By Shandra Hill Smith

The coming months should make for bustling times for the real estate market in Buckhead.


“The climate in the Buckhead real estate market is warming,” said Margie N. Stockton, senior partner, Stockton Cousins Group. “We are experiencing increased activity daily,” Stockton added. “We are looking at a promising fall.”


Buyers in the market for some unbeatable finds on high-end homes in Buckhead should be encouraged, according to Stockton, also of Harry Norman Realtors. “It is truly a buyer’s market,” she said. Stockton’s Web site, www.buckheadrealestate.com, lists some properties now available at reduced prices.


One such example is at 780 Stovall Blvd. At an asking price of $929,500, the renovated home includes a heated pool surrounded by a fenced yard and gardens. “I had it on the market a year and a half ago for $1,150,000,” said Stockton. “We turned down an offer for $980,000. We are looking for a little over $900,000.”


Another example, Stockton shared, is of a builder’s house that was priced at $1,595,000 in 2007, and, this year, listed for $1,350,000.


Stockton said that prices have stabilized and that agents are seeing fewer foreclosures, but the ones that do exist are selling. She also said they’re noticing an influx of first-time home buyers. “The $8,000 federal tax incentive is motivating, along with a possible $1,800 from the state of Georgia.”


The news regarding luxury condominium living in Buckhead is also favorable.


New Buckhead developments of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty (www.atlantafinehomes.com) are attracting professionals, empty-nesters and a number of international buyers.


“We’re getting a lot of international buyers – from Nigeria, China, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany,” said Mike Bugg, vice president, SkyRise Group, Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty. “That type of buyer typically has as many as seven homes and perhaps is coming here as part of their business.”


Properties include The Brookwood, Sovereign and Brownstones at Habersham.


The Brookwood (www.thebrookwood.net) opened in June and includes 219 homes, ranging from two to four bedrooms, and bearing price tags of $315,000 to $1,700,000.


The property at 1820 Peachtree Road features an outdoor kitchen and dining area, outdoor fireplace and gathering area, valet parking, on-site chefs, porter, maid and concierge services, dog walking, dry cleaning pick-up and delivery and membership to The Brookwood Club, among other services. It is within blocks of shopping and dining, including boutiques, sidewalk cafes and antique stores and galleries.


Bugg pointed out that The Brookwood is Atlanta’s only high-rise condominium community constructed to standards of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).


Sovereign (www.sovereignbuckhead.com), another new development on the Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty site, is a 635-foot, 50-story, mixed-use tower. According to Bugg, it witnessed four significant sales in August.


With 73 luxury residences, starting on the 28th floor and at $1 million, the property is located at 3344 Peachtree Road. Amenities include complete concierge club services, floor-to-ceiling windows, membership to the Buckhead Club and an extensive art collection procured for homeowners.  From 1,600 to 4,500 square feet, with two penthouses at 7,800 and 8,900 square feet, Sovereign – boasting “timeless architecture with traditional interiors” – is the home of the new Bistro Niko, a Buckhead Life restaurant.


A managed short sale through Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, The Brownstones at Habersham is a gated townhome community with full brick exteriors and fieldstone and limestone accents, located at Habersham at Roswell Road. Within six weeks, all 14 townhomes sold at the property purchased in July by a new developer.


The amenities include complete concierge club services, floor-to-ceiling windows, membership to the Buckhead Club and an extensive art collection procured for homeowners.  From 1,600 to 4,500 square feet, with two penthouses at 7,800 and 8,900 square feet, Sovereign – boasting “timeless architecture with traditional interiors” – is the home of the new Bistro Niko, a Buckhead Life restaurant.


A managed short sale through Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, The Brownstones at Habersham is a gated townhome community with full brick exteriors and fieldstone and limestone accents, located at Habersham at Roswell Road. Within six weeks, all 14 townhomes sold at the property purchased in July by a new developer. The Brownstones at Habersham consists of three and four bedrooms, many with a bonus area that can serve as a guest room, an entertainment area or office space.


Four-story homes feature rooftop terraces and elevators. Prices range from $499,000 to $1 million. With floor plans from nearly 2,400 to 3,800 square feet, the homes feature granite countertops, backsplash, and full-tiled showers with glass enclosure in the master bath.


“Things are beginning to move swiftly, which hasn’t happened in a long time,” Bugg said. “People now are feeling comfortable purchasing.”


Developer Ben Carter is counting on that reality. Following construction delays since work began in 2007, Carter plans to open The Streets of Buckhead (www.streetsofbuckhead.com), a luxury mixed-use development, at Peachtree Road and East Paces Ferry Road, in early 2011. Dubbed the Rodeo Drive of the South, the $800 million project will include 600,000 square feet of high-rise estate homes and high-end retailers such as Hermes, Oscar de la Renta and Loro Piana.


“My preference would be to open in January 2011 because I think the economy will have a better chance of recovering by then,” said Carter. “My tenants are signing 10- to 20-year leases. I want it to open in the most successful environment possible.”


Judging from recent successes, Carter has reason to look ahead, as Buckhead indeed is finding – in the words of Bugg – that “the market is coming up again.”

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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