Home sales in Chattanooga were down 4.8 percent last month compared with the year-ago levels.
The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors reported today that 579 residential homes were sold in March. New listings in the Chattanooga region increased 11.6 percent to 1,208. Inventory levels shrank 2.4 percent to 4,912 units.
The decline in Chattanooga sales was bigger than the 0.2 percent nationwide drop reported today by the National Association of Realtors. NAR said today that home sales were at a seasonally adjusted 4.59 million annual rate in the first quarter. March was the seventh drop in the past eight months.
Despite the sales decline, however, median home prices in Chattanooga grew 3.8 percent over year-ago levels to $135,000.
Nationwide, the median sales price last month was $198,200, up 7.4 percent from 12 months ago.
"Although interest rates are up slightly from their all-time lows, borrowing costs are remarkably affordable," said Vicki Trap, president of the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors. "Consumer spending has risen and claims for unemployment benefits have dropped. Positive economic health will fuel housing growth for the remainder of 2014."