A couple of weeks ago, we held a seminar in our office called “How to Find Confidence in the Nashville Real Estate Market: What the Media Isn’t Telling You.” We had over 125 in attendance, which was a surprise to us, and we featured four panelists including myself. I talked about the market, and Village sales.
First, Village has had three successive months of record sales. That is interesting, because I did an analysis of 5 midtown urban zip codes, including 37215, 37212, 37204, 37206, and 37204, and found that on average sales were off by about 10% in these markets, with prices up just 4%. I found that people are overpricing listings in these markets by about 10%, which does not work since the average sales price per listing price is still 98.4% (versus 98.8% one year ago). I also touched on the media’s use of negative headlines that create fear in consumers.
The manager of CityLife Lending, Eric Heath, talked about the mortgage industry, rates, and compared our market product to others nationally. He brought a larger perspective to the table by drawing upon helpful information from partner Wells Fargo. He noted that many mortgage brokers, who shop loans to other entities, may find themselves without an outlet. If you have purchased at a development recently, you may want to reach out to your mortgage company and make sure that the program you chose is still in existence. Eric assured us that the mortgage business is alive and kicking with rates that are close to the best they’ve been in 20 years! You can’t beat home ownership.
A senior partner at CLG Title and Escrow, Kevin Norwood, talked about title insurance, and compared title insurance closings in Tennessee to other states. He found that we are still rising in sales, whereas states like Florida, Nevada, and California, where markets were overheating, are down 20-30%. Our foreclosures, as represented by claims, in Tennessee were low compared with these states.
Jenn Garrett of Solve talked about market demographics, and about Nashville’s urban difference as compared to other cities (linked tables from Images of Nashville). She shared that a full 60% of markets nationwide are experiencing appreciation this year, and while the crisis is being circulated in the national news, one must focus on real estate at the local level.
It was a very interesting seminar with many great questions from the audience. There was even media coverage in the Nashville Business Journal.
It is important to remember that Nashville is consistently placed in the top ten cities to live, relocate or do business by many top survey’s nationwide, such as Kiplinger. We have experienced a slowdown in Nashville’s real estate market, yet I believe that our economy, low unemployment, job growth, and vibrancy of emerging downtown neighborhoods will keep our slowdown at a moderate level.