Frank Norton, Jr., CEO and Chairman at The Norton Agency, has a reputation as THE source of good and reliable information as to what’s going on in the real estate industry in North Georgia.  Not only is he versed in what’s going on in metro Atlanta, the state of Georgia and North Georgia in particular, he stays abreast of real estate values and trends nationally.   Frank is the reason I chose The Norton Agency.  I had sold my firm, Waters Realty, in 2008 to Century 21 Community Realty, the only bank-owned real estate firm in the US.   The bank whose holding s included this real estate firm, Cornelia-based Community Bank & Trust, was one of the casualties in Georgia’s failing bank crisis. 

Annually, The Norton Agency sponsors an event in January where as many as 2000 local business people, homeowners, and even competitors come out to hear Frank Norton Jr.’s perspective on the past year and his predictions for the coming year.  Most of North Georgia knows of this as ‘Frank’s Forecast’ and anxiously await it each year.

Today, Frank led a Continuing Education class here in Gainesville  GA at Brenau University’s History Center for area real estate professionals entitled “Midyear Economic Review.”   Frank shared a plethora of charts and graphs full of useful data that will help me in advising and guiding my clients in making good decisions as to buying and selling real estate.

Addressed today by Frank was the question I get asked most often:  
“When will we see 2006 values again?”  For several years, it was pretty much impossible to predict.  We are finally at the point, having ‘bounced along the bottom’ for a couple of years (after bottoming out in 2009), that we have seen some appreciation and can predict average appreciation for the next couple of years.  Some parts of the country are back to and approaching 2006 peak values.  These are the areas that suffered the steepest price declines and foreclosures.  Los Angeles, Fort Myers, Phoenix and West Palm Beach are hot real estate markets again with low inventory and big demand. 
Anticipated appreciation in North Georgia for the next couple of years depends upon the price point and whether or not the property is waterfront.  Overall, we expect appreciation of between 3 and 5% annually.  Under the $200,000 price point, we will see closer to 10% annually.  Lakefront and river properties under the $500,000 price range today should appreciate around 10% per year, which is what we routinely saw prior to the recession.  Waterfront properties over $500,000 in value should see a more modest 5% annual appreciation.  North Georgia mountain properties should see an annual appreciation of 3 to 4% annually.  It is important to note that if gas prices stay lower, say under $4/gallon, then we should see good appreciation on properties farther out from the metro area. 

I’ll leave you with this great story.  I’m working for a seller now who bought a house in Buford GA in March 2011 for $125,000.  This seller, a single dad, bought this house because of the great school system and proximity to their mother.  Just over two years later, it is under contract at more than its list price of $159,900 and it appraised fine.  We had three offers within 24 hours of listing.  It is exciting to see this kind of appreciation here in our local market.
If you’re considering selling your home, contact me at KimWaters.com or 770-540-3788.  I’m happy to visit and prepare a market analysis with a list price recommendation.  



  1. The home we found required us to have an Frankfort realtors Luckily, we were paired with Anne Hayden. She was great. She never tired of answering all our questions. She was our liaison with a builder who was difficult at best and rude and unresponsive at worst.


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