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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, September 4, 2020

Relief might be within reach for low inventory




I was recently discussing this very busy market with some colleagues and realized our country has five generations involved in real estate transactions – for the first time in over 100 years – all at the same time.

Included in these groups are two of the largest generations in the country, with immigration adding to current housing needs that took a hit in the recession.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga were told by an economist recently that Chattanooga needs 2,000 more homes to keep up with demand. Those 2,000 homes were not built during the recession, and now millennials and Gen Z are looking to establish roots and have a place to call home.

This shows that demand for housing in this area is at an all-time high, even as there is less than 1.8 months’ supply of homes on the market. Fortunately, I’m hearing from colleagues that more and more people are asking about listing their properties for sale. The lower inventory means people are seeing a good return on their investment if they’re looking to get into the market.

Aside from anecdotal evidence, our data shows the number of newly listed homes increased 14% Aug. 8-15 compared to the same point last year. This is noteworthy because this was the largest increase in people listing their homes for sale since the start of the pandemic.

With inventory being low, this increase in the number of homes for sale is a hopeful sign for those looking to purchase.

The numbers are looking promising for the rest of the country, as well. The number of house showings have continued to pick up as they rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.

On a year-over-year basis, showings in the Midwest, Northeast and Southern regions were up 14%, 13% and 6%, respectively. This measure of foot traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends in two to three months.

People are entering the market, and the competition between buyers in the form of multiple offers will certainly continue.

So, if you’re looking to capitalize on this seller’s market, it’s probably a good idea to be mindful of how all of our lives have changed in light of COVID-19. In a recent article in Realtor Magazine, Melissa Dittmann Tracey wrote about some specific design preferences COVID-19 has triggered in homebuyers.

Tracey lists home offices as a huge selling point for buyers who have the ability to work remotely. She points out that some buyers are beginning to shy away from open floor plans due to their inability to provide privacy and noise reduction from other family members.

Upgraded outdoor spaces, such as patios and porches, and increased storage space seem to be a hot selling points, too.

The market is hot and changing rapidly. Utilizing a Realtor will help you stay on top of the changes and develop strategies so you get the most from your most valued investment. 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.