Housing - my tiny neck of the woods

I’m in no way saying this is representative of the nation as a whole, just reporting what I’ve seen lately.

One of the places I own rental housing in is Cobb County, GA - I’m rather new to that area as an investor but it fits my criteria: Metro Area, mix of Club Chipotle, replete with student loans, puppies and Pelotons, + budding immigrant community, many times - to fill the service sectors demanded by the the more mature professionals. I like the lower price stuff, within a decent area. For instance - the units I have in Northern Virginia are around $320k - - but just half mile up the street in Millennial Mayberry, the same square footage - albeit with more granite and stainless steel and status-symbol cars in the parking lot are seeing for 450-500k. I can only speak to my lowly price point though.

Anyhow back to Cobb Georgia - this time, Acworth.

Townhomes that were selling for $250k 1 year ago, are easily selling for $290k today.

There’s a few more units for sale than before - - but basically instead of selling in 3 days, they seem to be selling in 9-10 days. Certainly - could these be mortgages that were approved before rates went up but I can’t of course know that - but if an offer was put in last week, and the people were approved a month ago that means the rates were indeed ticking up.

Another anecdote, It’s no secret, but I can say with 100% certainty that the backorder of cars is on. Not just at highland brands - but bread-and butter brands too. It’s not uncommon for an auto dealer to have 6 months worth of pre-sold orders on units ranging from $30k- $90k - I’ve seen the books - and my God it’s a license to print money.

Conclusion? None.

Observation? I continue to believe that yeah, people will be miffed with rates. BUT - if mortgage and auto rates merely go back to pre-pandemic…I’d say home and auto sales were darn robust in those years. If SAAR for auto sales gets to 16 million a year once production ramps - heck there were years the industry would’ve smooched someone’s back-of-their-front for those numbers.

Back to homes: It certainly can change soon - but today - for the lower priced homes - there’s NO letting up that I can see. Metro Atlanta is a hot market - but NOT hot as Boise or Austin has been. People are still signing up. Heck there was a fixer upper in the ugly part of town for $250k. I figured I’ll wait a weekend, and hit them at 240K. It’s already under contract.

I’m not learn-ed (hyphens are fun) to know how soft landings and recessions will come about. But… with autos pre-sold. With homes selling. With a labor shortage…I’d be mighty impressed to see 2 quarters of economic shrinkage, but I guess stranger things can happen.

Methinks it would take yet another decent sized global systemic hit for things to get that bad.


Here in Cedar Park, a north suburb of Austin, the county seems to think our house value has doubled since we bought it 4.5 years ago. A bulk of that increase would have been the last 12 months. I think their valuation is high, but not by much. Houses are selling fast around here, even today, with 5% mortgages.

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My biggest weakness as a businessperson or investor: I always think Im too late. I just can’t fathom investing in something that already leaped.

And in the mid 2000s - I figured I missed out on Austin. I missed out on Raleigh. LOL and here we are.

I read somewhere - that the best time to buy real estate is always “20 years ago” and I’m beginning to think that might be true - but for the systemic ebbs and flows. Right now the Millennials - after them Gen Zs - are sizable and I feel that plus immigration keeps demand going.

Congrats on a double in under 5 years. That is sweet.

Houses are selling fast around here, even today, with 5% mortgages.

Everyone is trying to get in quick before the mortgages hit 6%.


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