Real estate selling despite downturn

Real estate selling despite downturn

June 28th, 2009 by Mike Pare in Trends2009products


Gentry Square

* Location: Off East Brainerd Road

* Prices: Start in the mid-$230,000s

* Developer/Builder: David Erwin and Larry Plemons

Creek's Bend Village

* Location: Adams Road in Hixson

* Prices of townhomes: $170,000-$195,000

* Developers: Roger Radpour and Aaron Smith

Barrington Pointe

* Location: Off Lee Pike in Soddy-Daisy

* Prices: From the $300,000s to $400,000s

* Developer: Tim McClure, McClure Development

Homes and real estate in the Chattanooga area are still selling in spite of the economic recession, and builders continue to construct new residences.

Jay Bell, owner of Bell Development in Chattanooga, said his company is still building houses because people continue to buy.

"Despite what is out there, we are still building houses," he said.

Mr. Bell said Bell Development's Hamilton on Hunter location off Hunter Road in Ooltewah is within a few miles of the new Volkswagen auto assembly plant.

"We have every bit of confidence the new phase we've built will continue to grow," Mr. Bell said. "We have several under construction."

He said about 200 houses are planned in the new development. The single-family homes are selling for between $175,000 and $195,000, Mr. Bell said.

Nickie Schwartzkopf, president of the Chattanooga Association of Realtors, said earlier in the year that news of job losses, stock market ups and downs and bank lending standards tightening make people pause on big-ticket purchases. But she said that people who have the wherewithal should embrace this market, or they could likely regret it in five to 10 years.

According to a report by First American CoreLogic, housing prices fell in March but at a slower rate than in February. Nationally, prices dropped 11.5 percent in March compared to a year ago. That's down from an 11.7 annual percent decline in February.

In Chattanooga, home prices declined 6.94 percent in March compared to a year ago.

Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American CoreLogic, said in a statement that there is a larger geographic dispersion of home price declines than in the past.

Mr. Bell is convinced people will continue to buy houses.

"They may not buy at pace they once were, but they are still buying," he said.