Home Appraisals By Alan Daniel
For an accurate 3rd party opinion of what your home is worth in todays marketplace
State of the Market
November 1, 2017
The suburban market is very finicky with market conditions based largely on location and value range. Homes located under $500,000 are typically strong and anything related to the townhome and condo market is on fire. With that said, higher price points and homes where there is a lot of new construction activity is stabilizing at best. Reasons for the slowdown include time of year, competition from new construction and changes in buyer preferences. The baby boom generation of the 1990's and early 2000's were all about big homes with all the bells and whistles. All those baby boomers are starting to age and need to downsize. Millennial's are not as interested in the very large homes as we were. Those homes that sell the best are smaller, manageable homes with updated interiors. Older subdivisions with very large, un-renovated homes have been hit the hardest (i.e. Country Club of the South, St Ives, etc.) with a significant number of sellers but only a limited number of buyers for these homes.
Updating is extremely important to the sale of a home. I am finding those homes with updated interiors sell for a significant premium over those that have not been renovated. Renovation to today's standard is very different from just 10 years ago. Décor and buyers preferences have changed significantly. Light colors, light cabinets and light granite, light marble and backsplash appear to be the rage. Farmhouse style in Milton seems to be very well accepted by the marketplace. Homes that were updated in 2005 to 2010 tend to have dark granite, dark cabinets, dark door hardware and plumbing fixtures etc. Even though these homes have high quality interior finish, the perception of the market is different today and those homes with modern interiors will sell first and for a higher price.
The suburban market does not have the luxury of any natural or manmade boundaries so there always seems to be land located “farther” out for development. This keeps a lid on appreciation. I find markets where there is limited land available for construction sees the greatest appreciation. Areas inside I-285 are an excellent example - limited vacant land available for development and longer commuting times for properties located outside of the perimeter. Unfortunately, the suburbs really do not have boundaries so our appreciation is less. Those properties that appreciate the most are those that have some positive external influence, for example, within walking distance of Avalon, downtown Roswell or Alpharetta. Again, limited availability drives prices in these markets. Even higher priced homes tend to sell better in these locations.
The hot market continues to be the townhome, condo and affordable homes where there is no competition from new construction. Even older neighborhoods with no competition sell very well. Of course, those homes that are updated sell for significantly more and quicker than those that have not been updated. Appraisals can not keep up with appreciation due to limited supply. Appraisals are based on historical sales but there is so much demand for some of these products that multiple offers bid up the price well above original asking. In these cases, I just try to substantiate the highest, supportable value and hope the buyer is in a position to come out of pocket for the difference.