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VOL. 37 | NO. 46 | Friday, November 15, 2013

Pent-up demand helps 2013 Middle Tennessee home sales soar

By Bill Lewis

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Midstate residential real estate trends for October 2013

October 2013 real estate trends for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Chandler Reports has been publishing Real Estate Market Data since 1968. That year, Chandler began collecting residential sales information for the Chandler Residential Report, considered the authoritative source for residential real estate sales information. Over the next three decades, the publications have been continually refined, enhanced and expanded, growing to include lot sales data, new residential construction and absorption information, and commercial sales. In 1987, Chandler Reports began one of the first on–line real estate market data services in the country, and is a nationally recognized leader in the industry. In 2004, Chandler Reports was purchased by The Daily News Publishing Co. In 2007, Chandler introduced RegionPlus, including property research for Nashville and Middle Tennessee. Visit online at chandlerreports.com.

Davidson County by Price Range

Davidson County by Zip Code

Williamson County by Price Range

Williamson County by Zip Code

Rutherford County by Price Range

Rutherford County by Zip Code

Wilson County by Price Range

Wilson County by Zip Code

From families who need a house with more room to empty nesters who want less space and everyone in between, homebuyers in the Nashville region have put the recession behind them.

“There was a period of time when people were just not buying and selling,” says Clay Kelton, a Realtor with Pilkerton Realtors. “Now there’s pent-up demand.”

The numbers tell the story. In the first 10 months of this year, more homes were sold than during all of 2012, according to the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. During all of 2012, there were 26,097 sales. This year, there were 26,189 sales through the end of October, with two more months to go before the end of the year.

Kelton says that after years of staying put during the recession, people are relocating for work, making room for growing families, for better schools, downsizing or other reasons.

Two things are making that possible. Consumers have regained their confidence and home prices, which declined in the recession, have recovered enough that owners can afford to sell their current house and buy their next home.

“On average, people move every five to seven years. That didn’t happen during the recession. Now values have come back up so sellers can sell without losing money,” Kelton adds.

In October, there were 2,469 sales reported across the region, an increase of almost 6.8 percent over the 2,312 sales during Oct. 2012, GNAR figures show.

In Davidson County, sales during October were up 9.1 percent and the average price was up 21.1 percent. There were 1,247 sales for an average price of $223,309. In October 2012 there were 1,143 sales for an average price of $184,457, according to a market survey by Chandler Reports.

One of the city’s hottest neighborhoods was Goodlettsville, a suburb that straddles the Davidson-Sumner county line. There were 24 sales in the area, an 84.6 percent increase over last year’s 13 sales. The average price last month was $147,450, an increase of 6.6 percent over the average of $138,358 in October 2012.

Buyers are attracted by the idea of getting a better deal than they would in many other Nashville neighborhoods, says Lauren Evans Sullivan, a Realtor with Bob Parks Realty. They also like Goodlettsville’s location just minutes north of downtown along Interstate 65.

“You can get so much more for your money,” she says.

Nashville’s Hillsboro-West End neighborhood in the 37212 zip code also saw dramatic increases in sales and home prices. There were 37 sales in the neighborhood, an 85 percent increase over last year’s 20 closings. The average price was $491,025, a 17.2 percent increase over the average of $419,024 in October 2012.

In Williamson County, sales were up 6.7 percent and the average price was up 3.5 percent. There were 492 closings for an average price of $392,155 last month. There were 461 sales for an average of $378,755 in October 2012, according to Chandler Reports.

Rural Fairview is emerging as one of the county’s strongest markets. There were 15 sales in the community, a 36.4 percent increase over last year’s 11 closings. The average price last month was $212,694, a 35.6 percent increase over the average of $156,809 in October 2012.

“Fairview offers the best of both worlds, a country setting and Williamson County schools,” says Sullivan, who is developing Stable Acres, a gated community.

Another sign of growth: Walmart will soon open in this small community west of Nashville along I-40, she says.

New residents are discovering Fairview. Between the census counts in 2000 and 2010, the population grew by 33 percent to 7,720.

With quick commutes to Nashville, Franklin or even Spring Hill via Interstate 40, Highway 100 and State Route 840, “Fairview really is in the center of everything,” says Sullivan.

Thompson’s Station, a small town south of Franklin along I-65, also saw strong sales. There were 42 closings last month, a 23.5 percent increase over the 34 sales a year ago. The average price was $258,060, a 20 percent increase over the average of $215,127 in October 2012.

Lennar Homes, one of the nation’s largest home builders, has announced plans to construct more than 700 houses in Thompson’s Station’s Tollgate Village and Bridgemore Village subdivisions.

In Rutherford County, home sales were up 21.5 percent and the average price was up 12.3 percent. There were 492 closings for an average price of $173,514 last month. There were 405 sales for an average of $154,513 in October 2012.

In LaVergne, on Rutherford County’s northern border with Nashville, there were 57 sales last month, a 58.3 percent increase over the 36 sales a year ago. The average price was $117,933, a 15.2 percent increase over the average of $102,396 in October 2012.

In fast-growing Wilson County, sales were up 15 percent and the average price was up more than 12 percent last month. There were 253 closings for an average price of $222,421. There were 220 sales for an average of $198,329 in October 2012.

In Mt. Juliet, there were 127 sales last month, a 5.8 percent increase over the 120 sales in October 2012.

One of the region’s largest developers is placing a bet on Mt. Juliet’s continuing growth. Brentwood-based Pearl Street Partners plans to develop a new master planned community near the intersection of Benton Douglas Parkway and Highway 70. The subdivision, named Nichols Vale, will have 426 homes.

Pearl Street is co-developing the subdivision with Crescent Communities, based in Charlotte, N.C. Amenities will include green space and walking trails. Yards will be small.

“We consider Mt. Juliet to be underserved, from a master planned community point of view,” says Khris Pascarella, a principal in Pearl Street.

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