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Gainesville has hottest housing market in country, reports say
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Construction crews work on new homes Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, along Main Street in downtown Flowery Branch. - photo by Scott Rogers

Gainesville has the hottest housing market in the country, a national financial publication is reporting.

“The area experienced annual home price appreciation of 21.1 percent, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, ranking the fourth-highest in the nation,” according to the Bankrate report.

“Even after the surge in prices, the median price of homes sold in Gainesville in April was $375,000, according to That’s a bit below the national median of $388,800 — although homes with views of picturesque Lake Lanier fetch much more.”

Bankrate says it analyzed 212 metro areas, examining appreciation of home values, employment levels, job growth, population trends, homes listed for sale and typical selling times.

Gainesville ranks ahead of Knoxville, Tenn.; Cape Coral–Fort Myers, Fla.; North Port–Sarasota–Bradenton, Fla.; and Charlotte, N.C.

The report goes on to quote Tommy Howard of Gainesville-based real estate firm The Norton Agency.

“All around, we have an A-plus community. We’re good for retirees. We’re good for young families. We’re still relatively affordable, so we see a lot of folks from California and New York gravitate toward us.”

The report also cites Gainesville’s low unemployment rate. Hall County's rate was 2% in April, according to a Georgia Department of Labor press release Thursday, May 25.

Also quoted is Tim Evans, vice president of economic development at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, who said the area has been attracting professionals who are moving out of the Atlanta metro area in search of a slower pace of life.

“We are seeing many people who are choosing to move here because they can work from home three, four, five days a week,” he said.

The Bankrate report also has drawn the attention of CBS News, which describes Gainesville as  “the nation's hottest real estate market, as a tide of renters flee pricey cities in search of homes in more affordable places.”

The area’s upbeat housing market has come with a downside, however.

Rising property values mean higher property assessments for many Hall County homeowners — and the possibility of higher property tax bills.

Data provided by the tax assessor’s office indicates that 3,982 residential single family units were sold in Hall County last year for an average price of $431,163.

“The buyers and the sellers are the ones that are telling us what a property is worth by the sales activity that they produce,” Hall County Chief Appraiser Steve Watson said. “It’s our job, based on the law, to reflect that in the appraisals. Property owners can expect our values to eventually emulate what the market is telling us that the properties are worth.”

Homeowners can appeal their assessment to the Tax Assessor's Office.