These days it seems Georgia hospitals are merging about as often as companies in the private sector. Patrick Crosby explores the economics that come from the power of consolidation. He also looks at the current trends in metro Atlanta homeownership.

Emory Healthcare Network is teaming up with Peachtree Immediate Care SmartCare Urgent Care to create a single comprehensive care management system.

The consolidation allows many hospitals access to areas once out of reach. Peachtree Immediate Care has 16 urgent care clinics in metro Atlanta and one in LaGrange, Ga. SmartCare Urgent Care has four locations in the city.

The metro Atlanta housing sector is producing several mixed signals. Latest figures show home sales fell in September by 2 percent year-over-year. According to the Atlanta Realtors, the average sales price in September was $289,000, which is 4.3 percent higher than the previous year.

With inventory down 11 percent year-over-year, sellers are definitely sitting in the catbird’s seat.