Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - by Kim Bass, president, Greater Chattanooga Realtors
The warm weather is here, and homebuyers are returning in force this spring. For well-priced homes in desirable locations, the competition can be fierce. For much of the country, the first quarter of 2019 experienced less foot traffic, which impacted potential home sales. In some areas of the country low affordability, higher prices, and lower inventory situation contributed to slower sales across real estate markets.
Locally, New Listings in the Chattanooga region increased 18.4 percent to 1,428.
Pending Sales were up 13.8 percent to 1,072. Inventory levels grew 3.0 percent to 2,648 units. Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 11.5 percent to $199,000. Days on Market was down 10.5 percent to 51 days.
Absorption rates were even with last year as Months Supply of Inventory remained flat at 3.1 months.
The national unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent during April 2019, the lowest level since 1969. A historically low unemployment rate can provide reassurance to wary consumers. But for sales to increase on a grand scale, buyers will need more spending power, or sellers will need to reduce
prices to land where buyers are most active. Neither situation is likely to occur in 2019, yet inventory is straining to keep pace in the most competitive price ranges.