Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - by Brandi Pearl Thompson, president, Greater Chattanooga Realtors
Summer is starting to wind down, and schools are beginning in their different capacities, but don’t think that the housing market has slowed down any. The national economy has certainly been impacted by COVID-19, but up to this point, the housing market hasn’t been negatively impacted.
Although unemployment claims have been far lower in recent weeks than their peak in March and April, nationally more than 1 million new claims are still being filed each week. 31 million were claiming benefits in all programs as of early July, compared to fewer than 2 million in July 2019. Despite this significant economic impact, home buyers remain extremely resilient. With mortgage rates remaining near record-low levels and home purchase mortgage applications up from a year ago, high buyer activity is expected to continue into the late summer and early fall market.
This healthy buyer demand and lower supply continues to be the story for much of the country. Nationally, showing activity in July remained substantially higher than a year before and multiple offer situations are a frequent experience in many markets. With the inventory of homes for sale still lower, a fast and competitive market for buyers doesn’t show signs of slowing down. Many housing experts believe sellers remain reluctant to list their homes due to continued concerns over COVID-19, and until sellers regain confidence, housing inventory will continue to be lower than it has been historically.
In the greater Chattanooga market, prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 11.9 percent to $235,000. Days on Market was up 2.4 percent to 43 days. While the increase is only slight, it is an indication of the time of year. It’s also a reflection of the low inventory which is driving up demand, and we continue to see multiple offers in some price points within hours of going on the market. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 51.4 percent to 1.7 months. New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 6.8 percent to 1,218. Locally, Pending Sales were up 22.2 percent to 1,239, while Inventory levels shrank 46.9 percent to 1,623 units.
So what does all this information mean? It means that there are fewer houses on the market now, and if you use a realtor’s expertise when listing your house for sale, you might be in a very good position. Realtors have the latest tools to serve the homebuying needs of our community. That’s Who We R.