Metro Atlanta home prices highest in 7 years - CBS46 News

Metro Atlanta home prices highest in 7 years

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Lauren and Andrew Mullen figured they could quickly land a new house.

But finding their dream took a bit longer than they expected.

"I thought a month tops we'd find a great house," Andrew Mullen said. "I think it was about 3 months."

That's because, right now, there are a lot of other buyers, just like the Mullens, looking for homes, but there aren't that many people selling.

That trend is helping to drive up prices.

Home prices are up 12 percent nationwide, nearly 21 percent in Atlanta, the highest they've been in 7 years, according to the Case-Schiller Index, which tracks home prices.

Home builders slowed down during the recession, and now that more people are buying, fewer houses are available for sale.

"We have low inventory. There is some competition going on among buyers," said Jo Gipson, a realtor for Intown Real Estate Services. "This is great news for sellers."

Buyers, however, will have to pay more money for less house.

And if you like what you see, be ready to jump immediately.

"You saw a house for 10 minutes, and you had to put an offer in along with 5 or 6 other people," Lauren Mullen said. "It was frustrating."

The Mullens finally found the house they wanted in Atlanta's Kirkwood section.

Buyers can find what they want, but they'll have to bid higher.

"Anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000 more than I would've expected a year earlier. That's a really big chunk of money," Andrew Mullen said.

Gipson said the current rise in interest rates won't cool down the hot market any time soon.

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