February 2020 was the last month of “normal” activity for most of us last year. Who could’ve known that our collective lives would be turned upside down in March 2020? Over the next few months, it will be interesting to compare the current market conditions to those only one year ago. As my fellow Realtors can attest, home sales really took off after some slower months in March and April. This housing rebound has shown that Realtors will work tirelessly for their clients, even when precautions must be taken.
Nationally, mortgage interest rates rose slightly higher last month yet remain below their February 2020 levels. Interest rates may rise a bit further in coming weeks, and according to Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater, “While there are multiple temporary factors driving up rates, the underlying economic fundamentals point to rates remaining in the low 3 % range for the year.” With rates still at these historically low levels, home sales are unlikely to be seriously affected, though these higher rates have an impact on affordability.
Here in the Chattanooga region, New Listings decreased 2.7% from February 2020 to 1,011. Pending Sales were up 18.3% over February 2020 to 1,042. Inventory levels shrank 63.0% to 893 units.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 10.2% over February 2020 to $237,443.
Days on Market was down 36.1% from February 2020 (61 Days) to 39 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 65.4% to 0.9 months.
For homeowners currently struggling due to the pandemic, government agencies are continuing efforts to help those in need. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced they will allow homeowners with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to receive an additional three months of forbearance, extending total payment relief to up to 18 months. Qualified homeowners must already be in a forbearance plan as of the end of February.
2020 showed us all how quickly our lives can change. Usually, it’s not because of a global pandemic, but “life” happens to us all. People change jobs, loved ones need different living arrangements, and familial status changes. No matter what your needs are, consult a Realtor®. A Realtor will work with you to make sure your housing needs are taken care of. That’s Who We R.®