According to the Athens MLS, Athens-Clarke County has seen an 8% increase in home prices for the first 7 months of 2016 compared to the same period for 2015. Oconee County has seen a 10% increase in the number of homes sold and a 12% increase in sales prices over 2015. Madison County has seen 17% increase in number of homes sold and a 19% increase in sales prices. Barrow has had a decline in the number of homes sold but a 5% increase in sales prices.
This information shows that sellers are able to get more for their homes, but there are many homeowners in the area who can’t afford to sell their home due to the mortgage balance being higher than what they could get by selling. It was much worse over the past few years, where we saw a lot of interest in short sales and more foreclosed properties than we’ve seen before.
As prices continue to increase, we should see more homeowners willing to sell their homes. This will provide the necessary inventory to keep the market moving up. If the market continues to improve, it will be good for home buyers and sellers. Lower interest rates will help more buyer qualify for financing.