2021 is winding down, and so is my term as Greater Chattanooga Realtors® President. Much has changed this year locally and nationally, and I believe that many of these changes will be with us well into the future. But not all of these shifts are bad. For many, these past two years have shown exactly why our area is so appealing and why we love calling Greater Chattanooga home.
Chattanooga has been forever changed by the pandemic, more so than other cities. As a result, our jewel of a city is no longer a secret. The advent of work-from-home careers, our powerful broadband, and lower cost of living have made our area an attractive alternative to larger, more expensive cities.
As far as housing goes, I can honestly say that the market in 2021 has been one for the record books. This market is, by far, the most intense that I have experienced in my more than 25 years as a Realtor®.
We’ve been experiencing issues in the past few years, such as lower housing inventory and supply-chain issues, both of which really came to a head this year. Each month, when Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® releases the local market statistics, the Median Sales Price has increased, and sometimes the year-over-year increase is in the double digits.
Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors®, predicts that the new year will see some return to normalcy, but will still see more increases than in the pre-pandemic market.
“There are signs for 2022 that a more normal and predictable market is on the horizon. Home sales have surged over the past year in an uncharacteristic manner, many receiving multiple bids after only being on the market for a short period. However, the housing sector will settle down but at above pre-pandemic levels,” Yun said.
Yun also projected that mortgage rates, which are currently at 3.0%, will see an increase of 3.7% in the coming months, a rise he attributes to persistent high inflation. Home prices rose by 12% on average in 2020 and 2021, while inflation rose 3%.
As far as the local market, an increase in housing inventory would help stabilize prices, and allow more people to enter the housing market who might find themselves currently priced out. Whatever the new year might bring, utilizing the expertise of a Realtor® in your real estate transactions remains your best option to help make sure that you get the most from your investment. Realtors work tirelessly to serve their communities every day, and I’m very proud to be a part of this industry. That’s Who We R.