Buckhead’s Real Estate Market: A Tale of Rising Prices Amidst Declining Sales

The data shown was derived from FMLS data for single family homes sold in Buckhead. Condo and townhome sales are following a similar though less dramatic path.

In the ever-evolving landscape of Buckhead’s real estate market, a recent trend analysis reveals a striking dichotomy in the single-family homes sector. The data, spanning from 2018 to 2023, shows increasing property values against a backdrop of declining sales volumes, a trend that speaks volumes about the shifting dynamics of this desirable area of Atlanta.

The red line in the graph illustrates a downward trajectory in the number of single-family homes sold over the years. The peak of sales was observed in 2021, with 1,437 homes sold. However, this figure took a sharp downturn in the subsequent years, with sales plummeting to just 672 homes last year. This represents a startling drop of approximately 53% from the 2021 peak and a 27.4% drop from the prior year.

The chart paints a different picture with its blue line, indicating the average sale prices of these homes. In a counterintuitive twist, the prices have been consistently on the rise, even as the number of sales dwindled. From an average price of $1.13 million in 2018, the market saw a steady climb, reaching a zenith of $1.71 million in 2023. This upward trend in prices, marking an increase of over 50% in five years, suggests that the Buckhead market remains a bastion for high-value properties, attracting affluent buyers despite the overall decrease in transactions.

While this data clearly indicates that Buckhead remains the address of choice, it exposes the fact that supply levels of available homes are clearly not keeping up with demand. With metro Atlanta once again poised to be one of the top US real estate markets in 2024, these trends are likely to persist.

Is This A Problem That Requires A Solution?

While individual home-owners may cheer the news of their home value increasing, it is a point of debate whether these increases in value and constraints on supply are healthy long term for our community. Affordable housing advocates focus on workforce housing through multi-family projects such as the one proposed by the Atlanta Beltline Inc at 579 Garson Drive in South Buckhead, but single-family homes are never part of those conversations. Not since Atlanta’s City Planner Tim Keane released Atlanta City Design Housing in December 2020, has anyone attempted to change housing density and zoning to allow for more single-family homes to be built at a lower cost. The pushback from the community to these changes was strong and swift. Keane left Atlanta for the same position in Boise, Idaho one year after unveiling his proposals, which have since been tabled. Without the political will or public support for changes to zoning, the Buckhead real estate market will continue to be shaped by the delicate balance between available land, construction costs, supply, demand, and interest rates.

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