Decreased inventory and rising demand for homes in Cobb County is stimulating new construction, but only in select areas. In unincorporated Cobb and its six cities, 133 permits to build single-family homes were issued; representing a 43 percent increase over the 93 permits issued in January 2012; and more than double the 65 permits issued in January 2011.
Unincorporated Cobb, which includes high demand east Cobb, had 100 permits issued — up 66 percent from the 60 issued in January 2012. Smyrna led the cities with 15 permits issued. Next in line was Acworth, where Kerley Family Homes pulled 11 permits for new homes.
The city of Marietta issued seven permits, and the cities of Austell, Kennesaw and Powder Springs all issued none.
Brenda Beshara, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Atlanta North, said she has seen more activity than is typical for January.
“There is a saturation of buyers right now,” Beshara said. “This is early for the buying season, and inventory is at an all-time low.”
She said that 2012 statistics show a 10.6 percent increase in home sales in Metro Atlanta as compared to 2011 and a 28.5 percent increase as compared to 2010.
“This increase is being felt across all price points with the exception of the under $100,000 range that was (in the past) leading the market in sales,” said Beshara. “The increase of sales in the higher price points, compounded with the decrease of sales in the under $100,000 range, translates to a significant increase in median sales price for metro Atlanta.”
Ginny Bishop, director of marketing at Cobb-based Acadia Homes, said her company sold six homes in Cobb in January and sold out its Maner Street subdivision located off of Cooper Lake Road in Smyrna.
Acadia Homes Vice President Michael Rosenberg said that while sales are driving Acadia to build, lending remains tenuous.
“We are seeing construction lending ease slightly, but banks are still extremely cautious in making lending decisions to builders,” Rosenberg said.
Beshara says the number of days a property is on the market has decreased, and sellers are now able to get a price much closer to their list price than in the past.
“In some areas and price points, we have more buyers than inventory, causing multiple buyers to compete for the same property,” she said.