Monday, January 7, 2013

Local Real Estate Predictions for 2013

Last week we offered up our predictions for the national housing market in 2013. Today we're focusing on the Chattanooga area itself, which has had plenty of positive signs popping up in the weeks before the New Year. For one, two different stories have come out indicating strong job growth in the area.

As we explained yesterday, job growth is one of the single best predictors of housing market strength. Prices can be affected by a variety of factors, such as demand (the tight downtown rental market is a great example), building costs, and the local cost of living. However, job growth directly correlates to how many people can afford to make the leap to home ownership, and how
much buying power home shoppers have.

Not only did Chattanooga weather the economy better than many other cities nationwide AND build on that strong foundation with recent growth, it's been getting plenty of national attention as a highly livable upstart city. In 2011 we were happy to share news that Outside Magazine and Where to Retire Magazine picked Chattanooga as one of the best towns in the country. Fast Company has highlighted the city for its urban renewal, smart electrical grid, Volkswagen plant, and bike share program. Numerous news outlets have covered Chattanooga's Gig City reputation. And, just recently, Businessweek Magazine declared that Signal Mountain is one of the best places in the country to raise children.

Chattanooga has a lot to offer in terms of housing variety. From cheap foreclosures and fixer-uppers to glittering luxury shoplaces, from trendy neo-traditional new construction to grand pre-recession homes, from urban lofts to suburban and rural estates, Chattanooga has it all. As much as real estate writers love to talk up mixed use communities and walkable neighborhoods, these trends haven't fully taken hold nationwide. Many are looking for something else. For those who prefer established neighborhoods, suburban proximity to shopping, or room to enjoy privacy and Tennessee's natural beauty there are plenty of options.

With the killer combination of a strong-and-growing housing market, national attention, and a variety of real estate options, buyers and sellers have a lot to look forward to. Buyers in Chattanooga have a variety of options at almost any price point and level of convenience. Sellers have more and more to look forward to as the market recovers and housing prices climb. 2012 was still firmly a buyer's market, but 2013 should be a pleasant mix of both.