May was bad but June could be a record-setter

Friday, June 19, 2020, Vol. 44, No. 25

In “good news, bad news” news, Greater Nashville Realtors sales data for May carries the headline “Indicators Show Positive Market Moving Forward” and backs it up with hard numbers.

Then the other shoe drops in the second sentence: Sales numbers for May 2020 showed a “22% decrease” from the previous May.

The positive indicator is that the pending sales from May total 4,085, compared to 3,940 in May 2019. For any number of reasons, pending sales always blossom into more sales for the following months. June will prove no exception as the real estate market is booming in the Nashville area.

“We are still dealing with some of the after-effects of the instability of the job market during a second quarter due to COVID-19,” says Kristy Hairston, who took office just in time for a tornado, a derecho, a pandemic, rioting and protest marches.

Worthy of note is that last year was a record-setter, and this year the city is close to another record-setting performance. Companies continue to relocate people into the area, and internal, organic growth is fueling the residential real estate market.

Vanderbilt University announced last week that undergraduate students would not be required to live on campus, as has been mandated for several years. This transition will boost condominium sales in the Vanderbilt area.

Expect the city’s other universities to follow suit since the roommate model does not allow for social distancing.

Sales of the Week

1179 Travelers Ridge Drive

In the midst of protests and the removal of many statues memorializing Confederate soldiers, there are two sales of note in Nashville, both for big numbers.

The first is in the Inns of Granny White at 1179 Travelers Ridge Drive. It was built by Alan Looney, arguably Nashville’s premier builder, having been recognized by Southern Living as its Custom Home Builder of the Year.

Looney’s wife of 29 years, Heather Looney, is the vice president and designer, and shares in the mountains of praise heaped upon their company, Castle Home Builders.

This home was purchased in 2015 for $1.2 million and sold last week for $1.535 million, or $289 per square foot. It has a three-car garage, five bedrooms and five full bathrooms.

Stefan Baskin of Hodges and Foshee Realtors listed the home, which features an “outdoor lap/soaking pool with a 12-foot waterfall, a screened porch with a fireplace, a covered patio and a real stucco exterior.”

By spelling the word Travelers with one L, there is to be no confusion with the horse of Robert E. Lee, which he named Trallever.

Also barely escaping the Confederate connection was the sale at 1018 Stonewall Drive, selling for $2.8 million by Nashville’s most successful real estate agent of all time – check the stats – Richard Bryan. Bryan has represented the builder, Stone Oak Builders, for years. Its reputation, like that of Castle, is widely heralded.

An enormous home with 7,232 square feet, the house on Stonewall includes a stone wall – two words – unlike Stonewall, as in Jackson, a general in the Confederate army. After the statues fall, the street names are next.

A bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest has been the subject of much debate. And while the city of Forest Hills is named for its sylvan vegetation, the streets in Lockland Springs have Forrest with two Rs, as in the name of the soldier. Then there is Forrest Park in Gallatin and Forrest Valley in Hermitage.

While those connections are more vague, there is a Robert E. Lee Drive, as well as a Jefferson Davis Drive.

In the general vicinity of Radnor Lake, there are streets with names such as Confederate Drive, which is just off Robert E. Lee, and General Forrest Drive, along with Stonewall Jackson Court.

Following Robert E. Lee to Tyne Boulevard, the wanderer will stumble onto Beauregard, perhaps named for General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard of the Confederate Army, and that is a mere cannon shot away from Fredericksburg, also the name of a Civil War battle won by the Confederate Army.

Even though the area has been one of the more affluent neighborhoods in Nashville through the years, there have been many buyers who refused to live on street honoring the Civil War leaders.

When the movement to rename the streets begins, the debate will be passionate and might turn brothers against brothers.

Richard Courtney is a licensed real estate broker with Fridrich and Clark Realty and can be reached at