A new report released today shows that Chattanooga home prices rose in the fourth quarter of 2010 by 3.4 percent over the same period a year ago, suggesting that the three-year decline in housing values may be over.
The National Association of Realtors said the median price of homes sold in the Chattanooga area in the final three months of last year was $124,600 - up from the median price of $120,700 in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Chattanooga's median home price rose faster than the nationwide gain of 0.2 percent in the past year. But the Realtors reported that Chattanooga home prices, an average, were still 27 percent below the U.S. median sales price of $170,600 in the fourth quarter.
For all of 2010, however, the median home sales price in Chattanooga declined for the third consecutive year to $121,400, down 1 percent from the previous year and down 8.3 percent from the median price in 2007.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said home prices are stabilizing or increasing in many markets as sales improve and excess inventory of unsold homes shrinks. In his report released today, Yun said the housing market is showing "a recovery to normalcy," although the inventory of foreclosed properties must still be absorbed in many markets.
"Home sales clearly recovered in the latter part of 2010 and are helping to absorb the inventory, including many distressed properties," Yun said in his quarterly report on median home prices today. "Even with foreclosures continuing to enter the inventory pipeline, they've been selling well and housing supplies have trended down."
For complete details, see Friday's Times Free Press.