With only one full week of market data at our fingertips, let’s take a moment to revisit how last year fared. In 2015, national residential real estate, by and large, had a good year. Supply and demand were healthy in an environment rife with low interest rates and improved employment.
In December, the Federal Reserve finally increased short-term rates, which we had anticipated for quite some time. 2016 is expected to bring more increase, and housing markets have shown a willingness to accept this. Except for a few expensive outliers where low inventory and high prices have become the norm, a balanced market is anticipated for much of the country for the foreseeable future. Improved inventory and affordability remain key factors for continued optimism.
As we closed out 2015, New Listings in the Chattanooga region increased 5.3 percent to 732. Year-to-date, that’s a 9.9 percent increase for New Listings. With the exception of February, New Listings were up every month in 2015 compared to the same month in 2014.
Pending Sales were up 9.6 percent for the month to 596, which reflects a 16.3 percent increase year-to-date. This increase was consistent throughout 2015 with every year-to-date monthly comparison to 2014 showing an increase for Pending Sales.
Closed Sales were up 11.3 percent to 700, supporting a year-to-date increase of 11.4 percent. In a comparison of 2014 to 2015, Closed Sales were higher every month in our year-to-date comparisons, with the exception of October, which only differed from 2014 stats by 1.2 percent.
Prices continued to gain traction throughout December. The Median Sales Price increased 5.3 percent to $150,000. The Average Sale price increased 15.5 percent to $193,227, which is the largest increase and highest price we saw throughout 2015.
Days on Market was down 38.5 percent to 67 days, which ties for September for the shortest amount of on-market time in 2015. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 34.7 percent to 4.7 months. Inventory levels shrank 23.3 percent to 3,623 unit, which is the lowest we saw all year but typical for December.
Overall for 2015, Greater Chattanooga saw a 9.9 percent increase in New Listings, 16.3 percent increase in Pending Sales, and 11.4 increase in Closed Sales. The Median Sales Price for the year was up 7 percent to $152,000, and the average price up 8.4 percent to $182,149. The Average Days on Market for 2015 was 80 days.
Gross Domestic Product increased at an annual rate near 2.0 percent to close 2015, and that rate is expected to increase next year. Residential real estate is considered a healthy piece of the national economy. Contributing factors from within the industry include better lending standards and foreclosures falling back to more traditional levels. Declining unemployment, higher wages, and low fuel prices have also conspired to improve personal budgets. All this to say it continues to be a good real estate market to sell your home in 2016. For additional details, GCAR’s weekly, monthly and annual home sales reports are available on www.gcar.net.
The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors is “The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.” The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,500 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.