median sales price last month was $289,000, up 3.6% from May 2018’s $279,000 median, according to data from RE/MAX Georgia. In the greater Atlanta area, the median for May was $260,000, up from the previous month’s $250,000 and $11,000 higher than the previous May’s $249,000 midpoint.
Prices could go even higher into the summer as more buyers and sellers consider moves while school is out, said Glenn Field, a real estate agent with Marietta’s RE/MAX Pure, who expects June’s numbers to end higher than May’s, with July’s sales numbers likely falling between May and June’s figures.
“We’re going to start to see a drop after the summer’s over and the kids are back to school. And I think we’ll see a drop this time next year — the median home price will go back down to where it was a year ago. I don’t see it going up,” Field said.
Other housing metrics show slowing sales in Cobb. Last month saw 1,313 homes sold in the county versus 1,347 the previous May — a drop of 2.5%. RE/MAX noted drops in Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties as well.
Homes in Cobb, meanwhile, remained for sale slightly longer than they did a year ago. May 2018 saw homes on the market for an average of 30 days. Last month, however, that number was 34 days.
Field said he believes increasing prices are a culprit following growth in home values in previous years.
“I think people thought for the first two years, ‘I’ll just hold on to my home and the price will just keep on increasing,’ or ‘I’ll start my price so high I’ll get it, because nothing else is out there,’” he said.
But despite the decreasing supply of homes in the greater Atlanta area, with RE/MAX tallying a 2.3-month supply in May — down from 2.4 in the previous month and May 2018 — Field said builders are working and demand is beginning to diminish because “The prices are so high, the buyers are pulling back.”
A six-month supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers, with a supply over that benchmark typically considered a buyer’s market, according to RE/MAX. With Cobb’s supply less than half that benchmark, it is considered to be a seller’s market.
As for the months ahead, Field said home construction could allow home values to drop this time next year.
“You’re going to see all these builders that are building, building, building, and then all of a sudden, we’re going to have more excess, not a ton, but we’re going to have more excess which is going to bring the prices down,” he said.