Robert Backer: Real Estate In 2021

Monday, January 4, 2021 - by Robert Backer, president, Greater Chattanooga Realtors
Last year taught us many lessons, both good and bad, but one thing I’m still amazed by is how quickly everything changed when COVID struck. Seemingly overnight, our whole way of life changed. As I take the reins from 2020 President Brandi Pearl Thompson, I am thankful for her leadership in an unpredictable and unprecedented year.

Witnessing that sort of change is humbling, especially when trying to project where anything might be in 2021, let alone something as specific as real estate.
As Brandi Pearl Thompson can attest, predictions aren’t always accurate, but some indicators can show us the general direction that markets are trending. I’m thrilled that local real estate has bounced back so robustly. Real estate was deemed an essential service, and Realtors like me worked to the best of our ability to ensure the safety of our clients and community.

As for real estate trends around the nation, I look at some recent studies from leading housing experts, including Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun, who gave his 2021 projections during the NAR Real Estate Forecast Summit in December. Yun’s findings were agreed upon by all 20 participating economic experts.

Housing prices are expected to climb 8.0% next year and 5.5 percent in 2022, with 30-year fixed mortgage rates of 3.0 percent and 3.25 percent for 2021 and 2022, respectively. On the job front, an annual unemployment rate of 6.2 percent next year with a decline to 5.0 percent in 2022. Some welcomed information for a tight housing inventory is a whopping 1.50 million of housing starts next year and 1.59 million in 2022.

One consequence of the pandemic has been an increase in individuals working remotely. The share of the U.S. workforce working from home is estimated to be 18 percent in 2021 – down from 21 percent in 2020 – and 12 percent in 2022. This trend could lead to small declines in office and hotel vacancy rates in 2021, with a slight increase in retail vacancies next year.

Lawrence Yun summed up the findings by saying, “One astonishing development from 2020 has been the hot housing market as consumers eyed record-low mortgage rates and reconsidered what a home should be in a new economy with flexible work-from-home schedules."

After the year-end numbers come in for 2020, we will be able to analyze better what we might expect locally for the housing market. In addition to national efforts, Greater Chattanooga Realtors will continue to work with local decision-makers on issues that impact housing affordability and inventory.

I’m excited and ready to lead the Greater Chattanooga Realtors in 2021, and I’m proud to be part of the ever-evolving role that Realtors play nationally and in our local communities. That’s Who We R.

Pointe Commercial Real Estate Announces 5 New Leases Signed At Pointe Properties

Robert Backer: Tips For A Warm And Inviting Home This Winter

East Brainerd Apartment Complex Sells For $17.4 Million


Russell Elliott, SIOR, CCIM and managing broker of Pointe Commercial Real Estate, announces new tenants at their Chattanooga properties. Altera Home Loans, Black & Veatch and Prime Lending ... (click for more)

Okay, so we’re stuck inside. Even in a non-COVID time, January isn’t exactly the best time to go out and enjoy the outdoors. It’s cold, wet, and dark. Simply put, it’s gross out there. The ... (click for more)

An apartment complex in East Brainerd has sold for $17.4 million. The Grove at Hickory Valley Apartments is located at 1521 Hickory Valley Road off of East Brainerd Road. The sale was ... (click for more)



Real Estate

Pointe Commercial Real Estate Announces 5 New Leases Signed At Pointe Properties

Russell Elliott, SIOR, CCIM and managing broker of Pointe Commercial Real Estate, announces new tenants at their Chattanooga properties. Altera Home Loans, Black & Veatch and Prime Lending signed new leases with Pointe Commercial Real Estate within The Pointe Centre. Tennessee Oncology has also signed a lease at Pointe Centre creating an additional location to their new ... (click for more)

Robert Backer: Tips For A Warm And Inviting Home This Winter

Okay, so we’re stuck inside. Even in a non-COVID time, January isn’t exactly the best time to go out and enjoy the outdoors. It’s cold, wet, and dark. Simply put, it’s gross out there. The truth of the matter is in recent months, many of us have spent much time inside. What are some ways to make your home more inviting? What about keeping away those cold-weather blues? Deirdre ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Hamilton County Health Department Says It Has Many "First Dose" Appointments Still Available Through The Call Center

Most "first dose" COVID-19 vaccine appointments are booked online, but there are still many appointments available, Hamilton County Health Department officials said Sunday afternoon. Those seeking the appointments should call the appointment call center at 423-209-5399 beginning Monday at 8:30 a.m. Officials said, " If you get a busy signal, hang up and call again. When all ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Has No New COVID Deaths, 89 New Cases; Tennessee Has 2,841 New Cases, 40 More COVID Deaths

Hamilton County reported 89 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday. The new total of cases in Hamilton County is 36,978. There were no more deaths from the virus in the county reported since Saturday, leaving the total at 337. The number of coronavirus cases in Tennessee is at 708,717 on Sunday with 2,841 new cases. There have been 40 more deaths from the virus, for a total ... (click for more)

Opinion

What's The Deal, Steve Highlander?

While listening to the school board meeting on Thursday night, School Board Member Steve Highlander made a comment that he had been teaching all day. I was a little confused and started searching. It didn't take me long to find out that Highlander teaches at Ringgold High School. So let me get this straight. He was teaching in person at a Georgia school, then came to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Open Our Schools!

There has never been a better time nor a better reason for Hamilton County to do away with the School Board. The group of nine wasted the better part of two hours Thursday night trying to decide whether to allow children to go back to school before tossing any decision back to superintendent Bryan Johnson. The School Board is worthless. It makes no decisions about anything other ... (click for more)