February 22, 2016

Home Sales Cash in on Warm February in Middle TN:

Overall sales rise 31 percent compared to year ago data, Realtors say

The Tennessean

by Bobby Allyn


The Nashville area’s monthly home sales may be modest compared to historical highs, but a warmer-than-usual February helped drive up sales sharply compared to a year ago.

There were 1,251 single-family homes sold last month, the eighth consecutive month that year-over-year sales rose, and the strongest showing since February 2008, according to the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors.

For perspective, there were 2,119 single-family homes sold in February 2006. Nonetheless, last month’s numbers were a 31 percent gain from 2011.

The median home price, however, was $159,900, slipping $10,000 from a year ago and returning to the February 2010 level.

The area’s housing inventory remained unchanged from the year-ago supply at 13,010 homes on the market at month’s end.

Still, housing experts forecast that some of the excess inventory will be absorbed in 2012, as low home prices and attractive interest rates bring home buyers off the fence.

This year is expected to create significant growth in the housing market for the first time in several years.

Buyers looking to purchase a home this spring may be encouraged by Freddie Mac’s announcement on Thursday that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to 3.88 percent, one of the lowest points since borrowers began taking out long-term mortgages in the 1950s.

Observers say the housing news in tandem with an improved jobs picture should help prop up consumer confidence, even as higher gas prices continue to pinch Middle Tennesseans.

“There was a lull in home buying in 2011,” said RealtyTrac’s Daren Blomquist, assessing Middle Tennessee’s housing market. “Prices have reached that tipping point where you’ll see more home buyers finally jump in this year.”

February’s condominium sales were also relatively upbeat.

There were 128 condos sold for the month, a 14 percent uptick from a year ago, and the market’s condo inventory dipped from last year’s supply by 500 units, tightening up 23 percent from 2011.