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Front Page - Friday, January 25, 2019

Can’t find the right house? Build one

 If you’ve been making plans to buy a home, you’ve probably noticed the market is tight. With fewer existing houses to choose from, people around the country are having to work harder to find the right home.

Although housing prices in the Chattanooga area are still 30 percent lower than most other markets in the Mid-South, home inventory is trending downward nationwide.

As the newly installed president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga, I’m looking forward to helping one of the largest HBAs in the state navigate the changes and challenges that lie ahead in our great community.

A robust home construction market generates jobs, bolsters the economy, and supports vital community services and improvements, so the upcoming year will be focused on protecting the stability and growth of our area’s housing market.

A recent Housing Trends Report released by the National Association of Home Builders shows the low inventory of homes around the country is affecting affordability for homebuyers. While 44 percent of the prospective buyers surveyed said they’d prefer an existing home to new, almost as many (38 percent) said they have no preference one way or the other, while 18 percent prefer new construction.

An uptick in the supply of new homes will improve the picture for most buyers – as long as the new supply comes in at an affordable price.

Affordability is a critical factor in buying a home, which is why our home builders and developers work hard to keep construction and regulatory costs down.

For nearly eight out of 10 prospective buyers in the nationwide survey, fewer than half of the houses they saw on the market were priced within reach.

In fact, for those who have been looking for at least three months, the top reason they haven’t purchased yet was not finding a home they could afford (49 percent), followed by not finding a home with the desired features (40 percent).

Tired of waiting to find the perfect home? Visit the HBAGC.net online membership directory for a list of quality builders and contractors near you. More at www.nahb.org/forconsumers.