There has been talk of abundant cold and snow this winter (unless you happen to live in California!). When weather patterns turn bad, like wicked bad in New England, real estate industry pundits tend to go gloom, assuming that Americans hungry for homeownership are bothered by a little frozen precipitation. The nation will unfreeze, inventory is expected to rise and home sales are widely expected to increase. These are good times, indeed, and many of us now have an enchanting shared experience that we can walk uphill to school both ways.
New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 6.0 percent to 917. Yet we are up year-to-date by 2.8 percent to 2,008 units. Pending Sales were up 33.4 percent to 774, which reflects a 34.6 percent year-to-date increase to 1,482 units. Inventory levels shrank 22.1 percent to 4,139 units.
Prices were fairly stable. The Median Sales Price decreased 1.4 percent to $135,000. Average Sales Price decreased 4.5 percent to $153.527. However, year-to-date comparisons show slight increases, with Median Sales Price increasing 1.5 percent to $136,000 and Average Sales Price increasing 2.2 percent to $163,411.
Days on Market was down 22.2 percent to 98 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 29.4 percent to 6.0 months. Another positive for sellers is Greater Chattanooga saw a 2.2 percent increase in Percent of Original List Price Received.
In national financial news, rumors that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could one day be a thing of the past have people wondering about the future of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. But let’s not sound the alarm just yet. A drastic change to lending’s gold standard is certainly not on the immediate horizon. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen seems to have no immediate interest in raising interest rates for the first time since 2006. The economy remains stable, which should keep housing rolling through the short-named months.
Travis Close, ABR, GREEN, GRI, e-PRO
President, Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors