Atlanta area home buyers want new homes. This isn’t surprising of course, but that desire has been significantly increased by the pandemic. Zillow is among the most visited real estates sites in the world, they reported a 73% increase in the page views for new construction homes. As they note:
Searches for new construction homes have recently seen an uptick on Zillow, up 73 percent from last year, as an increasing number of shoppers appear interested in designing their new home. New construction buyers were most likely to rank everything being brand new and never used among their top three reasons for choosing new construction (41%). Other popular reasons included appealing home features (35%), the ability to customize the features (27%) and the option to select floor plans (25%).
A look at a few of the major market areas around Atlanta tend to show the appeal of new homes; numbers of new construction home contracts and new home closings are up in all markets over a two year period. In many, we see a spike in homes going under contract in the last few months as buyers look hard at new homes. Click the image to see the full size.
New Construction Homes in North Fulton/South Forsyth
Big swings in new construction homes North Fulton & South Forsyth during the pandemic – especially the 100%+ increase in contracts April-May ’20 after cratering at the start of the shutdown.
New Construction Homes in Cobb and South Cherokee, including East Cobb, Marietta, Woodstock and Vinings
Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and West Gwinnett
Sandy Springs-Dunwoody-West Gwinnett just had the highest under contract percentage of new construction homes in the last two years. A huge driver here are townhomes around the perimeter and detached homes in West Gwinnett.
City of Atlanta (both Fulton & Dekalb)
In the city of Atlanta north of I-20 contracts peaked right before the shutdown, settled and roared back. Tear downs, rehabs and expansions are driving the intown market.
To this point, the greater Atlanta real estate market is showing strong resilience, the shutdown slowed things but values remain stable and buyers remain active. In a sense, the spring market seems to be pushed back two months. Builders are back in the swing as well and based on what we’re seeing, with good reason.
A last word of caution (which comes from three decades of experience); ALWAYS use a buyer’s agent when considering purchase of a new construction home. There is no cost for this, the site agent is legally bound to represent only the builder. The reasons are many; especially since the industry itself acknowledges major problems with new home construction. A skilled new construction agent is critical for pre-sale market research, contract review, design and option selection, construction monitoring and of course overall quality control. Without an agent, a buyer has no teeth; an agent skilled in dealing with builders and the process is an invaluable asset. It’s not if things go wrong, it’s when.