Georgia Real Estate Market Trends & Analysis


The Georgia real estate market has found itself the primary beneficiary of very encouraging economic trends. In particular, the state’s employment rate recently posted an all-time high. Fewer people are claiming unemployment, which continues to stimulate economic growth.

That, in association with relatively affordable home prices and state-wide wage increase initiatives, has facilitated the perfect real estate environment. In fact, real estate in Georgia is in the midst of a perfect storm which should benefit everyone who actively participates in the market: buyers, sellers and investors.

The Top Georgia Real Estate Markets


While the best real estate market in Georgia is up for debate, here’s a list of the cities investors may want to pay special considerations to:

Georgia Real Estate Fees & Regulations

Real Estate

Closing Conducted by: Attorneys
Conveyance: Warranty Deed

Foreclosure Procedure

Primary Foreclosure Method: Non-Judicial
Process Period: 2 - 3 months
Notice of Sale: Trustee
Redemption Period: None

Taxes

Income Tax: 1.0% - 6.0%
Corporate Tax: 6%
Sales Tax: 4.00%
Estate Tax: 35%
Inheritance Tax: No
Median Property Tax: 0.83%
Property Taxes by County: http://www.tax-rates.org/georgia/property-tax#Counties

Average Transactional Costs

Closing Cost: $2,433
Transfer Fee: 0.10%
Origination Fee: $1,766.00

Overview

  • Median Home Value: $191,800

  • 1-Year Appreciation Rate: +8.1%

  • Median Home Value (1-Year Forecast): +4.1%

  • Median Rent Price: $1,450

  • Price-To-Rent Ratio: 11.02

  • Average Days On Market: 65

  • Percent With Negative Equity: 9.5%

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (latest estimate by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics)

  • Population: 10,519,475 (latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Median Household Income: $52,977 (latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Percentage Of Vacant Homes: 13.73%

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 2,204

Median Home Prices In Georgia


The media home price in Georgia, at least according to Zillow’s Home Value Index, is somewhere in the neighborhood of $191,800. Today’s home values are surpassing pre-recession price points, and are now easily higher than they have ever been. Every increase in value represents a historic milestone. It is worth noting, however, that the road to today’s prices wasn’t without its own obstacles.

Over the course of a decade, real estate in Georgia (not unlike the rest of the country) has experienced a significant price variance. As recently as April 2012 (when the Georgia real estate market bottomed out), the median home value in Georgia was approximately $109,000. In that time (from April 2012 to today), median home values in the Georgia real estate market appreciated 75.9%. To put things into perspective, the median home value in the United States increased 55.0% over the same period of time to get to where it is today: $231,000.

The drastic increase in prices is largely the result of the same indicators that have lifted prices across the country since 2012: Growing optimism in the real estate sector, a strengthening economy, and a distinct lack of available housing. If for nothing else, more buyers are able to actively participate in the market thanks to improving working conditions, opportunities and wages. In fact, the Georgia real estate market is widely believed to be the primary beneficiary of a record-long economic expansion. That said, there simply aren’t enough homes to meet the demands of today’s buyers. As a result, homeowners have been able to increase asking prices in response to growing competition. For the better part of a decade, in fact, Georgia homeowners have benefited from a seller’s market based on supply and demand fundamentals that lean heavily in favor of sellers.

Homes in the Georgia real estate market have appreciated at a faster pace than a majority of the United States, and there’s nothing to suggest the trend won’t continue for the foreseeable future. In the last year, Georgia appreciation rates greatly outpaced the United States as a whole—7.9% and 4.8%, respectively. Moving forward, median home values in Georgia are expected to nearly double the appreciation rates of their national counterparts. Whereas real estate in Georgia is expected to increase 4.8% over the next 12 months, median home values in the U.S. will most likely see a more modest 2.8% jump.

The slight decrease in appreciation rates isn’t indicative of a subsequent downturn, but rather a return to normalcy. There isn’t a lot of room for prices to continue growing before they price buyers out of the market completely. That, and the addition of new inventory to the Georgia housing market, should serve to ease future appreciation rates for the foreseeable future.

Median Rent Prices In Georgia


Not unlike every other market across the country, rental prices in Georgia share a direct correlation with home values. For the better part of a decade, in fact, rental prices have increased with their home value counterparts at a historical pace. As a result, the median rent price in the Georgia real estate market is now about $1,450. At that price point, today’s asking rents are higher than they have ever been, and continue to break records with each passing day. It is worth noting, however, that things were vastly different a mere seven years ago. In November 2012, in fact, the median rent price in Georgia was about $1,108. That means asking rents have increased about 30.8% over the course of seven years.

For a better frame of reference, the median rent price across the entire country is about $1,700, or nearly $600 more than Georgia’s average rental price. Despite the disparity, however, it’s Georgia’s rental price that has actually increased at a faster rate over the last seven years. Since November 2012, median rents in the United States have increased 28.6%.

Georgia Foreclosure Trends & Statistics


According to RealtyTrac, a nationally recognized real estate information company that specializes in distressed properties, Georgia has a high distribution of distressed properties. With approximately one out of every 2,288 homes in some stage of distress (default, auction or bank owned), Georgia boasts a foreclosure rate of 4.3%, which is about 0.4% higher than the national average.

While most of the states across the country saw their foreclosure activity decline over the first six months of 2019, Georgia was one of the 16 states that posted a year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts in the first half of 2019. As recently as September, “the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in GA was 4% lower than the previous month and 12% higher than the same time last year,” according to RealtyTrac.

No other city has contributed more to the Georgia real estate market’s foreclosure situation than Atlanta. In August, Atlanta posted a year-over-year increase of 50%—no other city saw a greater increase over the same time. That said, Atlanta isn’t the only market with a high distribution of distressed homes. According to RealtyTrac, the following counties have the highest foreclosure rates in the entire state:

  • Liberty (1 in every 749)

  • Henry (1 in every 897)

  • Butts (1 in every 936)

  • Polk (1 in every 999)

  • Rockdale (1 in every 1,078)



Tax Lien Investing



  • Tax Lien or Deed: Redemption Deed State with Penalty

  • Interest Rate: Penalty of 20% if redeemed after sale

  • Redemption Period: 1 Year after Tax Deed Sale

Real Estate Investing In Georgia


Real estate investors across the country have made a living off of dealing in distressed properties, and Georgia real estate investors are no exception. If for nothing else, distressed assets award savvy investors with higher profit margins than their traditional counterparts. In fact, few other states award investors with the same opportunity to find and acquire distressed assets than the Georgia real estate market.

As it turns out, real estate in Georgia offers a higher distressed rate than the majority of states in the country, which means investors may have an easier time finding motivated sellers. To truly increase their odds of landing a distressed home, however, Georgia real estate investors should pay special considerations to local auctions. As recently as September 2019, auction homes made up 76.2% of the state’s distressed properties.

The overwhelming majority of Georgia’s distressed property market has already been repossessed. It is worth noting, however, that the loan originators and banks now responsible for the recently reacquired assets would rather sell them than hold onto them as non-performing inventory. That way, they’ll at least be able to recoup some of the money they were originally intending to make off the initial loan. Consequently, it is better to auction off assets at a discount than to incur holding costs over prolonged periods of time. Therein lies the benefit of Georgia real estate investing: auctions may award savvy investors with a great opportunity to secure deals at a discount. Since most of Georgia’s distressed properties are to be sold at auction, investors will increase their odds of landing a deal with good profit margins by focusing their acquisition efforts on local auctions.

Of course, knowing where to find real estate deals in Georgia is only part of the equation. Once investors secure deals, they need to know what to do with them, which begs the question: Which exit strategies are working the best for Georgia real estate investors?

With a price-to-rent ratio of 11.02, both renting and buying appear to be affordable options for Georgia residents, which actually bodes incredibly well for local real estate investors. Demand will most likely persist in the face of rising prices, which should help increase profit margins for anyone investing in Georgia real estate. Those who aren’t able to buy, thanks to increasing competition, will be forced to rent. Whether buying or renting, there appears to be plenty of demand to facilitate a lucrative Georgia real estate investing career.

Georgia Housing Market Predictions


To be perfectly clear, every housing market prediction coincides with an inherent degree of error. There are far too many variables that must be accounted for to accurately predict a respective market’s inevitable outcome; there’s always going to be a margin for error. That said, it has become good practice to try and anticipate a market’s most likely outcome. Georgia real estate investors with their fingers on the pulse of the local market will maintain an edge over the competition, and the industry in general.

Using historical data, it is safe to assume the following Georgia real estate predictions are the most likely to come to fruition:

  • Rehabbing will remain an attractive exit strategy despite rising prices: As one of the most affordable housing markets in the country, Georgia has become a safe haven for budget-conscious investors. In fact, real estate in Georgia is so affordable that it facilitates more buying activity. As a result, rehab investors will find persistent demand for their assets now and for the foreseeable future.

  • Prices will continue to rise: As perhaps the most likely Georgia real estate market prediction to come true, there’s a great chance prices will continue to rise for at least a year. There simply isn’t enough inventory to meet current demand, which allows homeowners to drive up prices in the face of steep competition. That, combined with a strengthening economy and low interest rates, should increase the number of buyers actively participating in the market. Until there is enough inventory to satisfy demand, it looks like prices will continue to rise.

  • Optimism in the industry will work to Georgia’s favor: The Georgia real estate market has a lot working in its favor, but optimism might be its greatest resource. While the state has been ravaged by foreclosures and distressed properties, the worst appears to be in the past, and positivity is all that remains moving forward. Despite exhibiting one of the country’s highest foreclosure rates, help is on the horizon. The economy is improving, which should help a lot of homeowners get out from underwater.

Georgia Real Estate Market Summary


The Georgia real estate market has developed an affordable reputation, for both buyers and investors. Despite nearly a decade’s worth of appreciation, real estate in Georgia remains less expensive than its national counterpart. Not only is real estate well below the median home value in the United States, but Georgia’s distribution of distressed homes allows investors to secure deals below market value—with attractive profit margins, nonetheless. That, combined with growing demand and increasing optimism make Georgia a great place to consider buying real estate.

Sources:



https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/GA
https://www.bls.gov/regions/southeast/georgia.htm#eag
https://www.realtytrac.com/statsandtrends/foreclosuretrends/ga/
https://www.realtytrac.com/statsandtrends/ga/
https://www.zillow.com/ga/home-values/
https://www.zillow.com/home-values/
https://www.attomdata.com/news/market-trends/u-s-foreclosure-activity-down-24-percent-in-august-2019-14th-consecutive-month-over-month-decline/
https://www.attomdata.com/news/market-trends/flipping/q1-2019-home-flipping-report/
https://www.attomdata.com/news/market-trends/figuresfriday/top-10-u-s-counties-with-worst-foreclosure-rates-in-august-2019/
https://www.attomdata.com/news/market-trends/mid-year-q2-2019-foreclosure-market-report/
https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/GA.pdf

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