Median area home price tops $200K for 1st time

Friday, July 12, 2013, Vol. 37, No. 28

More remarkable news from the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors (GNAR) regarding area sales. June sales topped 3,000 units, the second consecutive month that the 3,000 level has been surpassed.

With inventory at record lows and sales topping previous marks, it is understandable that the median price is on the rise.

For the first time since GNAR began recording this data, the median price for single family homes has topped $200,000, settling in at $205,950. Condo sales had a median price of $159,000, down from $160,000 last year.

The highest prior median price on record was $196,000 in June of 2007.With the recession fresh in the memory of those close to real estate, the question begs: “How long?”

The answer may lie in the hallowed halls of the Congress, and that is not a comforting thought. It would be difficult to identify a more dysfunctional group.

Currently, income tax issues relating to real estate are being debated. Should that go well, the reprieve is temporary since Dodd-Frank looms and will begin to affect all of us in January.

There are extremely differing opinions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, although both are performing well currently under the new regulations. This could be one case in which the inactivity would bode better than intervention.

Sale of the Week

The sale of the week is 223 Brook Hollow Road in West Meade. This home set atop 1.84 sloping acres includes 9,035 square feet with five bedrooms, five full baths, and two half baths. Listing agent Jay Barron says the home was “built like a tank,” and his comments read “PRICE REDUCED again.”

This home sat on the market for 367 days or, as the real estate goes, “Light a candle. It had a birthday.”

The seller had enlisted the appropriate agent for the celebration as Jay Barron spent his 21st birthday on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry playing steel guitar as Jeanne Pruett belted out her hit “Satin Sheets.”

Highly revered among steel players, Egil Skjehnes of Blomsterdalen, Norway, recently posted an inquiry on the Steel Guitar Forum website inquiring as to the whereabouts of the magnificent steel guitar player in the band The Coyotes. That player is none other than Barron, who also managed recording artists and songwriters in a previous life. He debuted Clay Walker and Victoria (“The River”) Shaw among others.

Now Jay spends most of his days in real estate representing land barons in their purchases of recreational and agricultural properties in rural Middle Tennessee. He seemed to have had the Leiper’s Fork market cornered before branching out to outlaying areas.

“Dickson is my favorite now,” he says “As the land is cheap, there are good creeks, virtually no taxes and easy permits.”

This land Barron is one of eight accredited land consultants certified by the Land Institute.

It is a testament to the patience of the seller and her willingness team with her Realtor and listen to the market’s voice, as it informed her that the house was priced too high at its original price of $1.75 million rather than to switch agents and allow the new agent to reap the benefit of the price reduction.

The home sold for $1.275 million, $125,000 less than the reduced list price of $1.4 million.

On the other side of the sale is an equally interesting Realtor in Ryan Miller of Sotheby’s Lipman office. Miller represented Hart and Amy Tyson, who recently relocated to Nashville just in time to give birth about the time that you are reading this. This house is a birthday haven.

Ryan is an Indiana native and a basketball fanatic, both as a player and a fan, a characteristic that lured him to Indiana University during the Bobby Knight era.

There he managed to dodge chairs and to attach himself to Jami Stallings, who would later become Miss Indiana in 2007 and Mrs. Miller not to long after that.

This dwelling features an elevator (known as an ascending room in London), a dumb waiter (known as a Rayburn Reject in Nashville), a theater room (pronounced thee-ate-her in some circles), central vacuum system and an oversized, three-car garage.

Miller, who has an eye for beauty and wit, has recently started a design/build operation he calls In this market so lacking in inventory, the design/build industry in burgeoning.

Richard Courtney is a partner with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney and Associates and can be reached at