MetroStudy finds boom in housing starts in metro Atlanta

11:42 AM, Jul 19, 2013   |    comments
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New numbers released Friday show a dramatic increase in new home construction.

ATLANTA -- New numbers released to 11Alive News on Friday show a dramatic increase in new home construction.

The housing market research firm MetroStudy found that housing starts for North Metro Atlanta were up 78 percent for the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same time period in 2012.

Crabapple Crossroads in the city of Milton is a clear example.

Construction crews have built more than 20 homes in the past 12 months with more to come.

Even empty lots are under contract.

"It's absolutely phenomenal," said Eugene James, Atlanta Market Director for MetroStudy. "It blows my mind to see how fast the real estate market has turned round."

James said 80 percent of the new construction is taking place north of I-285.

New developments hit hard by the housing bust are beginning to fill in, he added.

"Particularly in better school districts and close to job markets, you're already seeing those lots disappear," James said. "There's actually a lot shortage taking place today in key markets in Atlanta."

An improving job market, still low interest rates and a low inventory of homes for sale are driving up housing starts.

This year, as many as 14,000 new homes are scheduled to be built in metro Atlanta. That's more than triple the number from four years ago.

Before the real estate bubble burst in 2006, a total of 60,000 new homes were built in the Atlanta area.

James said no one expects to get anywhere close to that number, again.

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