Chattanooga home prices higher, but rise less than U.S. average


Chattanooga home prices rose only about half as fast as the country as a whole in the past year and were nearly 27.5% below the U.S. average the first quarter of 2019, according to a new report by the National Association of Realtors.

The median price of homes sold by Chattanooga Realtors during the first three month of 2010 rose 2.1% from a year ago to $178,200. Nationwide, home sales by Realtors increased 3.9% in price to a median of $245,800.

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“Nationally, increasing housing prices and housing affordability remained a concern in many markets, but locally sales prices and inventory levels remained steady,” said Kim Bass, president of the Greater Chattanooga Realtors. “One big takeaway from March is the sharp increase in people listing their property for sale.”

New listings in the Chattanooga region increased 8.2% to 1,282 at the end of the first quarter. Pending sales were up 8% to 1,084.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said the first quarter has been beneficial to most U.S. homeowners.

“Homeowners in the majority of markets are continuing to enjoy price gains, albeit at a slower rate of growth,” he said. “A typical homeowner accumulated $9,500 in wealth over the past year.”

A separate report released Tuesday by SP CoreLogic Case-Shiller said the average price of homes in March in the 20 major cities studies was up 2.7% from a year earlier, down from an annual gain of 3% in February.

The 20-city price index has fallen sharply from a year ago, when it increased 6.7%.

“Buyers have hit a breaking point in what they’re willing to pay, even with low mortgage rates and even in places where incomes are high,” said Matthew Speakman, an economic analyst at real estate data firm Zillow.

Nonetheless, the National Association of Realtors said total existing-home sales, including single family homes and condos, increased 1.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.207 million in the first quarter, up from 5.143 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

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