Monday, September 16, 2019 - by Kim Bass, president, Greater Chattanooga Realtors
As the summer is drawing to a close, multiple opposing factors and trends are competing to define the direction of the real estate market. After the Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate on July 31, 30-year mortgage rates continued to decline, approaching all-time lows last seen in 2016. Yet most experts agree these reductions are unlikely to bring sufficient relief, at least in the short term, for first-time home buyers. The lack of affordable inventory and the persistence of historically high housing prices continue to affect the housing market, leading to lower-than-expected existing home sales at the national level.
New Listings in the greater Chattanooga area increased 1.5 percent to 1,316.
Pending Sales were up 16 percent to 1,039. Inventory levels shrank 12 percent to 2,793 units.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 6.4 percent to $200,000. Days on Market was up 2.4 percent to 43 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 18.4 percent to 3.1 months.
As many homeowners refinanced their homes to take advantage of declining interest rates, consumer confidence in housing was reported to be at historically high levels. Even so, Realtors will need to monitor the market for signs of continued imbalances. Although the inventory of affordable homes at this point remains largely stable, it is stable at historically low levels, which may continue to push prices higher and affect potential buyers across the U.S.
Markets may change, but realtors’ commitment to serving our clients doesn’t. Navigating a market that can shift quickly is just one reason why consulting a realtor is so important. We keep a watchful eye on trends locally and nationally that might affect our clients and community.