State of the Union- Market Update Q1 2013 – Up, Up, Up and Off to the races!

So where shall I begin.     The Atlanta Real Estate market is now for sure up, up, up and away.     A little less than 4 years ago I left a solid track record of corporate jobs and decided to dive into Real Estate as both an Investor and an Agent full time.   The move was somewhat risky at the time, but would prove to be both exciting and at very least something new.    Fast forward to 2013 and last year I was the top producing Agent out of a firm of over 100.    My knowledge, expertise and care with regard to my client’s needs has helped me attain my role as one of the top Condo Agents in Atlanta.

At the time in 2009, I wanted to be not  just any Real Estate Agent, but rather an Agent who focuses on condos and lofts; predominantly highrises.     I had little desire to learn school districts and outward bound subdivisions, but rather I took it upon myself to learn as much as possible about Atlanta’s various highrise and loft buildings.     At the time in 2009 the condo market was in a real funk.   Short sales and foreclosures were in every building and were often in abundance.     Cash, non levered yields on investment properties were often over 10%, and on fact closer to 20% on lower tiered properties.      At the time no one wanted to own any more real estate, no matter what the yield or opportunity.

Fast forward to today, January 2013.   I now have emails and phone calls from investors from all over Atlanta, New York,  Asia, Canada, and the UK often times scrambling to purchase anything sight unseen.       As I type this I have deals closing in February for clients at The Viewpoint, Eclipse, The Stacks Lofts, Buckhead Grand, Lenox Green, as well as a few single family homes.       Seven deals, for a February is a very good number.    Having accumulated 9 rentals and now holding 4 security deeds (sold properties and financed the buyer) I am in a strong position now to tell all who will listen “I told you so” with regard to the housing market and its inevitable come back.

In any case, my clients continue to benefit from my near 4 years of due diligence with regard to the Atlanta condo market.   As most of my clients know I take great pride in knowing as much as possible  about each building.   This includes knowing what kinds of people dwell in various developments, roughly the state of each building’s finances or perceived financial position, the 4 year history of short sales and foreclosures, applicable nightlife and dining options, and in many cases I have a strong grasp of many of the building’s floor plans.

My clients are often bidding full price or over full price for many units these days.  Last month two of my clients bid for two different corner units at the Eclipse building.   One bid over $20,000 over the list price for a foreclosure.  We did not get it.  Within 7 days it had 13 bids, and was very likely scooped up by someone offering cash and very likely from a far away land.     The other corner unit, a super nice 19th floor largest corner in the building was offered by an owner, and within three days it had 3 or 4 offers.  We bid over the list price and again did not get the property.   Eclipse is a building I certainly wish I would have purchased a unit in last year.   I almost bought one low floor foreclosure but did not quite get the terms I wanted, and thus did not pull the trigger.  I would have been up $30,000 on that unit, had I pulled the trigger.     In glass buildings, or traditional (think Paramount, or Paces 325) the 1 bedroom condo under $140,000 is now largely a thing of the past.   I do not expect it to come back either.   There are currently a few 2 bedrooms under $300,000 at buildings like Realm, Buckhead Grand and Metropolis that pop up from time to time.  Newsflash, these are limited and the days of glass highrise 2 bed/2 bath units under $300k are limited and I suspect they could be gone as soon as this summer.     Yes the market is moving that fast.

1010 Midtown, a building where I sold the most in 2011 now has units starting in the mid $200k range for 1 bedrooms, and low $400k range for 2 bedrooms.  That building is up about 20-30% since their low at the end of 2010.     My many clients who bought there and shared my enthusiasm for the project’s location, finishes, amenities and relative value are now sitting very pretty.      At The Viewpoint, where ATL Condo Deals listed most of the units for sale and lease in 2012, prices are up 10-20% in that same time frame.

In short, the macro picture for housing is moving faster than ever.  Up until last week I would have said that we have just started the 2nd leg of a 4 leg upward cycle in housing.   As of today I now feel we are solidly in the 2nd leg.     That said there is still most of the game to go.   The yields and ongoing returns are in Real Estate.      People, seeing their low-yielding bank statements come in realize this more and more every day.    If you are seeking a condo in Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Decatur, or Gwinnett then you owe to yourself to contact me and tap in to the knowledge base I have built up over the years.    Please consult my contact form below with your needs.


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