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Real Estate Continues to be Strong in the Area

Home sales in Fayette and Coweta Counties have been on a roller coaster for the past several years.

    Trends went from a strong market before the Pandemic, to a dip at the start of the Pandemic, followed by a steady rise during the Pandemic, and then an all-out explosion of sales in the past 18 months. In 2021 and early 2022 sellers experienced a nirvana of quick sales, bidding wars, and offers over asking price.

    Several months into 2022 the rising material prices, low inventory, and high demand continued to drive  the seller’s market. In March 2022 the FED began to raise interest rates at a rate faster than any previous cycle in the last forty years. As such, mortgage rates also began to rise. After starting the year just above 3%, mortgage rates ended 2022 at just under 7%.

    As a result, the growth of sales that had been experienced in the past several years has begun to cool down. Realistically, the growth in home values and sales was not sustainable in the long run, so it isn’t suprising that an adjustment has occurred. The good new is that it is being predicted that the rates will fall as the year goes on.

    So where does that leave current home sellers and buyers for the rest of 2023? While the market will probably not become a buyer’s market, it will balance out and be less of a seller’s market because of expected inventory increases and fewer people being able to afford new homes, particularly first time  homeowners. 

    Luckily, both Fayette and Coweta Counties continue to be strong and consistent in the real estate market as a result of the area’s quality of life, schools, job market, and climate.

Coweta and Fayette Counties home sales statistics  (data sourced from Georgia MLS)

    In 2021 the average price of a single-family home sold in Fayette County was around $440,000. The average days on market for those homes was 26 days. In 2022 the average sold price climbed 14% to about $501,000 with the days on market staying about the same, at 27 days. The total number of homes in all of Fayette sold fell just over 15% - from 2,273 in 2021 to 1,926 in 2022.

    The three largest cities in the two counties all had similar statistics showing that 2022 continued to be a strong seller’s market.

    In Peachtree City the average sold price in 2021 was just over $473,000. In 2022 the average sold price increased over 14% to just above $541,000. The average time on the market was about the same both years with an average market time of 18 to 19 days. Closed home sales rose about 13% from 2021 to 2022. There were 799 homes closed in 2022 versus 708 homes in 2021.

    In Fayetteville, the average sold price in 2021 was just over $401,000 with 28 days on the market. In 2022 the average sold price jumped to over $460,000, over 14%, with a market time of 30 days. There was a small decrease in the number of homes sold in 2022 compared to 2021, but at a higher average price.

    Looking at Newnan, the average sold price in 2021 was just over $334,000 with 28 days on the market. In 2022 the average sold price jumped to over $389,000, an increase of over 16%, with a market time of 25 days.

`    In Coweta County there was about a 20% drop in the number of homes sold from 2021 to 2022, but with the values of the homes sold being significantly higher. The average SOLD price rose 19% from just under $353,000 in 2021 to almost $420,000 in 2022. The days on market went from 31 to 27. 

    We asked Dorrie Love, Past President of the Georgia Association of REALTORS®, who has almost 30 years experience in the local market what she thought 2023 would bring to the real estate market in Fayette and Coweta.

    She thinks that the market will level out compared to previous years. “I believe we are going to see a much more balanced real estate market when it comes to it being a seller’s market versus a buyer’s market. The days of sellers throwing a crazy price (meaning there is no market data to support it) on their home and being inflexible on price and concessions is pretty much over. Those sellers are chasing the market at this point. I’m seeing more price reductions, re-listed homes, and higher days on market.”

    In addition, she states, “housing inventory is still lagging behind pre-COVID levels. The good news is that there are homes on the market to purchase with sellers who are willing to negotiate. That being said, the increase in interest rates is also causing the buyer pool to decrease as buyers are seeing their potential mortgage budgets become out of reach.”

    In her opinion, now more than ever it is important for a seller to rely on a local and knowledgeable REALTOR® who can give them current market data to help them set a realistic list price.

    She also says, “if you plan to purchase a home in 2023, you are best served to work with a local REALTOR® expert who can negotiate on your behalf to help you achieve your housing goals.”

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