With inflation at a 40-year high, owning real estate “is a great asset to have,” said Bonneau Ansley, III.
Granted, he might be a little biased. Ansley is the founder and CEO of Ansley Christie’s International Real Estate.
His luxury brokerage firm is generating higher sales than last year, but the current housing market is one of the most difficult one’s Ansley said he has experienced since starting the company in 2016.
Atlanta area home prices have been on a steady climb, reaching a new milestone in April.
Inventory is extremely low, with just a one-month supply of available homes for sale in the 11-county metro area.
But these conditions are just the type of “curves” Ansley said he has learned to lean into.
“You have to be fluid and live within the ups and the downs [of life], and when the curves happen, you can’t just go hide in a hole, you have to figure out how to learn from them,” he said during an interview for the “On Leadership with Atlanta Business Chronicle” podcast.
Ansley hasn’t just learned from life’s curves. When it comes to real estate, he has had a long line of teachers. Ansley is a fifth generation Atlantan. His father, Bonneau Ansley Jr., founded Woodstock-based Colony Homes with Thomas Bradbury. His great uncle, Edwin P. Ansley, developed Ansley Park.
Market conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic, will likely have long-term effects on residential real estate in the region, Ansley said.
“I don’t think housing prices are going to go down,” he said. “I think there’s a new benchmark because people have changed the way they work and live.”
Those who are able to work remotely, are choosing to live on the coast of Georgia or South Carolina, in the North Georgia mountains or at a nearby lake, Ansley said. (Incidentally, those are some of the places he is buying real estate as a hedge for inflation.)
People “want to be in these areas, but there just aren’t enough houses and that is going to continue to push up prices,” he said.
Ansley has about 350 agents who work in eight offices across Georgia. He said they have had to work harder in this environment, but the tight housing market hasn’t hurt business. In 2021, the company’s sales topped $2.8 billion.