If there were any indications as to what the real estate market would be like in January, it would be the weather. Cold temperatures and wintry mixes kept most homebuyers (and many realtors for that matter) indoors. Nearly all key indicators for the month of January saw slight decreases compared to last year.
Closed Sales dropped by 7.9 percent, ending with 429 homes sold. New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 3.0 percent to 931.
Inventory levels shrank 4.8 percent to 4,624 units.
Prices marched higher. The Median Sales Price increased 6.5 percent to $138,500. Days on Market were up 16.2 percent to 136 days, and Absorption Rates improved as Months’ Supply of Inventory was down 4.8 percent to 8.0 months.
GCAR President Vicki Trapp said that many of the changes in financial trends have had buyers and sellers alike questioning what the future will hold, not just for the real estate market, but for the entire fiscal picture. She said, “While most business owners are preparing their year-end taxes throughout the first quarter, they’ll also continue to keep a close eye on where the nation’s economy stands."
“As mid-term elections draw closer, many consumers are still struggling in a sluggish economy, and will be asking tough financial questions to those seeking office. While interest rates remain attractive and should remain below their long-term average, we will be closely following the direction that the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve will set,” Ms. Trapp said.
She added, “The same factors that catalyzed widespread market recovery in 2012 and 2013 are likely to continue in 2014, though perhaps at a more moderate pace, since the market appears to be returning to a stable, healthy state. Potential trends to watch for in 2014 include increased seller activity, more new construction and fewer foreclosures on the market. Inventory is another metric to watch this year.”