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Archive for August, 2012

Georgia Real Estate Continues Recovery

Sunday, August 19th, 2012
Housing Image

Housing Markets Continue to Improve

As the entire state of Georgia continues to slowly improve that bodes well for our market here in North Georgia.  If unemployment numbers, begin to decline and there is any sign of economic growth, the ability of the buyers in the Atlanta Market to sell their homes and move north or once again begin searching for second or vacation homes that will certainly have a very positive impact on our micro-market here in Bent Tree and Big Canoe (R).   Personally, I continue on pace to have my best year ever; after a brief slowdown in July, showings and traffic are both up significantly again in the last few days.  Buyers and sellers are motivated to get something done.  That is always a good thing.

The following statistics were released by the Georgia Association of Realtors on August 17, 2012.

Home Prices Rise in Georgia for Fourth Month in a Row
17 Aug 2012 – 
During the month of the 30th Olympiad, housing medaled in several arenas. A few short years ago, housing was considered a headwind to economic recovery. Today, housing is seen as a tailwind to a stalling economy. For the first time since 2005, housing is on track for contributing positively to national GDP in 2012. That can occur either by way of direct residential investment or through remodeling and other ancillary services. Watch for signs of sustained tailwinds in a variety of indicators, including market times, seller concessions, prices and absorption rates.

In July, New Listings in the state of Georgia decreased 9.3 percent to 10,880. Pending Sales were up 28.4 percent to 9,145. Inventory levels shrank 30.9 percent to 46,956 units. Prices moved higher. The Median Sales Price increased 2.3 percent to $116,500. Days on Market was down 16.4 percent to 82 days. The supply-demand balance stabilized as Months Supply of Inventory was down 40.9 percent to 6.4 months.

Sustained recovery will not occur without real employment and wage growth. Consumers must be confident in both the economy and their family finances before signing on the dotted line. Cheap borrowing costs have served as the glue binding things together. Unimaginable a few years ago, the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage recently ducked below the 3.49 percent marker. Job creation and GDP numbers will garner particular attention this quarter.

I ran sales numbers for just Pickens County last week for a local retailer and they indicated that local inventory is down slightly, average prices are level to rising , a huge percentage of the market -almost 20% is under some kind of contract (not all those will close and some will take 2-3 months – still a very high humber,) and foreclosures and distressed sales, which have accounted for 50% of all sales for 2 years only account for 10% of the remaining inventory.  I will publish those numbers in another post this week.

See ya ’round the mountains,


“Old Blue Eyes” is Back

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

And his name is Gabe Russo.

Last night at the Tater Patch Theater in Jasper, GA an enchanted crowd watched as Gabe Russo “channeled” Frank Sinatra.  The theater has been re-set as a night club – including 3 premium tables on stage –  and Gabe brought  classy renditions of over 20 Sinatra favorites.  Sprinkled between the songs was Sinatra like banter and a brief history of Frank woven cleverly into the sequence of the songs.  If you are a Sinatra fan or just want a great night out and you live anywhere within driving distance of Jasper, you owe it to yourself to grab some friends and come on over.   The Players have theater seats as well as tables for 2 and 4 and they even have “actors’ providing table service for beverages (yes even adult beverages) and deserts.  It was a great night and I have already suggested to the powers that be that they book Frank – er.. uh.. Gabe – back next year.

Tickets for Sunday August 5th and Friday and Saturday night  the 10th and 11th may still be available – please check the Tater Patch Players website.

Don’t trust me? Here is a link to Gabe in a live performance in 2009.

Gabe Russo Channels Frank Sinatra

See ya ’round the mountains,



Bent Tree Gardeners Bulb Sale

Friday, August 3rd, 2012
Bent Tree Bulb Sale

Time to Get Your Bulbs from the Bent Tree Gardeners



The annual Bent Tree Gardener Bulb Sale has arrived and even if you don’t live in Bent Tree you can order these great bulbs for plants that are designated as “deer resistant.”

This is a great opportunity to beautify your landscape and support our local gardners.  Here is the order form:

Bulb Order Form

Order your bulbs using this form and drop off at the Community Mailbox

We’ll be looking for those new flower next year!

See ya ’round the mountains,






“Summer Wind” Opens at The Tater Patch Theater

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Talented performer Gabe Russo brings his tribute to that most talented of singers:  Summer Wind:  An Intimate Evening with Frank Sinatra, to the Tater Patch Players stage. Tickets are now on sale.  Theater seating is $15 per person.  A table for 4 on floor level is $80 and a table for 2 is $40.  As a special treat, there are three tables for 4 available on stage with “Frank” for $100 each.  Be close to the magic!  We will be offering stage-side as well as special ON STAGE tables.  Those paired with our wine and dessert selection and the velvet voice and tableside charm of this show, will take you back to the real feel of a swanky evening at a plush nightclub.  August 3,4,5,10 and 11.  To whet your appetite, click the link for a video of of Gabe’s rendition of One For My Baby: Watch Gabe’s YouTube Video.  For more information and tickets visit the Tater Patch website.  We have a table for tonight!  See you at the theater or

See ya ’round the mountains.


The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Increases after Four Consecutive Declines

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had declined in June, improved slightly in July. The Index now stands at 65.9 (1985=100), up from 62.7 in June. The Expectations Index improved to 79.1 from 73.4. The Present Situation Index, however, decreased slightly to 46.2 from 46.6 a month ago.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was July 19.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: "Despite this month’s improvement in confidence, the overall Index remains at historically low levels. Consumers’ attitudes regarding current conditions were little changed in July, but their short-term expectations, which had declined last month, bounced back. However, while consumers expressed greater optimism about short-term business and employment prospects, they have grown more pessimistic about their earnings. Given the current economic environment — in particular the weak labor market — consumer confidence is not likely to gain any significant momentum in the coming months."

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions eased in July. Those claiming business conditions are "good" declined to 13.8 percent from 14.2 percent, while those saying business conditions are "bad" decreased to 34.2 percent from 35.9 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also mixed. Those stating jobs are "hard to get" declined to 40.8 percent from 41.2 percent, while those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 7.8 percent from 8.3 percent.

On the other hand, consumers were generally more optimistic about the short-term outlook in July. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months rose to 18.9 percent from 16.0 percent, while those anticipating business conditions will worsen decreased to 14.6 percent from 15.8 percent. Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also more upbeat in July. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased to 17.6 percent from 14.8 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs edged down to 20.3 percent from 20.8 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes, however, declined to 14.2 percent from 15.3 percent.

For more information, visit

See ya ’round the mountains,