With interest rates close to 3 percent and prices that have not fully recovered from the recession, it is a great time for both sellers and builders in Middle Tennessee. Home sales were up 24% in Williamson County and prices up only 5%. Davidson County boasted a 30.1% increase in sales and a 13.2% price increase in May. Builders are slowly and cautiously starting to build single family homes again in response to the market demand for these types of homes. "The market’s recovery is encouraging developers to build new houses in the city – even in established neighborhoods. In the Hillsboro-West End neighborhood, where houses are usually built one at a time as lots become available, a 43-home development is getting under way on Chesterfield Avenue near West End Middle School. The homes, ranging from 1,450 to 2,050 square feet, will feature three to four bedrooms, two or three baths and detached two-car garages. Prices will range from $299,000 to $379,000, according to Mark Deutschmann, a Realtor with Village Real Estate Services." (from the Nashville Ledger)
Continue reading below or click here to the go the Nashville Ledger.
As if it were yesterday, Realtor Jim Terrell remembers when competing home buyers made multiple offers for the same house, and it wasn’t unusual for a home to be sold the day it went on the market.
In fact, it was yesterday. Thanks to interest rates close to 3 percent and prices that haven’t yet fully recovered from the recession, desirable homes are selling like they did before the market tumbled in 2007 and 2008.
“We’re seeing a lot of houses sell in one day. That’s old school,” says Terrell, managing broker for Pilkerton Realtors in Brentwood.
The facts back him up. Compared with May 2011, homes sales were up almost 24 percent in Williamson County. Prices were up about 5 percent. There were 437 home sales last month compared with 353 a year ago. Last month’s average price was $370,601, according to a market survey by Chandler Reports.
The story of rising sales and rising prices was repeated throughout the key Nashville-area housing markets of Davidson, Wilson and Rutherford counties.
Sales in Nashville were up 30.1 percent last month, when 1,137 homes got new owners. The average price was up 13.2 percent to $211,797. In May 2011, there were 874 sales for an average of $187,086.
The market’s recovery is encouraging developers to build new houses in the city – even in established neighborhoods. In the Hillsboro-West End neighborhood, where houses are usually built one at a time as lots become available, a 43-home development is getting under way on Chesterfield Avenue near West End Middle School. The homes, ranging from 1,450 to 2,050 square feet, will feature three to four bedrooms, two or three baths and detached two-car garages. Prices will range from $299,000 to $379,000, according to Mark Deutschmann, a Realtor with Village Real Estate Services.
In West Nashville, French Christianson Patterson & Associates has developed Greenway Glen, a subdivision of 12 single-family homes off White Bridge Road. The development is at the entrance to the greenway adjacent to Nashville State Community College.
The 1,600 to 2,200-square-foot homes have three bedrooms and two baths. Prices start in the upper $200,000s, said Tommy Patterson, the company’s managing broker.
The homes are expected to appeal to young buyers who want to live “close in” instead of moving to the suburbs.
“The market has certainly picked up,” said Patterson.
The National Association of Home Builders reports that housing starts were up across the country in May. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of single-family housing starts rose 3.2 percent to 516,000 units. The association says that’s the best pace since December 2011.
The report “is a good sign that builders are cautiously moving to replenish their depleted inventories of single-family homes in response to increasing buyer demand,” says Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the NAHB and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “In certain housing markets across the country, the momentum toward recovery is gradually building, though tough credit conditions and inaccurate appraisal values continue to weigh down that progress.”
Rutherford County’s sales were up 32.6 percent last month, to 496. The average price was up 9.8 percent to $152,641. In May 2011 there were 374 sales for an average of $139,004.
Bob Parks Realtor Sheila Prince believes those numbers reflect pent-up demand.
“People are tired of doing without,” she says. “They’ve held off purchases for four or five years. You can only do that so long.”
Home sales are also being driven by Nissan’s plant expansion in Smyrna, Prince says. The company is creating 2,300 jobs to produce the Infiniti JX crossover vehicle and is expected to begin producing the all-electric Leaf by the end of this year.
Many home buyers are value-conscious and want the most house for the money, she says.
“We’re still seeing people bargain shopping and trying to get the best deal they can,” says Prince. “Price first, beauty second” is their perspective.
Home sales in Wilson County were up 20.4 percent, and average prices were up 5.4 percent in May 2012. There were 201 sales at an average price of $200,007. The previous year there were 167 sales at an average of $189,727.
Sales were strong throughout the broader multi-county Nashville market, according to the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. There were 2,500 home closings reported in May, a 28.5 percent increase from the 1,945 closings in May 2011.
Year-to-date, there have been 9,541 closings, a 25.5 percent increase over the 7,600 closings reported through the same period last year.
“With increases in each category, and significant growth in both residential and condominium sales, this is the best month for closings in the region since May of 2008 – four years ago,” says GNAR President Kendra Cooke.
“Median prices have increased since last year and more than 2,600 sales are currently pending,” she says. “Combined, these numbers show that the Greater Nashville real estate market is continuing to stabilize and even strengthen.”