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Local News and Information Archives for 2021-05

Remodeling Industry Remains Strong

National Home Remodeling Month in May has even more reason to be celebrated locally as the remodeling industry remains strong in our area over a year into the pandemic. In fact, the remodeling market has benefitted as a direct result of the pandemic. Despite lingering supply-side challenges, confidence in the remodeling market continues to increase, according to a recent NAHB survey. Though the market sputtered at the onset of COVID-19, remodeling activity quickly roared back. Nearly half of remodelers reported 50% of their projects were a direct result of the pandemic, according to a recent NAHB survey.


“The remodeling market took a hit last year at the start of the pandemic, but it’s completely turned around now,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Steve Cunningham. “Now, remodelers are facing intense backlog on projects due to supply chain delays, continued labor shortages and an abundance of project leads.”

A desire for better amenities was cited as the most common consumer motivation for remodeling, followed by a need to repair or replace older components, and a desire or need for more space. Moreover, as home prices and interest rates rise, many would-be home buyers are instead opting to stay put and make improvements to their current homes. Especially among older homeowners, aging-in-place and universal design projects are becoming increasingly popular.

“The pandemic along with the unfortunate Easter storms in 2020 definitely increased the home improvement industry here locally, “ says JB Millworks owner and HBAGC member Jeremie Price, “and the market has remained strong in 2021.”

NAHB’s survey found that bathrooms and kitchens continue to top the list of the most common remodeling projects. Among all projects, 74% were primarily bathrooms while 67% involved kitchens.

“As homeowners continue to make modifications to their homes, it’s important that they do their research and hire a qualified professional,” said Cunningham. “Whether it’s a small project or a whole house remodel, a qualified professional remodeler can help homeowners create a space that works for them.”

To find a dedicated professional remodeler to trust with your bath, kitchen or other home renovations in the Chattanooga area, visit the membership directory at www.HBAGC.net.

New Home Production Remains Strong

Does it seem this spring more and more apartments, condominiums and houses are breaking ground in the Tennessee Valley? That’s because they are! Housing production rebounded across the country as well as in the South in March as buyer demand remains solid due to low mortgage interest rates. Overall housing starts in the U.S. increased 19.4%, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This was the fastest pace for combined single-family and multifamily construction since June 2006.

However, continued lumber and building supply shortages are weighing heavily on new home builders. “The test for the industry this year will be balancing growth and higher construction costs, given ongoing housing affordability challenges,” according to the National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Robert Dietz. 

On a regional basis, new housing starts are 13.5% higher in the South. New housing production continues to be strong in our area because, “rates were so low in 2020, driving purchases and especially refinances, so existing inventory remains low,” says Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga member and Synovus Mortgage Loan Originator Holly J. Walsh. This mix of low finance rates combined with low inventory has created a seller’s market, pushing many to look into new home production. 

Are you looking to get a new home loan in this competitive market? “My best advice is to work with a local realtor who knows the market and can help you be prepared to move fast and if you like a home make a quick offer,” says Walsh.  “Another key is to make sure you have gotten your prequalification taken care of so that you already have a letter to submit with your offer to let the seller know that you are serious! Make sure to talk to a Mortgage Loan Originator when you begin house hunting.”

The Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga is an invaluable tool to our community comprised of local professionals dedicated to the continued betterment of home services for both new and existing homeowners. To find a reputable, qualified realtor, builder or housing professional in the greater Chattanooga area, visit the membership directory at www.HBAGC.net. And to have your business be a part of this non-profit organization, visit https://hbagc.net/membership/membership-application.