I recently consulted with Scott Murphy, appraiser with D.S. Murphy & Associates, as I have clients relocating here that are looking for newer construction in a family friendly neighborhood with amenities and superb public schools. I knew that Scott would know of any areas outside of North Fulton and South Forsyth, where we had already been hunting. Scott shared the information below with me:
Always a pleasure to be in your office and thanks for your questions!
You are right on point. The only areas we are seeing steady stabilization is north Fulton and south Forsyth. We do a lot of foreclosure appraisal and pre-foreclosure appraisals – 30-40% are in Stone Mountain/Lithonia; 20% in south Fulton; 10% in Gwinnett. These areas are still very unstable and will continue to see far more foreclosures. We see very few pre-foreclosure orders in North Fulton and South Forsyth.
Most new construction in areas other than North Fulton and South Forsyth is existing inventory. Very few of the new construction neighborhoods in these area are moving forward. In contrast, North Fulton and South Forsyth have seen more building permits than any other areas. Perfect example is Ashton Woods Madison Park – they sold out in a matter of months – selling 20+/month.
Just look at the map of where Ashton Woods is building – there is good reason why they are not building east, west or south of Atlanta.
This may sound a little drastic but people from outside Georgia moving in need to realize how bad schools are in Georgia compared to other states. Schools in North Fulton and South Forsyth are excellent and compare favorably with schools around the country but some schools are at bottom of the barrel across the country – look at Clayton County who lost their accreditation a few years ago.
Hope this helps.
In all, Scott’s information confirmed my thoughts about the stabilizing market, particularly in North Fulton. Education, affordable housing, and job opportunities help drive this stabilization and the increase in new construction.