“A Very Dynamic Market”
by: Mike Congemi, Real Estate Appraiser
A year ago it was easy to say property values in the entire Atlanta real estate market were rising. This past summer the 10 year bond rate went up aggressively which in turn caused mortgage rates go from historic lows of 2.75%- 3% range to 7.5% range in a matter of months. This put a shock in the market and created some interesting dynamics.
I cringe when the local media report stats for the overall Atlanta real estate market, because we all live in submarkets of the overall Atlanta market. We must understand that the Atlanta real estate market is made up of thousands of submarkets. Each of these submarkets have their own uniqueness in housing stock, supply and demand and other socioeconomic features.
With the sharp increase in interest rates, many submarkets median prices over the past year began to stabilize. Any increases or decreases in these markets were typically within +/-5% of being steady and most of the time these fluctuations were due to seasonal variability. There are some exceptions like the Centennial High School market in North Fulton county that is still showing a 14% increase in median prices. This submarket still shows it is a seller’s market.
I want to highlight the Lindley Middle School submarket in South Cobb area around Austell GA. I recently appraised the same house in this submarket. The first time I appraised the subject house was October 11, 2023. If you note on the addendum page the chart for October 11 shows the median prices to be very stable. I appraised the same house again December 2, 2023, less than 60 days after the first appraisal. If you look at the addendum page at the December 2 chart you will note an approximate 2% decline, but more importantly notice the trend has turned downward. In the December report I still called the market stable due to seasonal fluctuations, but with the current trend in the Lindley market, if it does not change, there is a good possibility that this submarket will be in decline by February 2024.
The takeaway for those practicing in family law is that if your client brings you an appraisal or valuation from several months ago to a year ago, there is a chance the market has changed and it is prudent to spend a few hundred dollars on a current appraisal or valuation to see what the current market is and plus the valuation intended use will be for division of real estate assets in divorce and not for mortgage purposes. A current appraisal could mean thousands of dollars for your client.
Mike Congemi is Principal of the valuation firm Appraisal Workx, LLC. His firm specializes in valuations for estate, divorce, bankruptcy, surety bonds and prelisting. Appraisal Workx also works with investors and lenders to mitigate risk in their investments via forensic valuations. Mike is also a Candidate for Designation of the Appraisal Institute and a member of the Divorce Network.
Mike Congemi can be reached at email@example.com