Kadi Brown: 2024 January Market Report

  • Thursday, February 15, 2024
  • Kadi Brown, President-Elect, Greater Chattanooga Realtors
In the shifting sands of the U.S. housing market, the latest figures sketch a tale of cautious optimism. The National Association of Realtors' January market report breaks down the contrast between the decline in existing home sales and the significant increase in pending sales and what that might mean for the housing market's health and future trends.

U.S. existing-home sales slipped 1.0 percent month-over-month and were down 6.2 percent year-over-year as of last measure, while pending sales jumped 8.3 percent from the previous month, marking the largest gain since June 2020, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Mortgage rates have dropped significantly from their peak last fall, and homebuyers are beginning to come out of the woodwork, with NAR forecasting a 13 percent increase in existing-home sales this year compared to 2023.

For January in the Chattanooga region, New Listings increased 3.9 percent to 1,005. Pending Sales were down 11.0 percent to 805. Inventory levels grew 7.8 percent to 2,020 units.

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 10.4 percent to $320,000. Days on Market was up 11.1 percent to 40 days. Buyers felt empowered as the supply of Inventory was up 20.0 percent to 2.4 months.

Despite tepid sales activity, the persistent shortage of housing supply has helped prop up home values nationwide, with the median existing-home price rising 4.4 percent year-over-year to $382,600, according to NAR. Total unsold inventory was at 1 million units heading into January, an 11.5% decline from the previous month, for a 3.2 months’ supply at the current sales pace. Nationally, listing activity has started to pick up, and with mortgage rates stabilizing and housing completions on the rise, inventory is expected to improve in the coming months.

The months ahead hold the key to whether these early indicators of recovery and resilience will develop into a sustained upward trend or if the market will continue to be characterized by its current patchwork of gains and losses. What remains clear is that the market is, for now, a checkerboard of contrasting dynamics, demanding a keen eye from buyers, sellers, and investors alike. That’s Who We R.
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