VOL. 37 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 18, 2013
Big year for Midstate home sales, prices
By Bill Lewis
Remember the days before the housing market tumbled in 2007, back when it was possible to attend a social gathering and not hear a conversation about foreclosures, sub-prime loans or short sales?
After more than five years, those days may be coming back. If 2007 is remembered as the year the downturn began, 2012 may be remembered as the year it finally ended. At least that’s what year-end sales figures indicate.
More than 26,000 homes were sold in 2012 throughout the Nashville region. That’s the first time that has happened since 2007, according to the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. Sales across the area were up 26.5 percent over 2011. Prices were up too, but not nearly that much.
“It’s still a buyer’s market, but it’s starting to swing back to the seller,” says Jay Bradshaw, a Realtor with Cumberland Real Estate in Wilson County.
The industry is cautiously optimistic about the market.
“The Greater Nashville and Middle Tennessee real estate market is showing healthy signs of recovery, something our region shouldn’t take for granted. The same growth is not being experienced in other parts of the state and nation,” says GNAR President Price Lechleiter.
“Our diverse economy, progressive local leadership and even the TV show, “Nashville” highlight our city and create positive spirit and outlook,” he says.
In Davidson County, the region’s largest housing market, 11,984 homes were sold in 2012, a 28.3 percent increase over 2011’s 9,338 sales. The average price was $195,015, a 3.1 percent increase over 2011’s $189,235 price, according to a market survey by Chandler Reports.
During the fourth quarter of 2012, there were 3,196 sales in Davidson County, 40.1 percent more than the same period in 2011, when there were 2,281. The average price was $189,834, up 5 percent. In the fourth quarter of 2011 the average price was $180,728.
In December, there were 1,043 sales in Davidson County, 29.6 percent more than the 805 sales in December 2011. The average price was $190,534, up 2.5 percent. In December 2011 the average price was $185,857.
Hillsboro-West End 37212 zip code was one of the city’s strongest markets. For the year, there were 362 sales in the neighborhood, 21.9 percent more than the 297 sales in 2011. The average price was up 14.1 percent to $375,886. In 2011 the average price was $329,415, according to Chandler Reports.
Results were mixed in the 37205 zip code in Belle Meade-West End. Sales were up 40 percent to 623. In 2011, there were 445 sales in the neighborhood. The average price, however, declined 5.2 percent. In 2012 the average price was $448,503. In 2011 it was $472,981.
“Location plays a major role in the neighborhood’s sales, price per square foot and days on market,” says Ivy Arnold, a Realtor with Parks Properties.
“I have noticed a dramatic increase in homes located in Nashville’s core. We are becoming a larger city and with that people want the convenience of everything being at their fingers. These neighborhoods have had the strongest increase in value and are selling fast with very few days on the market,” she says.
Homes in the right location went up in value in 2012. But that wasn’t the case in all locations.
“Some areas have seen a dramatic price increase,” says Arnold. ‘‘In areas like Belmont, 12th South and Hillsboro Village, I am seeing a steady increase in value, well above most markets. Areas like Green Hills, Bellevue, Oak Hill and Forest Hills haven’t seen the increase they would like, but I think this is because most buyers don’t want a large yard to care for.”
The average price declined 2.6 percent for the year in Green Hills and 12.9 percent in Oak Hill. The average price rose 4.8 percent in Bellevue, according to Chandler Reports.
The market showed the same confusion in Williamson County where sales for 2012 were up 23.8 percent, but the average price barely moved.
There were 4,591 sales in the county last year, compared with 3,709 in 2011. The average price was $371,101, just seven-tenths of a percent higher than 2011’s average price of $368,691.
During the fourth quarter of 2012 there were 1,267 sales, 33.8 percent more than the 947 sales in the same period of 2011. The average price was up 1.1 percent to $374,540. In 2011 it was $370,441.
In December, there were 405 sales across Williamson County, 11.6 percent more than the 363 sales in December 2011. The average price declined 1.6 percent to $375,288. In December 2011 the average price was $381,252, according to Chandler Reports.
In Rutherford County, 4,673 homes were sold in 2012, an increase of 21.4 percent. In 2011, there were 3,849 sales. The average price increased 3.9 percent to $156,991. In 2011 it was $151,144.
Sales during the fourth quarter increased by 21.3 percent. There were 1,166 sales during the period, compared with 961 in the fourth quarter of 2011. The average price was up 3.2 percent. In the fourth quarter of 2012 it was $160,965. In 2011 it was $155,932.
Rutherford County’s sales were up 20.5 percent in December, when 376 homes were purchased. In December 2011, there were 312 sales. The average price was up 6.3 percent to $167,672. In December 2011 it was $157,735, according to Chandler Reports.
Wilson County’s results were similar. Sales for the year were up 22.1 percent to 2,385. In 2011, 1,953 homes were sold. The average price increased 3.2 percent to $195,502. In 2011 it was $189,505.
Sales during the fourth quarter increased 22.5 percent to 636. There were 519 sales during the fourth quarter of 2011. The average price rose 9.2 percent to $199,934. It was $183,082 a year earlier.
Wilson County’s sales were up 26.9 percent in December, when 222 homes were purchased. In December 2011 there were 175 sales. The average price last month was $207,995, a 12.5 percent increase. In December 2011 the average price was $184,994, according to Chandler Reports.
Home sales are soaring, but prices haven’t matched that growth, because home owners are being realistic about the value of their property, says Realtor Terry DeSelms.
“Sellers are finally pricing their houses where the market is,” says DeSelms. “They don’t like it, they’re not happy about it, but houses priced right will sell.”