Chattanooga enjoys booming real estate market despite pandemic

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – While the national economy has been ravaged over the last year due to the pandemic, Chattanooga’s housing market has been booming.

But now, some Chattanooga realtors are warning that the inventory of homes just might not be there to meet this new demand.

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“People are figuring, ‘Hey, if I can work from home, I can work just as easily from Chattanooga, Tennessee as I can from San Francisco,’” says Greater Chattanooga Realtors Association President, Robert Backer.

Buoyed by historically low mortgage rates and an increased focused on home life during the pandemic, Chattanooga home rates rose by 8.4% during 2020, even as median home prices jumped by more than 13% to a record high of $230,000.

Greg Martin with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices says that this shift is attributable to a mass exodus from states like New York and California.

“You’ve seen a lot of people from California, Illinois and New York purchasing homes in our community, in fact when you just drive around you’ll see a lot of car tags that are New York and Illinois and other places like that that want to move to a state and a community that has low taxes and a great economy,” says Martin.

And when asked about the possibility of another housing bubble crisis, Backer says there isn’t any reason to worry yet.

“Everything I’ve read and lenders that I’ve talked to were saying that they’re going to hold at that 3, 3.5, which is still historically a great, unbelievable rate and so it should still make the real estate economy work pretty well,” Backer says.