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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, July 31, 2020

Hot temps, hot housing markets around the nation




We’ve all felt the heat the past few weeks, and the real estate market has been as hot as a summer sidewalk. As we reported locally, for the month of June, pending sales in the greater Chattanooga market were up almost 42%, or 142 houses, over the same time last year.

The Chattanooga area reflects the regional trend. Recent data from the National Association of Realtors shows existing-home sales in the South jumped 26% to an annual rate of 2.18 million in June. The median price in the South was $258,500 – a 4.4% increase from one year ago.

In the Northeast, June existing-home sales rose 4.3% with a median price in of $332,900, an increase of 3.6% from June 2019.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales increased 11.1%, and the median price in the Midwest was $236,900 – a 3.2% increase from June 2019.

Lastly, existing-home sales in the West ascended 31.9% to an annual rate of 950,000 in June, and the median price in the West was $432,600 – up 5.4% from June 2019. Clearly, the market is hot all over the country!

Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, spoke with our association this month, and explained that due to COVID-19, mortgage applications dipped in April, but beginning in May, they spiked back to where they were in the first quarter or higher. While still in a pandemic, real estate activity continues.

Yun also reported that inventory was low in most parts of the country pre-pandemic, so it only makes sense inventory dropped lower during the pandemic.

He concluded his talk by forecasting that 2020 will end with a 3%-5% increase in home prices. Yun also predicted home sales in 2020 would close with a 10%-13% drop in home sale nationwide, but moving into 2021, we should see a 13%-18% increase in the number of homes sold.

COVID-19 is certainly still impacting our market, as well as the housing market nationally, but this data shows that it’s still a seller’s market and a good time for homeowners list their property.

While we acknowledge the fast market, the uptick in COVID-19 cases around the country has shown that it’s more important than ever to be safe and take all necessary steps to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.

Realtors have a special responsibility to take all necessary health and safety precautions, including wearing masks. Real estate has been deemed essential in our area, but Realtors are still strongly encouraged use virtual showings and limit in-person activity in all other aspects of the real estate transaction to help get through this crisis.

As Realtors, we urge our clients and fellow Realtors to stay home if sick and to use online services when available. In addition, we all should practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from others), use hand sanitizer after leaving stores and wash our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when we get home.

These guidelines might be inconvenient at times, but it’s important that we keep the safety of others in mind during this time.

Whether it’s during an active housing market or a global pandemic, utilizing a Realtor while buying or selling property is a way to stay up to date on all of the current housing market data. Realtors are here to serve our community during these times. That’s Who We R.

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.