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September 2, 2020

Local And National Housing Trends Related to COVID-19

I was recently talking with some colleagues discussing this very busy market. Afterwards, I came to the realize that for the first time in over 100 years, our country has five generations involved in real estate transactions... all at the same time. Included in these groups are two of the largest generations in the country with immigration adding to current housing needs that took a hit in the recession.

Locally, the home builder association had an economist say that Chattanooga needed 2000 more homes to keep up with demand. Those 2000 homes did not occur with the recession, and now with millennials and Gen Z are looking to establish roots and have a place to call home.

All of this shows that demand for housing in this area is at an all time high, while there aren’t many properties available, with there being less than 1.8 months of homes on the market. But there are signs that more people are looking to list their homes. The lower inventory means that people are seeing a good return on their investment if they’re looking to get into the market. I’m hearing from colleagues that more and more people are asking about listing their current property for sale.

Aside from anecdotal evidence, our data shows that from August 8 to August 15, the number of newly listed homes increased 14% over the same point last year. This is noteworthy because this was the largest increase in people listing their homes for sale since the start of the pandemic. With inventory being low, this increase in the number of homes for sale is a hopeful sign for those looking to purchase a new home.

And the numbers are looking promising for the rest of the country as well. The number of house showings have continued to pick up as they rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. On a year-over-year basis in the Midwest, Northeast and Southern regions showings were up, 14%, 13%, and 6% respectively. This measure of foot traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future. People are entering the market, and the competition between buyers in the form of multiple offers will certainly continue.

And so, if you’re looking to capitalize in this seller’s market, it’s probably a good idea to be mindful of how all of our lives have changed in light of COVID-19. In a recent article in Realtor Magazine, Melissa Dittmann Tracey wrote about some specific design trends that COVID-19 has had an effect on homebuyers. Tracey lists home offices as a huge selling point for buyers who have the ability to work remotely. She points out that some buyers are beginning to shy away from open floor plans due to their inability to provide privacy and noise reduction from other family members. Upgraded outdoor spaces, such as patios and porches, and increased storage space seem to be a hot selling points as well for buyers.

The market is hot, and it is changing rapidly. Utilizing a Realtor will help you stay on top of the changes happening in our market and help develop strategies so that you get the most from your most valued investment. That’s Who We R®.