Atlanta Real Estate – How Sellers will Prevail


Living in Atlanta is easy. It’s finding the right home for the right price that is difficult. But if you’re looking for a home, it’s good to know that some aspects of the real estate market are at least staying afloat in this troubling economy.

The recent front page story on the Atlanta condominium market (“Condo market cresting,” Oct. 13-19) used a series of selective facts and omissions to paint a misleading picture of the current state of our industry. In fact,Atlanta Real Estate | How Sellers will Prevail Articles there is no oversupply of condominium homes in Atlanta, and the developer and resale market here continues to thrive.

Start with the two resales your report cited at Novare Group’s Spire community in Midtown. The story indicated that both homes were originally listed for resale at $515,000 and sold for $449,000 and $475,000. These facts were followed by the quote, “If you are not selling your condo at the right time, you will lose [money] …” What was not revealed to your readers were the original condominium purchase prices of $405,000 and $418,000 for each respective unit, and that each of those sellers made an average pre-commission profit of $51,000, or 12 percent, in 101 days on the market. That has been common at Spire, where out of 120 listings on the First Multiple Listing Service, 62 have sold and six are under contract. Out of these resales, sellers have averaged a 10 percent profit in less than a year. Using resale transactions where the sellers actually made significant profits to support the proposition that money was lost was misleading to your readers.

Move to TWELVE Atlantic Station, where there have been 10 resales, three under contract and 66 current listings. Resales are averaging a profit of 12 percent, and TWELVE has been open just 10 months. Then to Metropolis, where a single $158,000 resale transaction was given as evidence of a low-water mark. The homeowner who sold that 556-square-foot studio for $284 per foot in 56 days on the market bought it from us for $143,366 and made a $14,000 profit.

There is more. The Buckhead penthouse (not developed by Novare Group) cited that was “originally priced at $1.2 million and is now priced in the $600,000’s” was given as evidence of a weak market today. The real facts are that the penthouse was developed and marketed in 1999 and then sold for $550,000 in 2003, three years ago. It is now listed at $699,000. Even the Chronicle’s own visual graphic on page 47A indicates growing resale activity in Fulton County year over year from 2005, both in the number of condominium homes sold and selling prices. This pattern of facts points to a strong and growing market for condominiums, which is not the tone or conclusion most readers would draw from the Chronicle story.

So it’s easy to see that condoes can maintain in Atlanta. But finding the right home might be a different story.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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