Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 22, 2023

Sales cool, prices heat up as summer closes

In August, higher mortgage rates, elevated sales prices and a lack of housing inventory continued to impact market activity during the summer homebuying season.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has remained above 6.5% since May and hit a two-decade high in August, according to Freddie Mac. As a result, existing-home sales have continued to slow nationwide, dropping 2.2% month-over-month as of last measure, with sales down 16.6% compared to the same time last year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Falling home sales have done little to cool home prices, which have continued to sit at record high levels nationally thanks to a limited supply of homes for sale. According to the NAR, there were 1.11 million homes for sale heading into August – 14.6% fewer homes than the same period last year – for a 3.3 months’ supply at the current sales pace.

The shortage of homes for sale has boosted competition for available properties and is driving sales prices higher, with NAR reporting a national median existing-home price of $406,700, a 1.9% increase from a year earlier.

Looking locally, new listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 11.4% from August 2022 (1,348) to 1,195. Pending sales were down 8.8% August 2022 (1,030) to 939. Inventory levels shrank 16.3% from August 2022 (2,177) to 1,823 units.

Prices continued to gain traction. The median sales price increased 10% over August 2022 ($300,000) to $330,000. Days-on-market was up 87.5% from August 2022 (16 days) to 30 days. Absorption rates were even with last year as months-supply-of-inventory remained flat at 2.1 months.

One thing the past few years have shown us is that real estate conditions are dynamic and change constantly. Economic trends, interest rates and local market dynamics can all have a massive and immediate effect. This ever-shifting landscape only serves to emphasize the importance of utilizing the services of a Realtor.

Realtors possess an in-depth understanding of market fluctuations and can provide invaluable insights to help buyers and sellers navigate these changes effectively. We also have access to up-to-the-minute data, which helps us to advise clients on when to buy or sell to maximize their investments.

Realtors work for their clients and communities all year long. That’s Who We R.

Founded in 1912, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is the voice for real estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,700 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors serves Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. The association is one of approximately 1,100 local associations and boards of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors owns and operates a multiple listing service, which is one of approximately 600 MLSs in the country and services more than 3,000 users. Local association membership consists of Realtors servicing the Greater Chattanooga area and specializing in a variety of disciplines – appraisal, commercial, industrial, land, multifamily, property management and residential. Working alongside Realtors are our affiliate members, who represent related industries in sympathy with the objectives of the association. Our affiliate members include mortgage lenders, home inspectors, title and closing services, pest inspection and control and insurance.