By Mark Hite
President, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®
The Chattanooga real estate market continued to demonstrate its resilience in October as sales increased over last year despite a significant decrease in the amount of available homes for sale.
For the month of October, Realtors in the Greater Chattanooga region sold 793 residential units compared to 788 in 2016. This .6% increase in sales pushed the year to date total to 8,250 homes for a +.7% increase year to date. This increase in sales was achieved, despite a -24.5% decrease in the number of available units for sale. The region ended the month with just 2,909 homes on the market for sale, which is a record low in modern history.
Buyer confidence remained high and resulting demand pushed the median sales price up +2.9% to $175,000 for the month. At the same time the average sales price hit $211,202 which is a +5.8% increase to the same period last year. The average price stands at $210,127 for the first 10 months, which is a strong increase over last year’s average through October at $193,763.
The low inventory and strong demand meant homes sold at near record pace. The average home took 54 days from listing date until it was placed under contract. This represented a -12.9% decrease to October 2016 and pushed the YTD average down to 59 days on the market. As would be expected, the months’ supply of inventory dipped to 3.5 MOS for October. This represents a -27.1% decrease to last year and sets well below the national average which has been running at 4 months of supply.
The number of new listings coming to market remained very consistent with the year’s trend. For the month of October new listings were down -6.9% to last year, which falls in line with the year to date trend of -6.8%.
While no one has a crystal ball, there is one indicator that gives clues to future months sales trends. The number of contracts written but not yet closed, known as pending sales saw a strong surge in October. Area Realtors placed 849 homes under contract in October, which is a +21.6% increase over last year. This would indicate that sales for the November and December months should be strong and ensure the region ends the year on a positive sales path.