Real Estate Slowdown Or Normalization?

Friday, March 21, 2014

After several months of increased home sales and prices, a drop off from what is considered to be “normal” is easy to be confused with a market slowdown. However, if one follows the financial trends, it is more likely that the greater Chattanooga region is experiencing a first quarter bout of “normalization.”

As mortgage delinquencies fade, banks are listing bargain-priced product less often. That means investor activity – which accounts for a substantial market share – is moderating. That's not to say that rates and prices aren't still attractive to owner-occupant buyers. They most certainly are. Some short-term volatility is expected as part of a normal market readjustment. 

Closed sales were down 15.1 percent from last year’s numbers, closing with 417 residential units sold. New listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 2.0 percent to 934. Inventory levels shrank 5.3 percent to 4,681 units.

Prices remained determined as the Median Sales Price increased 17.6 percent to $143,500. Days on Market were up 7.0 percent to 137 days. Absorption rates improved as Months Supply of Inventory was down 4.7 percent to 8.2 months. 

Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors President Vicki Trapp said, “The economy has more or less shuffled along, despite some climate-induced surprises to job growth and new construction. There is no denying the fact that we've now seen 47 straight months of private job growth, creating 8.5 million new payrolls. There's still work to be done. Thankfully, with such low inventory levels, many builders are bullish on new construction. The spring market is budding, and it should be an interesting one.”


Planning Agency Staff Recommends Denial Of Request For Doctors Office, Pharmacy On Shallowford Road

The Regional Planning Agency staff is recommending denial on a rezoning request for a doctors office and pharmacy at 7683 Shallowford Road. Wanda Threat is making the request. The staff said it is not in accord with the Land Use Plan. The approximately 1.2-acre site would only have access from Shallowford. The plan is to use an existing building for phase 1 and eventually ... (click for more)

8 Apartments, Commercial Space Planned At Corner Main Street, Central Avenue

A developer is proposing eight second-story apartments and 7,500 square feet of commercial space at the northeast corner of Main Street and Central Avenue. The site being developed by Richard Zavala is just over half an acre. The main entrance will be on Cemetery Avenue and secondary access through an alley. The two-story building will front both Central Avenue and East ... (click for more)

Cleveland School Board Votes 5-2 To Terminate School Director Ringstaff Over Twitter Messages

The Cleveland School Board on Friday fired Dr. Martin Ringstaff, director of schools, for sending sexually explicit messages to an anonymous woman a year ago.  His termination is effective immediately and does not include severance pay.  The school board called an emergency meeting after Dr. Ringstaff, who is married, admitted to sending explicit messages to ... (click for more)

History Center Not Giving Out Any More Information On Past Spending Details, Current Status, At This Time

The president of the Chattanooga History Center, which has halted plans for a world class history museum near the Aquarium after raising over $10 million, said no other information will be provided at this time. Chattanoogan.com had sought details about prior spending and the salary of former executive director Daryl Black as well as the center's current status. Jo Coke said, ... (click for more)

A Missing Link In Chattanooga's Crime Prevention Program

I would like to begin by introducing myself. I grew up in Chattanooga and I love this city. As a child, the space program and lunar landings were in full swing. I dreamed of a progressive city. I grew up reading books about space, travel, and superheroes at the Bicentennial Library.  I am the only son of a local pastor and businessman. When I graduated from East Ridge High ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The School’s Search Begins

Jonathan Welch, the chairman of the Hamilton County School Board, had no idea he would be giving himself a well-deserved treat some months ago when he promised his son they would go on a mission trip together. This week has to be the first time his phone hasn’t blinked overload since a December tragedy triggered a tsunami and repeated shock waves that crashed the Hamilton County ... (click for more)