Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, August 20, 2021

Akins: Time to buy is now in new model for real estate


Dale Akins, president of Knox County-based building consultant The Market Edge, is known for dropping gold nuggets during his presentations to the members of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga. It’s one of the reasons the meetings he headlines draw a large gathering.

Akins’ brief housing market update during the general membership luncheon for the association of Greater Chattanooga Aug. 17 was no different. Although he delivered his remarks on the fly instead of using his customary PowerPoint presentation, he still offered a tidbit of information that silenced the room: Buy land if you can.

“The winners in this market will be the builders who acquire land now. I’ve been snapping up properties left and right. And that’s weird for me because I’ve always trained myself to wait: ‘Hold on to your cash, wait for a down market and then acquire property while it’s cheap. Then, when the market heats up, get out, let it cool off and hop back in when there are deals.’

“But the opposite is true right now. People who have property to sell believe it’s a good time to sell because the market is incredible.”

Opportunities for builders in the Chattanooga market will arise from a mass migration of people from cities with a high cost of living to towns with a lower cost of living, Akins says.

“It’s happening to the tech industry right now. People are leaving California and moving to places like Austin, Texas and Nashville. Their jobs didn’t leave California, but they did, so it creates an invisible demand for housing,” Akins explains.

Akins says the pandemic sparked this decentralization of industries and will create opportunities for builders who can purchase land now.

“Cities with a high cost of living will have to compete for workers, while cities with a low cost of living and great internet access will be the winners. That’s Chattanooga.

“For this reason, the housing market in Chattanooga will continue to do what it’s doing now regardless of interest rates.”

More at TheMarketEdge.com.