Region's home sales still on double-digit pace

Hank Hayes • Jun 21, 2016 at 1:40 PM

GRAY — Northeast Tennessee’s home sales sizzled in May, according to a report released Monday by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors.

There were 634 closings on single-family home sales. That’s the highest monthly volume since 2008, when NETAR began collecting data for its monthly report. It’s also the fourth month of double-digit sales increases this year.

NETAR President Marsha Stowell said the sales pace is also creating some interesting market contrasts.

The Tennessee Association of Realtors® is reporting statewide May homes sales were 5 percent higher than May last year. Sales in East Tennessee led the state’s other two regions with a 10.2 percent increase. Compare that to Northeast Tennessee’s May year-over-year increase of 27.3 percent.

Stowell said consumer confidence in the economy — especially local job creation and private sector wage growth — is the primary driver of this year’s hot market. “It is releasing the demand pent up during the soft recovery from the recession,” she pointed out.

But while local sales are moving at a blistering pace, NETAR noted the regional average price trend isn’t keeping pace.

The May-to-May price increase was flat at 0.7 percent, and the year-to-date price spike has dropped to 2 percent. It’s softer because the lower price market tiers saw increases while the upper end of the market is struggling. Last year’s annual average price increase was 3 percent.

NETAR reported May’s average sales price in Northeast Tennessee was $164,755, compared to $163,689 last year.

There were 45 condominium closings in May, up five from last year. The average sales price was $119,286, up 10.7 percent from last year.

“Tighter inventory continues to make finding the home some buyers are looking for more difficult,” Stowell stressed. Compared to May last year, the inventory in the $200,000 and below price range is down 14.5 percent. The $200,000 - $399,999 price range inventory is down 13.3 percent. Those two price ranges dominate the region’s market. The overall inventory is 13 percent lower than May last year, according to NETAR.

The average home sold in May was on the market for 146 days, compared to 168 last year. The average time on market for condos was 147 days, down from 166 last year.

For more about NETAR go to www.netar.us.

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