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VOL. 40 | NO. 51 | Friday, December 16, 2016

Land rush: Buyers in frenzy ahead of higher interest rates

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With the imminent rise in the mortgage interest rates looming on the horizon, Nashville area buyers rushed into the ever-shrinking inventory of houses and condominiums in October and purchased thousands of homes.

The October contracts spawned November closings, and the group formerly known as the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors (GNAR) reported sales were up a robust 24 percent over the same period last year.

Forever more known as the Greater Nashville Realtors, and preferring no acronym attached, according to their newly elected president Scott Troxel, this organization’s statistics show sales of 2,978 homes in November, compared to 2,397 last year.

Interest rate increases are to home sales as snow warnings are to milk and bread sales.

The buyers sprint to buy anything and everything out there before the rates hit the egregious level of 4.5 percent.

With the flurry of sales from the scurrying masses, the median price of a single-family homes increased from $231,925 in 2015 to $259,900 in 2016, and condos from $178,002 to $182,390.

One segment that did not beat last year’s number was inventory. Stated inventory coming from these Realtors dropped from 12,433 to 11,224, yet many of those homes are under contract and not available.

The highly successful real estate developer Floyd Shechter of Smart Space fame, a philanthropist and community volunteer in his own right, once noted the most beautiful three words in the English language are “immediate past president.”

Outgoing president Denise Creswell must certainly feel the burden easing, but she shared some of that responsibility with Jarron Springer, chief executive officer of the Greater Nashville Realtors, who was quick to lessen her load.

In appreciation for all his support, Creswell bestowed the President’s Award upon Springer at the recent membership luncheon, during which Troxel was tabbed as president for next year and Sher Powers president elect.

With over 750 new members this year, the Greater Nashville Realtors is about to surpass the record of 4,458 members that it boasted in the pre-Recession days of 2007.

GNAR limped out of the Recession with a membership of less than 3,000 members, so about one third of its membership has less than four years’ experience.

Sale of the Week

One Realtor with years of experience is Beverly Wilson who has, as Thom Schuyler once wrote, “years and years of living,” with the last 20 of those being in residential real estate sales.

Wilson has more than 500 sales in those 20 years and almost as many Realtor awards as Schuyler has songwriting acknowledgments.

She listed on Oct. 20 a house at 1904 Sweetbriar Avenue in the Belmont Hillsboro neighborhood for $649,900, and the property sold in a few hours for the list price, although at closing the buyer was credited with $6,100 by the seller.

In many cases, this is a result of an inspection citing several deficiencies in the home.

Rather than have the seller make the repairs with the jobs going to the lowest bidders, the buyer may opt for the seller to give a credit at closing.

The property at 1904 Sweetbriar includes 2,981 square feet – $217 per square foot for those that track such numbers.

The aforementioned square footage houses four bedrooms, two full baths and one half bath.

Wilson described the house as being renovated with a “nice combination of updated/open floor plan with quiet spaces for a study or an office.”

She noted the master bedroom with its walk-in closets and soaking tub are located on the first floor, and the playroom is upstairs.

She wrote that the property is in a historic overlay and explained that a ‘detached garage/apartment is a possibility.”

Lou Moore of Liberty House Realty, LLC represented the buyer, who closed 45 days after contracting for the home.

Metro tax records reveal the owners had paid $555,000 for the property in 2014.

The 10 percent per annum appreciation is significantly higher than the 3-6 percent appreciation that are experienced in what are considered normal times, but somewhat below the exorbitant hikes that had become the norm over the past four years.

When the rates rise over the next few months, the market should ease into complete normalcy and we can live happily ever after.

Richard Courtney is a real estate broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0