Hamilton Herald Masthead Hamilton Herald

Editorial


Front Page - Friday, February 17, 2017

Chattanooga Home sales decline: Blip or trend?




Area Realtors closed 566 residential units in January compared to 596 in the previous year for a 5 percent decline in sales. This decline in month-over-month sales follows a record-setting year when area home sales increased by 9.9 percent.

Area leaders are closely monitoring the “pending sale” category, which reflects the number of units which are under contract to purchase but not yet closed, to see if this is a one-time blip in sales or the beginning of an overall shift.

The root of the decline in home sales can be found in continuing low inventory. For the month of January, the number of for-sale units declined by 21.4 percent when compared to last year. There were 3,072 homes for sale in 2017 compared to 3,906 for the same period in 2016.

One other indicator of supply and demand is “months of supply.” The Chattanooga area saw a decrease in this category, which would be expected given the steep decline in available units, paired with modest decline in sales. For the month, this shrank to 3.7 months, a 28 percent decrease from January 2016.

Prices continued to march upward, despite the decline in sales and inventory. The market hit a new high with an average sales price of $202,894, which reflects a 11.2 percent increase over the previous year. This increase in price along with slightly higher interest rates contributed to a 13 percent decline in overall affordability in the region.

It took the average home 63 days to sell in January, down from 69 days in 2017, which is an 8.7 percent decline. Buyers were quickly reacting to homes which came to market and were priced accurately for the condition.

Given the lack of available inventory, now would be a great time to talk to an experienced Realtor if you’re considering selling at any time in the future. They can offer insight into the value of your property to take advantage of this sellers’ market.

The Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,700 members and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors.

GCAR services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. Go to www.GCAR.net for more information.