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VOL. 41 | NO. 36 | Friday, September 08, 2017

2017’s hot seller: $1M-plus new build in historic area

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With two-thirds of the year gone, upper-end homes are selling ahead of last year’s pace.

In 2017, there have been 227 single-family homes transfer for over $1 million or more in Davidson County, according Realtracs, compared with 180 homes for the same period last year, an increase of 26 percent. Luxury condominiums are flat with 10 sales each year.

There were 61 homes a year old or less out of the 180 sales for the same period last year, or 33.8 percent. This year, 72 of the 227 were a year old or less, or 31.7 percent.

In 2017, 102 of the 227 were 5 years old or less (44.9 percent), while last year the numbers were 67 out of 180 (37.22 percent).

The area has seen a shift toward new construction, and the Realtracs numbers do not reflect new construction that was not listed in MLS, so there were more new-construction sales than these numbers indicate.

The question becomes how much the price of existing construction should be reduced in order to compete with the newer homes? As is noted below, the new construction prices, and the now- antiquated pricing mechanism of price per square foot, are hitting unparalleled numbers, while existing homes are being bypassed for the newer models.

The next question is how old can a structure be in order to be considered new? From all data, five years seems to be the threshold.

New homes in historic districts seems to be oxymoronic, but those are the highest-selling prices per square foot. Historic homes in historic districts do not fare as well.

Sale of the Week

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when attached horizontal property regimes had fallen out of favor with Nashville homebuyers. In fact, they were so shunned that Realtracs, the Middle Tennessee Regional Multiple Listing Service, was forced to designate whether a property included in an HPR was attached or detached, a designation that remains in place.

In many cases, buyers had informed their Realtors that they would not consider purchasing a property that was attached to another property. In the case of new construction, there were no photographs available, and the Realtor might innocently drive to a home that was attached to another.

With the influx of newcomers relocating and migrating from neighborhoods where attached housing is the norm, the attached houses have come into favor. They are more energy-efficient, require less maintenance and are considered to be safer by some.

If anyone would have suggested that an attached HPR home in Germantown would sell for $378 per square foot, some would have concluded that the person may have ingested one too many poppies, or that the buyer may have.

The builder knew the marketing of a $989,000 property consisting of 2,563 square feet would require a unique marketing strategy and wasted no time in contacting Grant Hammond of Metropolitan Brokers, who has been selling properties in Germantown since the Germans arrived there, or so it seems.

In this case, Hammond cast a wide marketing web, invoking buyers from all over the world. Perhaps he, too, was aware of the poppy influence as he described the home as being of “Flemish design,” which “melds with posh contemporary interiors.”

While the city’s Belgian population is relatively small, the description conjures images of the Fields of Flanders and the poppies that decorate the landscape.

If the Dutch failed to heed their call, Hammond crossed the channel to Merry Old England with a shout out to Queen Victoria, he described the exterior as Victorian. After crossing the pond, he beckons the New Yorkers, referring to the neighborhood as Gramercy Germantown, a reference to the Manhattan residential enclave Gramercy Park.

With the home located at 618 Monroe and within a few blocks of First Tennessee Park, Hammond made those that long for Fenway Park conjure image of Beantown with its “Bostonian roof terrace with outdoor cooking options.”

And, as the astute fans of the nearby Atlanta Braves know, the Braves were originally located in Boston, where they were called the Boston Beaneaters.

The interior offers hardwood floors, three bedrooms, three full baths and one half bath, and provides a chef’s kitchen with custom cabinetry.

With Dutch, English, New York and Bostonian influences located in an historic German village, there is no stone unturned for the displaced European shopper.

Richard Courtney is a residential real estate broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com