February home sales by Chattanooga-area Realtors rose from the depressed level in January, but local residential sales and home prices remained below the year-ago level.
The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors reported Monday that 353 homes were sold in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia last month. That was up 15 percent from January but still 14.3 percent below the February 2009 sales volume.
The median home sold in the Chattanooga area last month at $121,800, or 0.2 percent below the median price of a year ago. Although that decline is less than the U.S. average, median home prices in Chattanooga in February were still priced 22 percent below the U.S. median.
Jennifer Grayson, president of the Chattanooga Realtors group, said she expects "greater improvement further into 2011.
"There are expected to be continuing issues, such as lingering problems in housing and strains in state and local government budgets, such as what we are seeing in our area, that will restrain the pace of the recovery," she said. "But new hiring and increased bank lending can possibly deliver positive momentum for growth."