A notable housing trend resulting from strong home sales in 2020 and 2021, is a preference by American homebuyers for community associations, also known as condominium and homeowners associations (HOA). According to the Foundation for Community Association Research, the number of new condominiums and HOAs nationwide is expected to increase by 4,500 this year, and Beacon Management Services sees this same trend in Georgia. Over the past two years, Beacon has grown its clientele by more than 24%.
“The data released by the Community Association Institute (CAI) aligns with the growth trends we see in Georgia, both for traditional single-family homeowners associations and condominium associations,” Steve Weibel, CEO of Beacon Management Services, said. “Beacon manages both types of community associations in addition to other types of real estate.”
Popularity of HOAsGrowing in popularity since the 1970s, community associations represent nearly 25% of U.S. housing stock serving more than 73 million Americans. They are popular housing choices for buyers seeking proximity to city centers, public transportation, and schools. These planned communities often provide residents the benefit of shared amenities such as clubhouses, community pools, tennis courts, gyms, fitness centers, playgrounds, walking trails, and other recreation facilities that may otherwise be unattainable.
Having such amenities within reach saves both the time and effort of going to a public pool or park. Plus, compared to their public counterparts, HOA amenities are also usually safer, less crowded, and better maintained.
“One of the biggest reasons residents prefer homes in communities with HOAs is because they are proven to stabilize home values,” Lisa Simmons, President of Beacon Management Services, said. “Homeowners usually have to get permission to make structural changes to their property, and the HOA maintains the aesthetic consistency and appeal of the neighborhood.”Associations also typically have rules concerning landscaping, trash placement, decorations, and vehicle parking. These rules have one ultimate goal — to make the community look nice and, therefore, keep property values high. Protecting property values is why HOA neighborhoods are so desirable and homes in them often sell for more than homes in non-HOA communities.
“HOAs provide social benefits by uplifting the culture and standard of living in the neighborhood,” Simmons said. “Often, they offer a variety of social activities for HOA members, so neighbors have plenty of opportunities to get to know each other.”
Homeowner Satisfaction SurveyAccording to the 2020 Homeowner Satisfaction Survey, residents expressed the following about their community association experience:
- 89% of residents rate their overall community association experience as very good or good (70%) or neutral (19%).
- 89% say members of their elected governing board “absolutely” or “for the most part” serve the best interests of their communities.
- 74% say their community managers provide value and support to residents and their associations.
- 94% say their association’s rules protect and enhance property values (71%) or have a neutral effect (23%); only 4% say the rules harm property values.
Strong Homes Sales in GeorgiaSeveral factors are fueling home sales in Georgia. High-paying job opportunities and a relatively low cost of living created a residential building boom that started around 2012, which hasn’t subsided.
“Working from home and the reopening of Georgia’s economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic took the market to a different level entirely, creating an explosive housing market we’ve not seen before,” Simmons said. “It’s a trend we believe will continue into 2022 and possibly beyond as long as interest rates remain low and commodity prices can stay in check.”
In 2020, Millennials led all generations in homebuying, accelerating a five-year trend in millennial homeownership rates rising the fastest. Many of them are moving out of rentals and purchasing homes in traditional single-family neighborhoods as they start having children.
Metro Atlanta’s residential growth knows no boundaries as home builders are going further afield to find affordable land options. According to Market Night Founder and Principal John Hunt, a historically low home inventory will take 10 years to reach normal levels as the market is short 92,000 homes on an annualized basis.