Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, October 31, 2014

September residential market recap


Vicki Trapp

Markets across the nation seem to be back on the recovery track after a brief pause. One of the more encouraging aspects of this renewed recovery is that new construction of single-family homes reached six-year highs in August, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Consumers are also finding more listings in their search results than they have in years. Inventory is rising in many neighborhoods as higher prices have motivated more sellers to list.

For September, New Listings in the Chattanooga region increased 5.3 percent to 981. Pending Sales were down 26.4 percent to 409; however, year-to-date show Pending Sales down by only 3.6 percent. Inventory levels shrank 4.1 percent to 5,182 units.

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 12.4 percent to $154,500 and is nearly $10,000 higher than the 12 months average. The Average Sales Price increased 11.9 percent to $181,278, which is up from the 12-month average of $175,320. Percent of Original List Price received increased 1.1 percent to 93.1 percent.

Days on Market remained flat from August to September at 121 days, which is slightly less than 125 days in September 2013. The Days on Market for the past 12 months is 129 days, reflecting a 3.2 percent increase.

Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 1.1 percent to 8.9 months, which is just shy of last September’s nine month supply and is slightly higher than the past 12-month average of 8.7 months.

The declines we saw this September are seasonal and certainly typical for the August to September timeframe. While not all home sales involve families with school age children, it is a significant enough factor to impact local market statistics this time each year.

The departure of investors from the scene should benefit first-time homebuyers, but student debt and sluggish wage growth have slowed that transition. The economy is growing, but it’s growing at a slower pace than desired. Thankfully, inflation remains tame, partly enabling the Federal Reserve to keep rates low for longer, contrary to the forecasts of most economists.

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