Bargain Home Prices Set The Stage For Better Sales In The New Year

Tina Fountain

Even the hot Atlanta area has not been immune to the national real estate trends. October 2008 was a tough month for home prices in the metro Atlanta area. According to a 20-city index released last week, single-family home prices dropped an average of 10.5 percent. And Atlanta was one of 14 cities to see a double-digit drop in prices. The metro Atlanta area also posted a record month-to-month decline of 2.4 percent.

In fact, the only thing moving for some brokers are foreclosures at this point, where smart buyers are snapping up fantastic deals for long-term profits. However, as a result, many people are reconsidering personal decisions, such as changing jobs, out of fear of not being able to sell their homes.

And those in the market for a new home are simply holding back until the economy begins to improve.

However, Atlanta is not alone in these trends. In fact, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of home prices also showed that home prices in 20 major metropolitan areas have reported at least an 18 percent dive over last year's numbers. From Los Angeles to New York, and other metro cities in between, the housing market has seen significant changes from its recent heyday.

The result: 22 consecutive months of price drops.

Many economists contribute the large decline in home prices in October to the collapse of Lehman Brothers and other Wall Street free-falls. The tight credit market has not been contributing either, although legislation is currently being debated that would loosen the credit markets again for both businesses and individuals.

What does this mean for Atlanta home sales in the upcoming year?

Some analysts believe that the future for the Atlanta real estate market is an optimistic one, based on the fact that low interest rates and rock bottom prices will lure buyers back into the market. With Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac considering backing mortgages from private banks, analysts believe that the credit market may become more accessible again.

In addition, with Wall Street and Main Street banking on President Obama's stimulus package, many economists and industry experts predict that 2009 will see an upswing in the economy –which will bode well for the national and local real estate market.

Nonetheless, real estate still stands to be an excellent long-term investment, especially when you compare the profitability and inherent value of purchasing a property on Main Street in comparison to investing in the paper stocks of Wall Street. While even Fortune 500 companies come and go, the physical value of real estate will always be inherent, and 2009 may be a good year to snap up good deals that will bring long-term profitability.

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Tina Fountain Realtors is an Atlanta Georgia Real Estate company serving the entire Metro Atlanta area including Buckhead Homes For Sale and Cobb County Homes For Sale. Contact Tina and her staff of professional agents at 404.842.1555.

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