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Report shows Newton following national trend on rising housing prices, lower supply
Home construction

COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County’s housing market in February showed it was following a national trend with supply decreasing and price increasing since early 2021.

The median sales price of a single-family home — the price midway between all lower and higher prices of homes for sale — in February 2022 showed a major increase from early 2021 in Newton County.

Meanwhile, the total supply of homes for sale dropped significantly compared to January 2021, according to information from Georgia Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Dena Lynn Sosebee, president of the Covington-based East Metro Board of Realtors, said there is a “limited number of homes available for sale” in the area.

She said there are shortages in “multiple price points” — not just those in the lower end of asking prices.

“The limited supply does increase the value,” Sosebee said.

The supply of housing is dependent on a number of factors, such as building material prices and available supply, according to national news reports. 

Sosebee also said policies of any area’s planning and zoning boards concerning housing densities and timing of growth affect the supply, as well — though she did not single out any single governmental entity in the area.

If any county governing body decided to make less land available for residential construction, the result could be higher costs because less supply of new housing would be available, she said.

Statistics from Georgia MLS show:

• The median sales price of a home in Newton County increased 33% — from $209,950 in January 2021 to $280,000 in February 2022.   

• The number of homes sold, 147, was a decrease from 186 in January 2021.

• Sales volume totaled $42.3 million in February 2022, down from $44.7 million in January 2021. 

• The total supply of homes for sale in February in Newton County dropped 20% compared to January 2021. Active listings of all homes for sale totaled 149 compared to 186 in January 2021.

• New listings of homes for sale in February totaled 164, which was a 23% drop from 207 in January 2021.

• The National Association of Realtors’ calculated average monthly cost of a mortgage in Newton County was $800 in the fourth quarter of 2021, which was up from $634 in the fourth quarter of 2020.

It said home prices increased 22% from 2020 to 2021 but lower mortgage rates made the price higher by $167 per month.

Sosebee added that the National Association of Realtors had projected the trend of rising prices and decreasing supply to continue through the end of this year. 

The projection was made before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the housing market was factored in, she said.