Area home sales drop in November

Area home sales drop in November

December 22nd, 2011 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

November home sales by Chattanooga area Realtors dropped by 5 percent in November from the previous month despite a nationwide gain in home sales.

The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that local Realtors sold 398 residential units last month. Although up 6.1 percent from November 2010, last month's sales total was below the 419 homes sold in October.

Jennifer Grayson, president of the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors, said the dip last month doesn't worry her about any significant drop in the market.

"As the year comes to a close, I still believe we are fortunate to live and work in an area that's seeing real progress, and not one that's struggling to survive," she said.

Dan Griess, president of the Chattanooga Area Multiple Listing Service, noted median home prices remained even with a year ago at $125,000 for a typical single-family home sold in November.

"For us, consistency has been the key element of staying on a positive track," he said.

The average Chattanooga home that sold in November had been on the market for 145 days. Nearly one-third of the houses sold by Chattanooga Realtors were in foreclosure.

Nationwide, the number of Americans who bought previously occupied homes rose last month. The National Association of Realtors said sales rose 4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.42 million.

That's below the roughly 6 million sales a year that economists say are consistent with a healthy housing market. But it's ahead of 2008's revised sales, now considered the worst in 13 years.