Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - by Robert Backer, president, Greater Chattanooga Realtors
As temperatures drop, existing home sales continue to be plentiful, buoyed by strong demand, low interest rates, and a slight uptick in new listings in recent months, according to the National Association of Realtors. With interest rates inching upward, and experts expecting further rate increases on the horizon, motivated buyers are hoping to lock in their home purchases to take advantage of what are still historically low rates.
On a national level, the U.S. housing market remains robust, with strong activity reported across both rental and residential housing fronts.
Single-family rent prices are increasing rapidly, as demand for single-family housing and inventory constraints forces some buyers to rent, increasing competition and pushing rents up across the nation. Meanwhile, sales of new construction single-family homes recently hit a six-month high, rising 14% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 800,000, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, projected last week that there might be a slight drop, about 1.7%, in the total number of homes sold in 2022 over 2021. Mr. Yun also said that even though there may be a decline in sales in 2022, he still forecasts home sales will outdo pre-pandemic levels.
Locally, New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 2.0% to 1,155. Pending Sales were up 17.6% to 1,216. Inventory levels shrank 35.1% to 1,114 units. As a point of reference, the Inventory level for October 2020 was 1,716. Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 10.0% over October 2020, when it was $250,000, to $275,000. Days on Market was down 51.4% to 17 days. In other words, the Days on Market for October 2020 was 35 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 41.2% to 1.0 months.
Clearly the cooling weather doesn’t show the housing market cooling off anytime in the foreseeable future. It remains true houses are moving quickly in this market, which is why utilizing a realtor remains the best way to make sure you’re in the best possible position in this competitive market. Realtors work tirelessly for their clients and community to advocate for their property needs.