Inventory is short and competition is fierce for affordable rental housing in Hall County’s urban cores, according to local real estate professionals.
“It’s been on fire,” said Kathline Collins, an associate broker with Keller Williams Realty in Gainesville who also operates the Collins Property Management Group.
Single-family homes are renting fast across all price ranges, Collins said.
“People are looking for anything,” she added.
As supply and demand goes, so too does prices. Tight inventory means higher values.
Collins said she sees most requests for a minimum three-bedroom, two-bath home.
New growth in Gainesville and Flowery Branch has the market teeming with interest, something redevelopment plans can’t keep up with.
About 65 percent of homes in Gainesville are rented, according to city officials, and that has spurred renewed calls for affordable living downtown, likely a mixed-use retail and apartment complex.
Some new construction has been a natural competitor to the rental market, as have investors.
“There is still a huge demand,” however, said Tommy Howard, a broker with the Norton Agency and past president of the Hall County Board of Realtors.
Of course, credit remains an obstacle to home ownership for many families.
But young families and professionals also desire the accessibility to retail and medical care afforded by in-town living, and working individuals demand more city services.
And with attractive neighborhoods around Brenau University and Green Street blending residential and commercial properties in unique ways, Howard said this balance could define new growth over the next few years.
The home sales market has also been strong, Howard said, though it still remains a seller’s deal.
Summer sales have been healthy, slightly breaking with trend, and local brokers are wondering if August sales will fall off as a result.
More than 200 homes sold in June, and another 200 closed, with more than 1,000 listed on the market.
There is currently just about 4.6 months of inventory, and the sales trends across all price points are similar, Howard said, and average sales prices are trickling up year-over-year.
Finally, demand for homes listed under $250,000 continues to attract the most attention from buyers, according to local brokers.