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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, May 22, 2020

Market is showing signs of life




While the stock market recovered significantly in March, COVID-19’s impact on the economy continues to build. In just the last four weeks, more than 20 million people filed initial unemployment claims, according to the Department of Labor, fueled by stay-at-home orders and a slowdown of economic activity across the country.

Added to the unemployment claims from March, more than 36 million people have become unemployed since COVID-19 has become widespread in the U.S. In the face of these challenging times, real estate activity in April slowed significantly.

While the effect of COVID-19 continues to vary widely across the country, it is expected that social distancing, higher unemployment and lower overall economic activity is likely to continue to constrain real estate activity in the near term. At the same time, the industry is adapting to the current environment by conducting business using technologies such as virtual showings and e-signing to help buyers and sellers with their housing needs.

However, there are signs that the market might be starting to turn around. For the week of May 9, pending sales increased 3.9% compared to the same week last year (293 in 2020; 282 in 2019). It’s too soon to say this might be a rebound, but indications are real estate transactions are definitely still happening.

For April, new listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 31.8% to 977. Pending sales were down 21.3% to 817. Inventory levels shrank 26.1% to 2,134 units.

Prices continued to gain traction. The median sales price increased 9.3% to $217,450. Days on market was down 3.9% to 49 days. Sellers were encouraged as months supply of inventory was down 29.4% to 2.4 months.

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 300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga 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 or call 423 698-8001.