I’ve been doing Chattanooga real estate market reports for a lot of years now (ignore that long hiatus I took!). I got my real estate license the same month that Countrywide Mortgage essentially went bust. I think all of the blood drained from my brain when I heard that. My point is that, from the agent’s side, I’ve never experienced a really booming market. But that might be changing…
The thing that strikes me in comparing the stats for the Chattanooga real estate market from January 2014 to January 2015 is that the number of sales is almost identical. I don’t think you could make it closer if you tried. And then you look at the total dollar volume, average sales price & median sales price and the jumps are pretty huge: 14.4%, 13.9% & 9.7% respectively.
Does that mean that your home’s value went up 10% last year? Probably not. While I do think there have been some pretty big gains in value over the last 2-3 years, 10% in one year is a stretch. It’s more likely that it just happened to be some higher dollar homes that sold.
During the worst years of 2008-2010, you still had fairly strong sales in the first-time-buyer sort of price range. New buyers were taking advantage of low prices to get into the market. You practically couldn’t give away more expensive homes. Those are the ones that you’ll usually buy as your 2nd or 3rd home. And if you couldn’t sell the house you already had for a decent price, you weren’t going out and buying a bigger more expensive one. You were kinda stuck.
But no more! Anecdotally, you really can’t find those rock bottom homes anymore. The under $100,000 market is practically non-existent unless you’re willing to do a LOT of work. Investors snatch those up pretty quickly, fix ’em, then put them back on the market either as rentals or sales in the $120-140k range. The market for the $120-140k homes is strong so those sellers can move up to a $150-200k home, which means that the $150-200k sellers can move up to a $225-275k home…you get the idea.
Check out the image gallery to see the ghost of Januaries past, including the fact that dollar volume for 2015 is up, wait for it……98% (almost double!) from 2009. That’s pretty incredible.