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Short supply, high demand fuel rising home prices in Gainesville area
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If anyone has any doubts it’s a sellers’ market in the greater Gainesville area, just ask Matt Shirley and his wife, Jennifer.

The couple recently put their house up for sale and had no idea what kind of offers they would get for a home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a basement in a location off Cochran Road with excellent schools.

The couple’s biggest concern was that it would wallow on the market for months without getting any serious offers.

Never in their wildest dreams did they expect that just four days after listing their house for $200,000 with a local real estate professional that the house would be under contract.

Matt Shirley can’t help smiling at the whirlwind sale.

“We put it on the market on a Thursday, and by Friday we had four offers,” he said. “We were extremely blessed and lucky the way it turned out for us.”

The Shirleys’ real estate agent — Emily Underwood with The Norton Agency — said real estate professionals enjoyed another solid year in 2016 and expect the same in 2017.

“We had a lot of people wanting to buy, but not enough houses listed,” Underwood said.

The short supply and high demand are what continue to fuel surging home prices, according to the Georgia Realtors Association. Statewide, the median sales price increased 7.4 percent to $188,000.

Underwood said that with prices continuing to rise, more homeowners may be enticed to list their properties in 2017.

The median listing price of homes in the Gainesville area housing market is $215,000, according to By listing their house $15,000 below the median asking price, the Shirleys found the sweet spot that attracted immediate offers.

They ended up selling their home for $197,500. The median closing price in the area is $180,000, according to The median sales price is the point at which half the homes sell for more and the other half sell for less.

Underwood said she was as excited as her clients at the speed in which their house sold.

“Everything happened so quickly,” Underwood said. “I didn’t have to do so much.”

Underwood credited social media for helping get the word out about the Shirleys’ house. She said she and the Shirleys posted the listing on their respective Facebook pages, and before they knew it they had multiple people wanting to see the house.

“The person who bought it learned about the house through Facebook,” Underwood added.

The Gainesville housing market likely will stay hot in 2017 because the area has so much to offer, Underwood said.

“We have a lot of great retirement areas, and the lake is a lure,” Underwood said. “We have a lot of people retiring here, and young people are moving here for jobs. We live in a cozy part of Georgia.”