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VOL. 41 | NO. 33 | Friday, August 18, 2017

Single-family homes push sales ahead of last year’s pace

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Area real estate sales have increased 5.5 percent this year with 23,365 properties changing hands, 3,872 of them in August alone, Greater Nashville Realtors sales statistics show. That number is slightly less than the 3,887 closed sales in June, which was down from the 3,943 in May.

But that trend won’t last, as we should see a big jump in the coming months.

Real estate sales are usually slower in the summer months, although the last few years have seen flatter seasonal peaks and valleys. In 2006, the year of the most unit sales, there were 4,060 in June and 3,976 in July.

Overall, the market is at a higher level than last year. But three of the four classifications that Realtors share are down for the month. Condominiums have dropped from 577 to 513, multifamily properties from 86 to 67 and “farm, land, lots” from 2,948 to 2,394.

In all of the areas, these decreases can be tied to inventory, which dropped from 10,133 to 9,151.

Scott Troxel, president of Greater Nashville Realtors, says one of the more serious issues is the lack of affordable housing. He also cites the need for improved transit and education if the sales are to be sustained.

Sale of the Week

Even in today’s market, the second best in Nashville’s storied real estate history, a sale of more than $2 million is rare. This year, of the 23,365 sales, there have been only 31 single family homes in Davidson County sell for more than $2 million. There were only 10 houses sold for more than $2 million in 2006, even though 2006 had more units closed than this year.

When 3434 Woodmont was listed by Anna Moran of Fridrich and Clark Realty, its stately presence on 1.14 acres commanded the attention of those driving by on the oft-traveled stretch of Woodmont Boulevard.

Traffic noise apparently was not an issue as the home is situated several hundred feet from the road on the sprawling elevated lot, giving the home a palatial aura.

Being new construction in 2017, it was painted the mandatory shade of white. There may be 50 of those, but they are indiscernible.

Moran listed the 6,414-square-foot home for $2,295,000. It has six bedrooms – the obligatory master downstairs – and five full bathrooms with a couple of half baths for good measure. The kitchen is packed with all of the amenities necessary to be purchased these days and includes a double electric oven, a switch from the gas in most new construction.

While the gas cooktop is preferred by most who spend time cooking, gas ovens have fallen out of favor with some. The same goes for tankless water heaters, although buyers of new construction mandate that their new expensive homes include the tankless, and those who can afford $2 million-dollar homes can switch a water heater when they realize tankless is not instant and tire of watching gallon upon gallon of water flow down the drain.

A name that is becoming more and more prevalent in the upper-end sales, Ravi Sachan, represented the buyer and was able to negotiate $180,000 off the list price, securing his client a purchase price of $2,115,000, or $329 per square foot, a calculation that is becoming obsolete.

Another unique feature of the home is that it has a four-car garage, an important element. It is not unusual to find families with two working parents and two high school age children, each of whom attend different schools and have widely different schedules for their activities. These families often have four cars, and many even have five.

In the $2 million homes, all of these cars tend to be pricey. Owners turned homeowners wish to protect the investment in the automotive industry as well as they can, even though they have handed the keys of two tons of metal with several hundred horses to teenagers.

Within the mountain of humanity relocating to Nashville are sub groups that come from locales that experience harsh winters replete with snow, ice, ice and salt. They want safe harbor for their vessels. Native Nashvillians rarely use garages, some may store things there for a dozen or so years before calling Goodwill.

The living room in the Woodmont house is 33 by 24 feet of glistening hardwoods, and the bedroom listed as the fifth bedroom is 21 by 13. The property taxes of $24,838 could break a budget or equate to one year’s tuition in a private school.

With the heralded Julia Green Elementary just a couple of miles away, the $24K could prove to be a wise investment, especially if those six bedrooms housed three elementary school children.

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