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VOL. 41 | NO. 24 | Friday, June 16, 2017

Closings skyrocket in May despite lack of inventory

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There were a staggering 3,943 closings for the month in the Nashville area in May, a 6.6 percent increase over May of 2016, figures released by The Greater Nashville Realtors reveal.

Nearly 4,000 closings is unheard-of, and some would expect that number to be achieved except for the fact that there were 3,540 sales that were pending at the end of May, compared to 3,730 last year. Based on those numbers, sales closings should drop slightly in June.

Such a dip would be in line with national trends, as noted by Mike Smalling, a mortgage loan officer with F&M Mortgage.

Smalling writes in his newsletter: “There is more demand than supply. And while we may be feeling this more right now in Nashville, it is a common issue nationwide.

“Pending homes sales declined in March and April, meaning that closing numbers in June/July will likely be lower as well.”

He noted that this easing is due neither to lack of buyers nor higher prices, but a scarcity of inventory.

Yet the prices locally continue to rise with the median price for a single-family residential home in May increasing to $279,142, up from $258,900 last May, while the median price for a condominium increased from $194,000 to $205,000.

Based on the results of inspections around the city, one concern lenders should have is hoping that the structures outlive the 30-year loans.

Most general home inspectors are not engineers, nor have they the expertise to issue opinions on structural issues. A qualified structural engineer might charge as much as $500, often more, for a structural inspection.

In many instances, buyers who have spent several hundred dollars on the general inspection, the termite letter, perhaps a radon inspection and maybe a mold test are hesitant to pay a structural inspector to assess the building.

Why kill a fly with a sledgehammer?

Rather than inspect – only to learn what the general inspector noted – they go directly to the structural repair person, who is rarely an engineer himself.

When buyers hear the term “structural issues,” they often run screaming into the night.

Sellers, most of whom have never visited their crawl spaces, take the inspector’s word as fact and open their checkbooks.

Scrimping on the structural inspection can lead to big problems.

Some in the structural repair business over-repair and over-charge as they realize they have everyone in the deal in various degrees of desperation.

Quite often, the repairs they make are unnecessary or, at time, not done in accordance with the specifications that a structural engineer would have mandated.

Everyone should have their homes tested for radon. It is one of the leading causes of cancer and is a result of decaying uranium.

Let’s not breathe that colorless, inert gas if we can help it.

Mitigation runs about $1,100 and is well worth the expense and nearly one third of the houses, and condos have it in the area. That’s right, condos can have radon.

Sale of the Week

While some are not excited about paying over-qualified inspectors, others have a Realtor with a law degree represent them.

Such is the case with Margaret Taylor, a long-time, successful Realtor who recently obtained her law degree.

She recently sold an upper-end home in Belle Meade, a feat she has been accomplishing for 20 years. Her mother, Peggy Hutton, did the same for 20 years prior to that.

This conquest was 124 Clarendon Avenue, a 5,127-square-footer that sold for $1,695,000 after resting on the market for a mere nine days.

Of course, it sold for the list price, with Whitney Musser representing the high-dollar buyer, as she has done her entire career, and as her mother, Lynn Samuels, has done for 30 years.

Margaret hails from Fridrich and Clark Realty and will continue to share her real estate expertise, coupled with her newfound legal knowledge, into her real estate practice.

The Musser/Samuels delegation is affiliated with Worth Properties and treated their clients to the abode that had the newly renovated kitchen required for all opening week sales.

The previous owner had paid $1.1 million in 2010 during the Great Recession, cashing in on the lower values as the 1999 sale had been for $1,325,000 before the deluge, as Jackson Browne may have said.

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

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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