Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, December 23, 2022

Finally, a return to real estate normalcy

I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say I’m thrilled we’re all returning to a more normal type of holiday season. Meeting with friends and family is something none of us will take for granted again.

After a sometimes-harrowing period of time, most parts of our lives are going back to how they were. Interestingly, we’re finding that the real estate market is doing the same.

Far from the buying and selling frenzy of the past two and a-half years, the housing market is returning to its normal pace. The holidays usually usher in a few weeks of a slower real estate market and then the pace usually picks up with the warming temperatures in the spring.

Housing affordability continues to be a major roadblock for market participants, with mortgage rates more than double compared to this time last year. Buyers are delaying home purchases in hopes rates will drop, while many sellers are holding off on listing their homes due to weakening buyer demand, unwilling to trade in their current lower rates for significantly higher borrowing costs on their next property.

As a result, existing home and pending home sales have continued to slow as we move into winter. This is resulting in a higher housing inventory.

Although buyers have more options to choose from, home prices remain high and soaring borrowing costs have caused monthly payments to increase significantly, with the average homebuyer paying 77% more on their loan per month compared to the same period a year ago, according to Realtor.com.

There was some recent news that might impact our area in 2023. In a recent article from Realtor.com, Chattanooga was ranked ninth in the top 10 hottest housing markets predictions for 2023.

Our ranking is based on the combined yearly percentage growth in both home sales and prices expected in 2023 among the top 100 largest markets in the country per Realtor.com’s metro level housing forecast.

With the latest and continued decrease in mortgage rates, our area is poised to have a stronger 2023 than most nationally.

For November, new listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 13.2% to 863. Pending sales were down 27.8% to 688. Inventory levels grew 61.3% to 2,006 units and prices continued to gain traction.

The median sales price increased 5.4% to $295,000. Days on market was up 63.2% to 31 days. Buyers felt empowered as months supply of inventory was up 90.9% to 2.1 months.

Regardless of what’s happening around the corner, or around the country, your best bet is utilizing the services of a Realtor.

Realtors work with their clients every day to help ensure they get the most from their most valuable investment. That’s Who We R.

Founded in 1912, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is the voice for real estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,700 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors serves Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. The association is one of approximately 1,100 local associations and boards of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors owns and operates a Multiple Listing Service that is one of approximately 600 MLSs in the country and services more than 3,000 MLS users. Local association membership consists of Realtors servicing the Greater Chattanooga area and specializing in a variety of disciplines, including appraisal, commercial, industrial, land, multifamily, property management and residential. Affiliate members who represent related industries work alongside these Realtors, including mortgage lenders, home inspectors, title and closing services, pest inspection and control services and insurance providers.