If someone at the Civitan Club wants to sell a house, Todd Henon of Keller Williams Realty had some wonderful news for them. Unfortunately, if they were looking to buy a house in Hamilton County, the news was not nearly as sunny.
He began the presentation with some better news for the Civitan Club. He told them real estate sales have risen 1.6 percent annually since 2014. Average sales price have risen almost six percent since then as well.
That is where the good news ended for Mr. Henon. He proceeded to show multiple graphics detailing what a healthy market looked like. In an ideal world, a city would have equally the same amount of people selling a house as there would people wanting to buy a residence. In such a city, houses would stay on the market for an average of around six months.
Chattanooga is not one of those places.
“We do not have enough houses to meet the demand. I read recently 40 percent of homes have more than three offers on them. We will write three, four, or five offers on a property. The competition is so fierce,” said the realtor, “In the last 12 months, 6,300 homes have been sold, but only 1,500 were on the market. Now, these things are dynamic. It could be different in 36 months from now.”
Mr. Henon recently met with Red Bank’s mayor, whose city is suffering the same fate the rest of Chattanooga is facing: too many buyers wanting a very limited product.
“I sat with the mayor of Red Bank, and he asked ‘What do we do?’ You have an overabundance of rental properties, and you are dealing with properties that are condemned properties. Right now, Red Bank has an inventory of 1.9 months,” said the realtor.
The speaker then elaborated on just how difficult it is for buyers to pay for a home, telling the Civitan Club, “The entry point into Chattanooga has reached almost $200,000 just to get into play. It’s multiple offers, from different buyers.”
Of course, it wasn’t all gloom and doom for Mr. Henon. Chattanooga, despite being bereft of buyable houses, is replete with property available for developers. And those developers aren’t just coming in from Nashville or Atlanta or the local area, according to Mr. Henon.
“There’s no income tax in Tennessee, and we are seeing a tremendous amount of investors coming in from Denver, San Francisco and Texas. They have reached the top of their bell curve to be profitable in their home markets,” said the speaker. “They can put together a business model in Chattanooga and make money. They are constantly acquiring property in Chattanooga from all over the country.”
Aside from giving an update on the state of real estate in Chattanooga, Mr. Henon gave some tips for Civitans who wished to sell houses. One of those pieces of advice was to say nothing when they were inside a house.
“Every time we go into the house, someone is listening to us. The owner is listening and watching. And how do they do that? Well, you’ve seen home monitoring systems, cameras, microphones,” said Mr. Henon, “It’s all about leverage. I need leverage. When you walk into a house someone is buying, and I tell my client, don’t talk. Just don’t, because they are listening. I’ve even had clients hide in the house.”