By Geoff Ramsey, CRS, GRI
President, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®
The three most prominent national market trends for residential real estate are the ongoing lack of abundant inventory, the steadily upward movement of home prices and year-over year declines in home sales. Sales declines are a natural result of there being fewer homes for sale, but higher prices often indicate higher demand leading of competitive bidding. Markets are poised for increased supply, so there is hope that more sellers will take advantage of what appears to be a ready and willing buyer base.
New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 2.6 percent to 948. Pending Sales were down 3.3 percent to 793. Inventory levels shrank 26.3 percent to 2,390 units.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 9.9 percent to $175,800. Days on Market was down 12.3 percent to 64 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 27.5 percent to 2.9 months.
In February, prevailing mortgage rates continued to rise. This has a notable impact on housing affordability and can leave consumers choosing between higher payments or lower-priced homes. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with a 20 percent down payment that quality for backing by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose to its highest level since January 2014. A 4.5 or 4.6 percent rate might not seem high to those with extensive real estate business, but it is newly high for many potential first-time home buyers. Upward rate pressure is likely to continue as long as the economy fares well.
Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or stay in-the-know with what’s happening in Greater Chattanooga real estate, visit www.gcar.net to access the best, local resources.
Greater Chattanooga Realtors® is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of some 1,300 local boards and associations of Realtors® nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors®. Greater Chattanooga Realtors service Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423.698.8001.