Although the number of home groundbreakings dropped in July nationwide, Chattanooga’s housing market continued to show strong signs of improvement last month, according to Realtor.com.
“What we like to see as far as some of these indicators is—when you have a rising median price in conjunction with a decreasing inventory—those factors hand in hand are actually really positive signs that you are in a recovering and stabilization mode,” Jill Kipnis with Realtor.com said.
Reuters reported Thursday that, according to the Commerce Department, home groundbreakings decreased 1.1 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 746,000.
Every month, Realtor.com reports on 146 different metropolitan statistical areas.
Kipnis said leaders are seeing some positive trends nationwide, and in Chattanooga, the median home prices, the inventory of homes and the median age of inventory are all posting strong numbers.
For July, median list price for homes in the Chattanooga area was $185,950, which is a 7.79 percent increase from one year ago this month and a -0.03 percent decrease from June 2012, according to Realtor.com’s data.
The national median list price in July 2012 was $194,900. That’s a 2.63 percent increase compared to a year ago, also according to the data.
Active, for-sale inventory in Chattanooga decreased by 19.42 percent from July 2011, while the national inventory numbers decreased by 19.26 percent.
Last year, homes also sold much slower in Chattanooga, Kipnis said.
“Homes are selling faster, which is a very positive sign,” she said.
The median age of inventory, which indicates how long homes stay on the market before being sold, was 91 days for the Chattanooga area in July. That’s a 1.09 percent decrease compared to June.
In April, Keith Sanford, Chattanooga market president for First Tennessee, told Nooga.com that lending for homebuilding is improving, too.
Kipnis said lending can still be tight for some people, and the situation is very much a case-by-case basis, depending on a person’s credit score and other factors.
But Chattanooga has a lot of things going that are helping boost the local housing market, such as the number of retirees coming to the area.
“Things like Tennessee ranking 14th in job creation—these are really positive things,” Kipnis said. “Job creation, that’s very positive [in Chattanooga and] will certainly impact the housing market.”