Millennial Home Buyers

According to the census bureau, homeownership rates in the U.S have reached a four year high, with 64.8% of Americans owning a home in 2019. The percentage of Millennial homeowners is also on the rise, with the number growing from 34.3% in the first quarter of 2017, to 36.5% in the fourth quarter of 2018. Additionally, when Millennials were polled with the question “When do you plan to buy a home?” 40% answered within two years, while 73% responded within five years. 


According to NAR, younger Millennials (born between 1990-1998) make up 11% of the home buying population, while older Millennials (born between 1980-1989) constitute 26% of new home buyers. The biggest problem facing this generations ability to purchase a home is student loan debt, which come as no surprise to most. However, the low interest rates we are experiencing definitely help to offset that difference and give buyers more power and the ability to afford a higher priced home.


After all the waiting and wondering when this generation will step up to homeownership, the data shows that things are finally starting to pick up. Our team, Mary Beth Lake & Associates, specializes in first time home buyers and enjoys helping our clients navigate through the home buying and selling process, regardless of generation! 

What's the Spring Market Frenzy about?

Spring is undoubtedly the busiest time of the year when it comes to buying and selling Atlanta real estate. Some of this can be blamed on the sheer frenzy instilled in consumers, and the expectations that “now is the time!” Even still, spring has been known as selling season, and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.


According to, inventory and sales both peak in the summer months. Considering a typical 30-45 day closing, this is right on schedule with most transactions occurring in the spring. However, just because everyone else is doing it, should you hop on the “spring market” bandwagon? There are both pros and cons to purchasing and selling during this time.


For a seller in Atlanta area, the pro to a spring market is its proof to provide a quicker sale than any other time of the year. In late spring, a seller can expect their home to sell about 18.5 days quicker than the average days on market any other time of year. Homes listed mid March through April sell about 15 days faster than the average days on market. Additionally, sellers typically receive 1% more on sales price during late spring, and 2% more during early spring, according to Pros for an Atlanta buyer include higher inventory and more options since there are simply more homes to choose from. Many buyers have been laying low in their home search waiting to pounce on the best listings they know will be coming as soon spring hits.


The Cons to this rush for sellers is the competition. Although their house may show really well, and they may get top dollar, so will every other listing in metro Atlanta during this season. This rush of both buyers and sellers into the market can create bidding wars, multiple offers, and even more sense of urgency. Many times, the seller holds more negotiating power in these scenarios, which does not work in favor for the buyer.


In conclusion, the Atlanta Spring Real Estate market is a perfect example of supply and demand. The demand by the buyer gives the seller a reason to supply the inventory during this time of year. Although April is rated with highest amount of new listings, many buyers and sellers will choose to avoid the frenzy and wait it out until fall or winter before making a move, as they may prefer a slower pace and less pressure. 


2019 Real Estate Forecast

After a great year for the Atlanta Real Estate Market in 2018, this year should be another positive one to follow. Not without it’s challenges, of course, so here are a few things to keep in mind looking forward.

Average sales price grew 7% from 2017 to 2018, with the average home price now selling for $311,000. However, the price gap between homes listed for sale and homes that actually sold was $202,000.  This reflects a high demand for homes at a lower price point, and not enough inventory to serve it. However, the Atlanta metro area will see an increase of inventory in 2019, from various price points.


The increase in inventory is expected to reach a 6-month’s supply of homes by the end of the year, which should help put downward pressure on the home price jumps, and have a positive impact on affordability. In 2018, Metro Atlanta experienced a pretty consistent 2-4 month supply of homes, which is considered a “sellers market”, so climbing to a 6 month supply will mean a more neutral market, giving buyers more opportunity when it comes to purchasing a home.


Interest rates are a more recent hot topic with our ever-changing market. With rates currently hovering around 4.5%, they are expected to increase to around 5.2% by the end of the year. Even still, we are at a historical low considering the 18% mortgage rates back in the early 80’s (Can you imagine!?). However, this does impact purchasing power for buyers, giving them less house for the same monthly payment. The message here? Don’t wait to buy a home this year just for the sake of waiting.  


All of these factors aside, Atlanta is still one of the most affordable cities in the U.S, and the voice for a more work/play/live lifestyle with less commuting, better transportation, and an eco friendly environment is being heard loud and clear. This year, Atlanta will start to see condominium conversions, which takes current apartments and converts them into “for sale” units instead of strictly leasing. This transition is expected to help residents get inside the perimeter at a lower price point, and take advantage of the lifestyle offered inside the city. Additionally, there are many organizations on a city and state wide level working to create more affordable housing options all over metro Atlanta, including the potential of tiny homes.


This is an exciting time for Atlanta as we are experiencing so much growth and development, which will in turn help us to thrive. Home ownership plays an important role for singles, families, millennials, baby boomers, and every generation and circumstance out there. Everyone has the right to own a home, and our team is committed to helping our clients do so, under any market conditions.

To receive a copy of the 2019 Forecast, please contact Sarah Alter, our newest team member. She can send a digital copy.

What is The ATL?

What is The ATL?  There’s been a lot of mention lately about The ATL transforming the way Atlanta views transit.

It began back in 2005 when the transit planning board was created, which begin to stir the idea of better public transportation for our city. After 12 years of trying to improve Marta and transit in various ways, the Georgia House created a Commission on Transit Governance and Funding in 2017, which recommended a new regional framework for transportation in our city.

Finally, HB930 was signed into law on May 3rd of 2018, which intends to improve coordination, integration, and efficiency of transit in Metro Atlanta.  Thus, The ATL, Atlanta Region Transit Link Authority, was officially born. Essentially, it is a unifying entity that ensures coordinated transit planning, funding, and increased transparency.

There are three main reasons why this organization was created.

  1. To support and increase economic development

  2. Focus on transit needs for the growing metro Atlanta population

  3. Have a positive impact on regional mobility

In a survey done in 2017, 95% of Atlanta residents stated that transit is either very important or important, and the majority of voters also said the best long term fix is to expand public transit as a whole.

The changes we will see as consumers are the initial rebranding to The ATL from Marta. All new assets over $250,000 purchased by Marta will have the new logo, and by 2023, all Marta property will display The ATL logo.

Another huge component of The ATL is the combination of transportation from 13 counties and 10 individual public transit systems in Metro Atlanta to all be a part of this organization. This means one unified company for all Atlanta/ Metro Atlanta transportation, including trains, busses, and additional transit developing from things such as the BeltLine expansion.

This is a huge step for Atlanta. In addition to seeing a fresh new appearance, riders can also look forward to a much better experience while commuting. More frequent trains, better aesthetics, and more measures for safety. This transition will absolutely have a positive impact on the Atlanta real estate market, as it makes our city much more cohesive and easier to move between all the great neighborhoods we have to offer. Walkability and easier commutes are on the rise!

As a team, Lake & Associates values this type of transit development. Being a large part of the Governmental Affairs committee, we find it important to assist in the collaboration between commercial and residential real estate to better serve our clients and make a better living experience in our community.