Market Remains Robust As Sales, Inventory Ease

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tennessee’s home-buying market remained active in the second quarter of 2014, even as total home sales decreased by 3.63 percent compared to the same period in 2013 (from 18,052 to 17,396), and the median price rose by 5.53 percent (from $161,000 to $169,900), the Tennessee Association of Realotrs noted.

At the same time, the number of homes available for purchase declined from 39,624 in June 2013 to 29,335 in June 2014—a difference of 18.4 percent in inventory.

Meanwhile, condominium sales statewide rose by 3.2 percent (from 1,583 to 1,634) as inventory declined by 25.8 percent (from 3,514 in June 2013 to 2,609 a year later). The median condo price rose 5.24% over the year-earlier quarter (from $145,000 to $152,599).

“These results for the second quarter show that Tennessee’s home-buying market remains strong, even with adjustments in sales, median price and inventory since the same period a year ago,” said Neal Clayton, 2014 TAR president. “Our state’s economy remains on the upswing overall. A business-friendly climate, excellent educational options, and a continuing high quality of life are among the many good signs for buyers and sellers throughout the state.”

In Tennessee as in other areas of the U.S., some prospective buyers who have above-average credit scores but low down payments are deterred from homeownership by the high cost of FHA mortgage insurance.

“Access to affordable credit continues to hamper young, prospective first-time buyers,” said Steve Brown, president of the National Association of Realtors. “We recommend that FHA reduce high annual mortgage-insurance premiums for all qualified homebuyers and eliminate the insurance requirement for the life of the loan. FHA’s HAWK program is a good start, but it should offer further reductions for participating home buyers.”

In addition, stagnant wage growth in many parts of the nation is holding back what could be a stronger pace of U.S. home sales.

“Hiring has been a bright spot in the economy this year, adding an average of 230,000 jobs each month,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “However, the lack of wage increases is leaving a large pool of potential homebuyers on the sidelines who otherwise would be taking advantage of low interest rates. Income growth below price appreciation will hurt affordability.”



RE/MAX Properties And RE/MAX Renaissance Realtors Celebrate Thanksgiving

RE/MAX Renaissance Realtors kicked off the Thanksgiving season by hosting a Vendor Appreciation reception at the new Red Sauce restaurant at 14 W. Kent Street on the Northshore. The theme of the evening was, “Thank Your for Being a Friend”.  Over 50 guests attended the party where agents were able to personally thank area service providers for helping grow their businesses.  ... (click for more)

Mike Croxall: Secure Your Home For The Winter Cold

While heavy snow or extreme cold may not be a big factor in Chattanooga or the surrounding area, those who experience even moderate snow falls or brief cold snaps during the winter know that colder temperatures can take a big toll on your home. Winter weather can also knock out heat, power and other services to your home, sometimes for several consecutive days. Here are some ... (click for more)

City Council Votes On 1st Reading To Lower Rain Retention Requirement In South Chickamauga Creek Basin

The City Council on Tuesday voted to lower the requirement for rainwater retention in the South Chickamauga Creek basin. The move from holding the first 1.6 inches to one inch had been requested by the Home Builders Association and the Berke administration. Sandy Kurtz, longtime leader of the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance, said the resolution was "not yet ready ... (click for more)

Former Pilot Regional Account Specialist Says Former President Mark Hazelwood Approved Of Fraud

When well-known attorney Rusty Hardin on Tuesday asked a former Pilot regional account specialist if she believed that former president Mark Hazelwood knew of a plan to cheat trucking firms he didn't get the answer he expected. Holly Radford told a jury in Chattanooga, "I know he had knowledge of the rebate schemes that were going on. "I had conversations with him about it ... (click for more)

Thankful For Tennessee

While Christmas reigns supreme as a holiday marking the birth of our Lord, I have always felt a special connection with Thanksgiving. These days Christmas unfortunately includes ubiquitous commercialism which can distract us from the true meaning of the day. Thanksgiving stands apart from all that. This day gives us an opportunity to reflect and take stock of our many blessings.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Thanksgiving Eve

I don’t know who was the first to do the Famous Pregnant Turkey prank but I’ll bet you a handful of giblets there will be a lot of copycats who try it today. The trick is finding a Cornish hen that is small enough to stuff inside the larger turkey. Then you skillfully pack the bird with some of that sausage-sage dressing and put your Thanksgiving dinner in the oven. When all ... (click for more)