By Travis Close, ABR, GREEN, GRI, e-PRO
President, Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors
Residential real estate is experiencing its best year since the recession. Housing demand is healthy, and that is expected to continue until the end of the year. This is great news at a time of year when things tend to slow slightly, which I don’t anticipate happening here in Greater Chattanooga.
Home sales are actually set to have their best national showing since 2006. More of the same is anticipated in 2016, but inventory and affordability challenges coupled with mortgage rate increases will likely keep any sort of monster growth in check. This should be a good thing for keeping home prices from increasing too rapidly to maintain economic stability.
New Listings in the Chattanooga region increased 29.6 percent to 990. This is the largest month-to-month increase we’ve seen all year. Pending Sales were up 29.2 percent to 690, which is third highest increase for the year.
Days on Market was down 38.7 percent to 68 days. In Greater Chattanooga, sellers haven’t seen that short of a timeframe since mid-2005. And this reduced days on market is in line with inventory levels, which shrank 26.0 percent to 4,065 units. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 36.9 percent to 5.3 months.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 5.3 percent to $152,750. The Average Sales Price increased 4.9 percent to $176,432.
Unemployment rates across the nation changed little last month, which bodes well for an increase in buying activity. The national jobless rate was 5.0 percent in October, which was 0.7 percent lower than the year prior. Although housing and employment data are quite positive at this juncture, it is still certainly possible for listings and sales to be down in year-over-year comparisons. Bad weather and the mix of housing available to buyers tend to have a greater effect on trends at the end of the year than during the midsummer months.
The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors is “The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.” The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,500 members and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of REALTORS nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net.