September means cooling temperatures, and with it, a somewhat cooling housing market. Nationally, sales of existing homes recently fell to a 7-month low, as surging borrowing costs, rising sales prices, and limited inventory continue to keep many would-be buyers out of the market. Borrowers have become increasingly sensitive to fluctuations in mortgage rates, which have remained above 7% since mid-August. With fewer buyers able to afford the costs of homeownership, existing-home sales declined 0.7% month-over-month and were down 15.3% year-over-year, according to the National Association of REALTORS®(NAR).
Across the country, prices have continued to increase this fall despite softening home sales as a lack of inventory has kept the market competitive for prospective buyers, sparking bidding wars and causing homes to sell for above asking price in some areas. Heading into September there were only 1.1 million units available for sale, 0.9% fewer than a month ago and 14.1% fewer than the same period last year, according to NAR. As a result, the U.S. median existing-home sales price rose 3.9% year-over-year to $407,100, marking the third consecutive month that the median sales price topped $400,000.
Looking locally, New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 6.4% from September 2022 (1,204) to 1,127. Pending Sales were down 9.3% from September 2022 (903) to 819. Inventory levels shrank 11.5% from September 2022 (2,244) to 1,986 units. Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 5.0% from September 2022 ($306,500) to $321,900. Days on Market was up 29.2% from September 2022 (24 days) to 31 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 4.5% from September 2022 (2.2 months) to 2.3 months.
Whether you’re looking across the state or the country, real estate markets can vary greatly. This is why the expertise of a REALTOR® is so crucial. REALTORS® not only have a deep understanding of the current market conditions but also possess insights into potential future trends. REALTORS®, with our extensive training, experience, and adherence to a strict code of ethics demonstrate we can help guide through the complexities of real estate transactions. By leveraging a REALTOR®'s expertise, homebuyers and sellers can make informed decisions, helping to optimize your most valuable investment and minimize potential risks. That’s Who We R®.