By Mark Hite, President
Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS®
First Quarter of 2017 is in the books and it’s been a record-setting start to the year. Home sales continued on an upward pace in March, after taking a step backwards in the first month of the year. There were a total of 860 closed sales for the month of March, which moved the first quarter ahead of last year by 4.8 percent.
The second area to continue its record setting pace is home prices. For March the median price jumped 19.2 percent to last year, and the average home price moved up a whopping 14.2 percent when compared to March of 2016. In dollars this equates to an average price of 206,837for Marc, which moved the average for the first quarter of 2017 to $201,129 – that’s an 11.3 percent increase over last year.
Everything was not on the positive side for home sales statistics. For starters, there were fewer homes coming to market in March. A total of 1,248 new units entered the market, which represents a 6.5 percent decrease compared to the same month last year. This decrease moved the first quarter down by 8.6 percent in comparison to the same period in 2016.
With inventory shrinking and sales increasing, it should not come as any surprise that the average available inventory of homes for sale would also decrease for the month. In March, the region had 2,988 homes for sale, which is a 23.1 percent decrease to the 3,884 homes sale this time last year.
One of the negative numbers that relates to a positive is Days on the Market. For March the average home that sold took 70 days to go under contract, which is down 4.1 percent from last year’s 73 days. This move closes out the first quarter with the average falling by 5.5%, or an average 69 days on market.
With the diverse results for March and first quarter, one may be wondering what to make of these numbers. If you are considering selling your home at any time in the next two to three years, NOW is the time to consult a REALTOR® and see what price at which you your home might sell. With limited inventory, a top price should be garnered for your home this Spring.
If you are a home buyer and waiting for inventory to improve, that does not appear to be in the cards, at least in the near future. The other item working against you in this appreciating market, with increasing interest rates, is a reduction in home affordability. Revisit your list of “must haves” and lock in your rate for 30 years, before they increase again.