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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, May 19, 2017

Home sales take a breather in April, fall 9.9 percent




Residential home sales across the Greater Chattanooga region declined in April.

There were 759 closed residential sales compared to 842 for April 2016, a 9.9 percent decline. Home sales also declined in January of this year; however, the year-to-date total remains a positive 1.4 percent.

The decrease did not come as a great surprise, as pending sales (properties with a contract to purchase but not yet closed) had been flat in February, decreasing by 2.1 percent in March and again were down 1.8 percent in April.

The cause of softening sales can be found in the ongoing low supply of homes available for purchase. For the month of April, there were 2,965 homes for sale, a 28 percent decrease to the prior year. On a similar track, the number of new listings coming to market in April declined by 17.4 percent with 1,126 units compared to 1,363 last year. This left the months of supply of inventory standing at 3.6 months, down 28 percent to last year’s five months of supply.

Buyer demand remained strong, with homes selling at a record pace. The average days on market came in at 60 days, down 17.8 percent to last year’s 73 days. Year to date, the average stands at 66 days from list date to a contract for the region. These same buyers were negotiating less, with the percentage of original list price received coming in at 95.8 percent compared to last year’s 95.1 percent.

Prices, on the other hand, continued with an upward march. The median price of a home in the greater Chattanooga region increased by +15.7 percent and stood at $173,575, while the average price of a home in the region closed at $207,968 for a +14.8 percent increase. As one can imagine, the affordability index declined by a corresponding 15.6 percent.

As we head into the important summer buying season, there are a couple of important points to consider. If you’re buying a home, there’s fresh inventory coming to market daily, so do not despair. At the same time, with interest rates remaining low, it’s a great time to invest in a home and lock in these rates for 30 years.

If you’re selling a home, call on a knowledgeable Realtor to price it correctly for its condition and it will sell. With the guidance of a Realtor, you should expect to achieve very close to your list price and get a contract within a couple of months.

The Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,700 members and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. GCAR services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. Go to www.GCAR.net for more information.



Tennessee Press