Atlanta Ranked 10th Snobbiest City in the USA?

While many know of Atlanta as a large metro with Southern Charm, a recent post from the Movoto Real Estate site shares a different opinion. In fact, Atlanta was named among the top ten snobbiest cities in the country, alongside other massive metros like San Francisco, Seattle, and more.

The full list (in order) is as follows:

San Francisco, CA
Washington, D.C.
Seattle, WA
Scottsdale, AZ
Oakland, CA
Portland, OR
Irvine, CA
Honolulu, HI
Madison, WI
Atlanta, GA

So how were these cities chosen? According to Movoto’s site, they used a variety of criteria such as median home prices and household income, private schools and art galleries per capita, lowest percentages of fast food restaurants and percentage of people with college degrees, as well as a few other criteria. Atlanta is filled with higher education graduates, and almost 50 percent of the population has a college degree. It had the fourth most art galleries per capita in the country, and in fact, has the most theatres per capita in America. Moving to Atlanta? Be sure to brush up on art, literature, and other fine arts to seamlessly blend in.

Home Values Rise in Atlanta amidst Lull in New Construction

Real estate prices for property in the Atlanta area slowed down a bit at the beginning of summer, but now Atlanta home prices are up 11.2 percent from this time in 2013. In fact, Atlanta is among nine cities throughout the United States that posted double-digit gains in home prices, according to the recent Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Despite this growth in value, Atlanta has a different trend that is popular in the area: the amount of homes underwater.

Moving to Atlanta is increasingly competitive because in addition to a slow in new construction, the large amount of homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages is directly linked to the amount of homes available for sale. Unfortunately, the underwater mortgage becomes a problem for existing homeowners as well as prospective homeowners.

Atlanta’s average home prices have come a long way since hitting bottom in March of 2012: the average price since then is up 43.6 percent. And in some areas, they may very well be above those previous peaks. On the flip side, some neighborhoods are still slow in gaining momentum and are dragging down the value of the metro as a whole. On average, Atlanta prices are roughly 12.4 percent below their peak, which was reached in August of 2006. The amount of underwater homes is improving, but it is still a large chunk of the local homeowners. In conclusion, higher home prices aren’t enough to detract from the top ranking for homeowners with negative equity.

Moving to Atlanta? Real Estate Remains Steady

While it might not be the best market, it’s certainly improving and still shines in comparison to other markets. Recently, the Atlanta Board of Realtors released a report on the area housing data which shared a few key points about the Atlanta real estate market, such as:

-The amount of available homes on the market is about a five-month supply, which is a little lower than is preferred. A healthy market has about a six-month supply of homes for sale.

-Homes are moving very quickly. With constricted inventory, the homes that are available are moving very quickly and are also seeing multiple bidders simultaneously.

-The real surge in popularity is in the core Atlanta metro. People moving to Atlanta want to be in the middle of the action, choosing Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb, and Gwinnett counties as their ideal places to buy a home.

-Suburban outlying areas are seeing momentum and action, but not as much as the central Atlanta counties.

Aside from the real estate news regarding metro Atlanta, there is some positive news on the employment figures as well. According to reports, employers in the metro Atlanta area are hiring quickly and efficiently, and the fourth quarter of 2014 should only continue to show improvements. Specifically, 22 percent of companies interviewed in the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey shared that they plan to hire more employees, and only 3 percent planned to cut jobs.

Job prospects appear best in manufacturing, transportation/utilities, wholesale/retail trade, financial activities, professional/business services, education/health services, leisure/hospitality and government.

Real Estate is Returning to Normal in Georgia

Over the past year, there have been some positive trends in the local real estate industry. The median price for homes in Georgia has risen to $145,000—which may not seem like much for some markets, but in Georgia that is the result of a 30 percent jump in price.

In addition, the amount of homes pending sale and the amount of new listings for available homes was also up. As the credit markets are slightly more lenient with loan-seekers, the amount of people purchasing a home in the state is growing, pushing the need for more supply to move. In Atlanta, the sales numbers are better than in all of the other cities in Georgia.

Interested in buying a home and moving to Atlanta? Act quick, as the demand for living in this southern metropolis is only growing.

Home Prices are Rising in Atlanta

S&P/Case Shiller recently reported that home price gains have lowered throughout the US. The annual gains for the 10-city and 20-city composites were 10.8 percent, which was a drop from the previous months. In metro Atlanta, however, the opposite was reported. Thanks to investors looking to purchase homes to rent out, the price gains in Atlanta and the sales growth overall have been trending in the southern city.

Interested in moving to Atlanta? There are a lot of competing sellers and buyers in the area, and it has proven to be a tough task for many looking to purchase property in Atlanta.

It is likely that the market will become increasingly competitive for buyers, which will then slow the market overall. As less inventory is available, less inventory can be moved. This is all normal though, and the more stable the market is, the more likely it is to slow down and hit a balance. The market has been strengthening not only in Atlanta, but in the entire state of Georgia. In fact, the median price for selling a home in Georgia has gone up nearly 40 percent in the past year.

Study Says Top 10 Safest Georgia Cities are in Atlanta Metro

Concerned about safety regarding your upcoming move to Atlanta? Rest assured, the Atlanta metro has a few areas that are outshining the rest of the state in terms of safety. According to Movoto’s real estate blog, the 10 safest cities in Georgia are as follows:

1. City of Johns Creek
2. City of Acworth
3. City of Canton
4. City of Kennesaw
5. City of Grovetown
6. City of Duluth
7. City of Suwanee
8. City of Dallas
9. City of Woodstock
10. City of Loganville

The study ranked cities with a population of 10,000 people or more and charted how much the area saw problems like murders, violent crimes, property crimes and total crimes.

What sets these areas apart from other parts of Georgia are special elements like the community. An active community that looks out for its neighbors is going to be more effective at fighting and preventing crime than any resident could do alone.

Atlanta Real Estate Differs from National Trends

Atlanta is a unique city on many levels, including the current state of its real estate. Unlike most of the US, Atlanta is still a sellers’ market. Prices have grown 16% year-over-year in Atlanta. That’s double the growth rate we saw in the rest of the country, so homeowners looking to sell their properties are in a powerful position.

On a national level, sales were down eight percent in the spring quarter (Q2) for 2014 in comparison to 2013. However, in Atlanta, we saw the opposite. Residential sales grew about two percent in Atlanta. So what’s the reason so many people are moving to Atlanta and buying homes? Quite frankly, compared to the rest of the country, Atlanta is cheap. Add that to the fact that it is a large metro with big city offerings and it becomes clear why so many people want to buy property there.

Home Values are Climbing in Atlanta

It has been a long and winding road for the real estate market throughout the US, and Atlanta is no exception. According to Zillow and their real estate data for the second quarter of 2014, metro Atlanta prices are strengthening on a slow and steady climb from the pits of the recession of 2008. While experts predict the recession will not truly be out of Atlanta’s hair until 2016, it is definitely progressing and showing change in the right direction.

But what about on a national scale? The climb is still very real for many markets, and home values are currently about 11.3 percent below their 2007 peak. U.S. home values climbed 6.3 percent year-over-year in the second quarter to of $174,200 — the slowest annual pace of appreciation recorded so far this year and a sign that the market is returning to more normal levels.

As we have seen steady price growth throughout 2014 thus far, it is likely only the prices will continue to rise, but at a slow rate. Each month we are seeing about a 2 percent rise in price, and the market is slowly inching back to a normalcy that it saw before the recession. Thinking of moving to Atlanta and buying a home? The time to act is now, as prices will continue to climb as the months pass us by.

Eco-Conscious Building is Highly Valued in Atlanta

According to a new study by CBRE Inc., Atlanta ranks number 5 on a new list that tracks green efforts by cities throughout the country. The list has 30 cities on it total, all of which are ranked by buildings in the cities that incorporate sustainable and energy saving designs. Atlanta earned its spot with 54 percent of commercial space in the city certified as sustainable. Minneapolis ranked as the “greenest” city in the nation, with 77 percent of its commercial real estate certified as green. Other cities in the top 5 included San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston.

Atlanta has built up its inventory of sustainable buildings, and it’s been a top 10 city ranked by its number of LEED-registered and certified projects, according to the U.S Green Building Council. The switch to more efficient construction became crucial for the area when the city was becoming increasingly criticized for urban sprawl and for contributing to high car usage and gasoline emissions.

Thinking of moving to Atlanta and building your dream home? Keep energy efficient home designs at the front of your radar when selecting a development company or architect. Sustainable projects emphasize energy and water conservation, but they are also more widely associated with the desire to improve quality of life.

Westside Atlanta to Get New Commercial and Retail Spots

Thinking of moving to Westside Atlanta? Atlanta is getting more commercial growth in the coming months, thanks to the addition of trendy shops and dining hot spots to the area of town known collectively as Westside Atlanta. So far, confirmed tenants to move to the area as it undergoes redevelopment include a luxury apartment complex (called Elan Westside), which will be located at 14th Street and Howell Mill Road. But that is only the beginning! A new restaurant from the Castellucci Hospitality Group will be opening in the building’s retail area, with a menu focused on Basque inspired dining. The restaurant will be named Cooks & Soldiers and it will be an expansive 4,600 square feet.

Additionally, a Buckhead-based boutique called The Bilt-House will open a new location in the area. The store is a lifestyle boutique targeted at a high end demographic. Another ladies boutique is moving in to the building’s retail space called Kane.

More vacant space that is available for new retail tenants is tentatively projected to include a salon. As of now, there is not much information in terms of dates for development.