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VOL. 36 | NO. 10 | Friday, March 9, 2012

Upward trend shows better times ahead

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Home sales seems to be one of the most popular topics anywhere these days – from cocktail parties to family meetings and from the water cooler to the media. If you join the dialogue, you are likely to find yourself talking about everything from increasing market activity to short sales and foreclosures.

The fact is there does seem to be real change happening in the real estate market in greater Nashville and Middle Tennessee. And that change is apparently more encouraging than what is happening in other parts of the country.

Let’s start by considering a look at the “big picture.” As we do that, please understand I know there is no such thing as a national real estate market. All real estate is local. Just like you don’t hear weather reports saying it is “sunny in America today,” you shouldn’t hear the real estate market in America is up or down. Local economic or business activity and many other factors have their impact.

However, there is national data that shows some valuable insights. For instance, the National Association of Realtors reports existing home sales were up about 4.3 percent in January, and the median price was about $154,700 at that time.

Perhaps a bit more comparative meaning for our local and regional market can be drawn from the data on the South. According to NAR, the number of closings were up about 3.5 percent in January and the median price was $134,800.

The information for Nashville and Middle Tennessee for January showed home sales up 25 percent and the median price at $157,500. This area compares extremely favorably with “national” trends, as well as data for the South. And while the final numbers are not yet available, it is more than likely the data for February will continue the encouraging trends.

It would be inappropriate to project what might come in the next few months, but the consistently increasing number of pending sales each month strengthens our confidence that the positive trends will continue. The number of “pendings” has been up for the last several months and looks like it will be up significantly (meaning perhaps 25 percent or more) for February, which is encouraging as we look forward to March.

Now, to see home sales increase from one month to the next at this time of year is not a good point of comparison. With improving weather comes more willingness and interest for people to get out and look at homes, as well as actually make a purchase of a new home. That is why we compare the same month this year with the same month last year. In recent years those comparisons have not been so favorable, so it is very encouraging to home sellers, home buyers, Realtors, mortgage bankers, lawn and garden shops, home project retailers and many others to see these improving trends.

While there are positive signs in other locations around the country, the Nashville area is making some major strides. Good leadership, a diverse economy and a host of very positive community features (professional sports, exceptional live music of all types, new convention center, beautiful land) help make Nashville and Middle Tennessee the best place there is to live, work and play.

If you are considering the sale or purchase of a home, start by contacting a real estate professional – a Realtor – to get the counsel you need to make your real estate experience the best it can be for you and your family.

Price Lechleiter is president-elect of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. He can be reached at 263-4800 or PriceL@realtracs.com.

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TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0