Real Estate: The Inventory ‘Problem’ in Coweta County
By Jess Barron, Lindsey’s Inc. Realtors
As of Monday, Oct. 26, there are only 458 single family detached homes listed for sale in Coweta County in the Georgia Multiple Listing Service (GAMLS). This is the lowest number that I have seen in 14 years of being a Realtor.
When I first started in 2006, it was normal to see 2,500 listings for sale on the GAMLS in Coweta County. The local real estate market has an inventory problem and homeowners are reaping the benefits.
In a market of low supply and high demand, prices will go up. We are seeing this before our very eyes here in Coweta County. I recently listed a remodeled home in Sharpsburg for $215,000. My sellers received 21 offers in three days, as well as four back up offers. All of the offers were over list price as buyers and their agents were alerted that the sellers received multiple offers. The demand for housing, particularly in that price range, is extremely high.
Low interest rates are also driving more and more buyers to purchase a home. I am seeing more first-time home buyers than I can ever remember. I am consistently seeing interest rates below 3%. When I started in 2006, rates were around 8%. The public can afford more “house” than before.
These market conditions make it very difficult for buyers to purchase a home. I often see cash investors and cash purchasers beat out buyers that are obtaining financing to purchase the home. Many buyers will write letters and include family photos to appeal to the hearts of sellers. Unfortunately, it often comes down to the bottom line with homeowners selling their home.
There is another group of sellers that are enjoying the current market conditions in a big way. This group is builders. While the GAMLS shows 458 single family detached listings currently available, the number is actually greater than this. Many builders do not list their full inventory in the GAMLS, only a portion. New construction sales make up about a third of the local real estate sales. I have had several buyers turn to new construction for their new home recently as we simply cannot find what they are looking for in the resale market.
It is important to remember that real estate is cyclical. The local real estate economy will not be like this forever. At some point, conditions will change, and the market will become a buyer’s market. I have learned to adjust to the conditions and to enjoy the ride along the way.
Jess Barron is an Associate Broker with Lindsey’s Inc. Realtors and former President of the Newnan-Coweta Board of Realtors.