Home buyers in Atlanta face challenges this spring

Anyone looking to buy a home this spring in the metro area (and beyond) will probably face more challenges this year than last year, according to Johnathan Smoke, chief economist of Realtor.com.

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1906 Craftsman bungalow in Kirkwood in 2015. (Christopher Oquendo Photography/www.ophotography.com)

Last year was bad enough for home buyers who found that while they were ready to buy, the lack of homes on the market and major competition with other buyers may have kept them out of the game.

Related: Atlanta home sales up, yet no surplus of homes for sale

The scenario doesn’t get any better this year. This spring already shows signs of being the busiest home buying season in the past decade, according to Smoke.

Realtor.com data for the first half of April, reveals a few interesting trends.

There has been a 3 percent increase in the number of people looking to buy this April compared to last April. And this year, they are serious — 51 percent hope to purchase in the next six months and 30 percent are pre-approved for a mortgage.

Despite reports that say millennials are out of the home buying game, they account for 34 percent of serious home buyers — that’s almost a 10 percent increase from the same time last year.

This increase could be due in part to factors uncovered by a recent Bank of America survey which revealed that three-quarters of millennials expect assistance from their parents when they buy a home.

The sad news for home buyers is that even buyers who are prepared and qualified are still having trouble finding a home.

Data shows that 41 percent of buyers reported that they have yet to find a home that meets their needs and 30 percent of buyers indicated that they cannot find a home within their budget.

In Atlanta, buyers tend to have a rosier outlook than home seekers in the rest of the country, according to the BOA survey. Atlantans think it will take them less time to find a home and that it won’t take them a lot of time to save up for a down payment.

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@ajc Check the number of price reductions on older homes in northern burbs. Hot market seems 2b new or updated \U0001f3e0\U0001f3e1\U0001f3da