We’ve all felt the heat the past few weeks, and the real estate market has been just as hot as the summer sidewalk. As we reported locally, for the month of June, pending sales in the greater Chattanooga market were up almost 42%, or 142 houses, over the same time last year.
The greater Chattanooga area wasn’t the only market to “heat up.” Recent data released by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) shows that existing-home sales in the South jumped 26.0% to an annual rate of 2.18 million in June. The median price in the South was $258,500 which is a 4.4% increase from a year ago.
For comparison around the nation, June 2020 existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 4.3%, and the median price in the Northeast was $332,900, up 3.6% from June 2019. In the Midwest, existing-home sales increased 11.1%, and the median price in the Midwest was $236,900, a 3.2% increase from June 2019. Lastly, existing-home sales in the West ascended 31.9% to an annual rate of 950,000 in June, and the median price in the West was $432,600, up 5.4% from June 2019. Clearly the market is hot all over the country!
Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NAR, spoke with our association a few days ago, and explained that due to COVID, mortgage applications dipped in April, but beginning in May, they spiked back to where they were, or higher in some areas, to what we saw in the 1st Quarter. While still in a pandemic, real estate activity continues. He also reported that Inventory was low in most parts of the country pre-pandemic, so it only makes sense inventory dropped lower during the pandemic. He concluded his talk by forecasting 2020 will end with a 3 to 5 percent increase in Home Prices. Yun also predicted Home Sales in 2020 would close with a 10 to 13 percent drop in home sale nationwide, but moving into 2021, we should see a 13 to 18 percent increase in number of homes sold.
COVID-19 is certainly still impacting our market, as well as the housing market nationally, but this data shows that it’s still a seller’s market, and it’s a good time for homeowners list their property.
While we acknowledge the fast market, the uptick in COVID-19 cases around the country has shown that it’s more important than ever to be safe and take all necessary steps to minimize the risk of transmitting this virus. Realtors® have a special responsibility to take all necessary health and safety precautions, including wearing masks. Real estate has been deemed essential in our area, but Realtors are still strongly encouraged use virtual showings and limit in-person activity in all other aspects of the real estate transaction to help get through this crisis.
As Realtors, we urge our clients and fellow Realtors to stay home if sick, and to use online services when available. We all should practice social distancing (staying at least six feet away from others), and use hand sanitizer after leaving stores, and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home. These guidelines might be inconvenient at times, but it’s important that we keep the safety of others in mind during this time.
Whether it’s during an active housing market or during a global pandemic, utilizing a Realtor during a property buying or selling process is a way to stay up to date on all of the current housing market data. Realtors are here to serve our community during these times. That’s Who We R®.