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National housing expert Jessica Lautz is slated to speak in Chattanooga about real estate trends. 

“[Our] main research is looking at homebuyer and seller trends,” Lautz said of her research department at the National Association of Realtors. “It’s a really interesting time to be working here because the demographics are changing.”

Lautz, who has been featured in publications such as Bloomberg, Fox Business and The New York Times, and has been with the National Association of Realtors for about 10 years, said research is revealing that different groups of people are buying homes now than in the past.

For example, researchers are seeing a rise in income among recent homebuyers. There’s also a drop in first-time homebuyers, but millennials make up the biggest cohort of homebuyers for the third consecutive year, she also said. 

She will speak Aug. 10 at the annual Economic Update Luncheon, which is coordinated by the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors and the Homebuilders Association of Greater Chattanooga. 

“The Economic Update Luncheon offers a unique opportunity for the community to plug directly into the latest news and happenings in the housing market, and help maximize their homeownership experiences,” Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors President Nathan Walldorf said in a prepared statement. “Knowing current trends and where you stand amongst them plays a significant role in making informed decisions about home repairs and remodeling, the pricing and marketing of your home, and more.”

Lautz will be focused on the national market; she has limited data about the Chattanooga area, but she said much of the information will be helpful to locals in both real estate and homebuilding.

Part of what she will talk about is a report about the impacts of remodeling. She’ll talk about 20 home projects, their costs and the recouped value after completion. 

As for the Realtor audience, she will highlight how the value of their skill sets is still needed.

“Millennials are using Realtors … They really want help through the [homebuying] process,” Lautz said.