After an unconventional “hot” winter, the Atlanta housing industry has acclimated to outdoor temperatures and has temporarily cooled off. The February Cal-Culator remains at a 6.0, where it was last month. Negative external factors, such as global unrest and extreme winter weather, offset the gains in the Atlanta housing sector, such as increased home sales and prices.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, sales of new single-family homes rose 9.6 percent in January from December. Home prices increased for the 23rd consecutive month, up 0.9 percent from December.
“Price appreciation is the strongest it has been in years,” said Cal Haupt, CEO of Southeast Mortgage and author of The Cal-Culator. “Price appreciation is just one of the factors that we are beginning to see return to pre-housing bust levels.”
Other data indicated that the housing inventory crunch that has plagued Atlanta for more than a year is finally beginning to ease. Zillow reported that Atlanta inventory was up 10.7 percent in January from the previous year.
Unfortunately, external factors negatively affected the industry in February, similar to the government shutdown in October, which caused the residential real estate index to remain unchanged for a month.
“The latter part of this winter has shaken the housing industry numbers for February,” said Haupt. “As many people extended their holiday season this year and many more were affected by the two snow storms, weeks of production were taken out of the pipeline.”
U.S. home construction fell 16 percent in January from December. Construction had increased every month in 2013 before winter weather struck in December. Applications for building permits also declined in January by 5.4 percent while pending home sales remained unchanged.
Even Zillow attributed the decline in mortgage rates to the geopolitical concerns that stemmed from the turmoil in Ukraine.
The next Cal-Culator will be released April 8 on SaportaReport.com. Media will have access to the index on April 7.
About The Cal-Culator
The Cal-Culator, Atlanta’s leading residential real estate index, is the brainchild of Southeast Mortgage President and CEO Cal Haupt. To compile the index, Haupt consults a number of professional publications and indexes, such as the Mortgage Bankers Association’s commentary, Metrostudy’s market information and the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. After constantly being asked to predict what was next for the Atlanta housing market, Haupt realized stakeholders had no other credible, easy-to-understand resource to help understand Atlanta’s real estate market conditions, so in September 2013, he launched The Cal-Culator. The Cal-Culator is published on SaportaReport, Atlanta’s authoritative civic website, on the second Tuesday of every month.
About Southeast Mortgage
Southeast Mortgage, founded in 1993, is the largest non-bank lender in Georgia. A regional HUD lender with 10 branches doing business in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina, Southeast is a full-service mortgage lender offering FHA Loans, VA Loans, conventional and jumbo loans. Southeast assists its customers with purchase loans, as well as refinancing customers’ current, primary residences, second homes or investment properties. Southeast offers the following services: fixed rate loans, adjustable rate mortgages (ARM), interest only loans, jumbo loans, FHA, VA and USDA loans, and rate and term/cash-out refinancing. Southeast Mortgage is also the only mortgage lender to guarantee its customers an eight-day close on mortgages.