Vitality missing in 2008 Fayette County home sales

Thu, 02/12/2009 - 1:44pm
By: The Citizen

By Chuck Fister,
Realtor and
GA Real Property Appraiser
Special to The Citizen

Fayette County single-family listing data available as of January 1, 2009 for 2008 clearly show that the Fayette County home sales market is surviving, but lacks the vitality to thrive. The loss in sales vitality from significant historical milestones is staggering. 2008 ended with total sales of 1,085 single family listings. From 2007 with total sales of 1,552 to 2008, Fayette County lost 30.1% of sales volume. The peak year for historical sales was 2005 with 2,107 units sold. Compared to that milestone, 2008 sales were down a whopping 48.5%.
Looking further back in time, sales for 1998 were 1,901 units. Even compared to that 10-year ago period, 2008 sales are down 42.9%.

The highest sales month in recent history was June 2007 when 204 units were sold. Compare that to November and December 2008 when 56 and 60 units were sold respectively. That is roughly a 70% decrease in sales. Of course June is a premiere month for sales normally, but sales generally don’t fall off by roughly 70% in any year.

2009 is not starting off to be a turn-around year either. A good leading indicator of future sales performance is the number of listings currently under-contract. As of January 1, 2009 that number was 86 but improved to 110 as of February 1. Although 86 listings under-contract in January sounds like an improvement over 60 units sold in December, on average only about 70% of under-contract listings were successfully sold during 2008. If that sold success rate continued, then January 2009 sales would have been about 60 units.

The good news is that January ended with 70 sales, meaning that about 81% of under-contract listings successfully sold, but still under the 76 sales of January 2008. However, in November 2008 only about 54% of under-contract listings were successfully sold, followed by December when only about 61% were sold. The point is that the sold success rate was trending downward near the end of 2008, so it is heartening to see actual January sales bucking that trend.

In keeping with the national trend, lower priced Fayette County markets did better in 2008 than higher priced markets. 2006 is the year that sales of Fayette County single family homes started to trend downward. Comparing 2008 sales to 2006 shows there was a 3.5% increase in market share for Fayette listings listed less than $300,000.

That increase in sales came at the expense of listings priced more than $300,000 and has led to a lengthening of expected on-market time for those higher priced listings.
If you have any questions or comments about this article, or would like to know more about a specific market, please call or email me.

My listing performance reviews for Fayette County and surrounding counties as of February first are now available so please call or email me to request your free copy. Most of my articles are available on-line at in the Real Estate section.

For the best-in-class listing search engine, please visit my website at:
Chuck Fister is a Realtor, Georgia Real Property Appraiser, real estate consultant and sales agent with Metro Brokers/GMAC Real Estate. Call him direct at (678) 587-3425 or Email to

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