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Home Sales take a breath in April 

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Residential home sales declined in April across the Greater Chattanooga region.

For the month of April, there were 759 closed residential sales compared to 842 in 2016 for a 9.9% decline.  Home sales also declined in January of this year, however the year to date total remains a positive +1.4%.  The decrease did not come as a great surprise, as pending sales (properties with a contract to purchase, but not yet closed) had been flat in February, decreased by -2.1% in March and again were down -1.8% in April.

The cause of softening sales can be found in the ongoing low supply of homes available for purchase.  For the month of April, there were 2,965 homes for sale, a -28% decrease to the prior year.  On a similar track, the number of new listings coming to market in April declined by -17.4% with 1,126 units compared to 1,363 last year. This left the months of supply of inventory standing at 3.6 months, down -28% to last year’s 5 months of supply.

Buyer demand remained strong, with homes selling at a record pace. The average days on market came in at 60 days, down-17.8% to last year’s 73 days.  Year to date the average stands at 66 days from list date to a contract for the region.  These same buyers were negotiating less, with the percentage of original list price received coming in at 95.8% compared to last year’s 95.1%

Prices on the other hand continued with an upward march.  The median price of a home in the greater Chattanooga region increased by +15.7% and stood at $173,575 while the average price of a home in the region closed at $207,968 for a +14.8% increase.  As one can imagine, the affordability index declined by a corresponding -15.6%.

As we head into the important summer buying season, there are a couple of important points to consider.  If you are buying a home, there is fresh inventory coming to market daily, so do not despair.  At the same time, with interest rates remaining low it is a great time to invest in a home and lock in these rates for 30 years.  If you are selling a home, call on a knowledgable Realtor to price it correctly for it’s condition and it will sell.  With the guidance of a Realtor, you should expect to achieve very close to your list price and get a contract within a couple of months.

The Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.  The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,700 members and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors.
GCAR services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia.  Go to www.GCAR.net for more information

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