Across Atlanta, evidence abounds that homebuying activity has not ground to a halt with other sectors of the economy in the face of the novel coronavirus.
In light of COVID-19 concerns, real estate tech platform HomeLight conducted a recent national survey of 600 top agents that found almost 52 percent of homebuyers have paused their search, even as homes continue to list, pointing to an eventual inventory glut and buyer’s market.
But locally, Kelly Stephens, managing broker of Engel & Volkers Buckhead and Atlanta North Fulton, noted a few interesting numbers in an email to Curbed Atlanta: Between last Monday and Friday alone in metro Atlanta, more than 1,100 homes went under contract, and 439 closings were completed.
“All of my listings are still being shown—maybe not as often, but they still are,” says Sherry Bailey, of Keller Williams Realty Intown Atlanta, whose 1930s bungalow listing (pictured above and below) asking $325,000 in Westview went under contract in a matter of hours this past weekend. “Even in troubled times, people still need a place to call home.”
In the past week, accepted offers also came quickly for an East Atlanta cottage and another bungalow in South Atlanta, both priced in the low $300,000s. The same can be said for a pricier Grant Park bungalow asking $429,000 and even a two-bedroom Midtown penthouse priced at $895,000, which went under contract in less than four days.
Bailey’s Westview listing hit the market Saturday and was under “pending” status Sunday.
“Whether they’re moving for a job, downsizing, or taking advantage of the slower market to find their perfect home without as much competition, buyers are still out there,” Bailey notes. “The real estate industry is doing everything we can to make sure we pivot as well.”
That includes video walk-throughs and virtual open houses, meaning the only person in the home is the agent.
“When the buyers truly want to see it in person, agents are taking precautions like asking sellers to leave all the lights on and interior doors open to limit the number of surfaces that buyers and agents have to touch” and cleaning touched surfaces with antibacterial wipes after showings, Bailey says.
Bailey’s Westview listing description emphasizes that the home can toured virtually from any sofa. It points to the original hardwoods and French doors as examples of the all-brick home’s charms, and the Ontario Avenue location as being “one of the most sought-after streets in all of Westview, putting you just steps from The Flats at Westview, including Westview Corner Grocery, Slutty Vegan, Firewall Pizza, and more.”
Additional selling points: The backyard, unrefined but capable of hosting massive barbecues, and blocks-away proximity to the Beltline’s Westside Trail and the Lee+White district.