Sales stats reveal lack of affordable housing

Friday, September 30, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 40

Sales information flowing through Realtracs reflect two entirely different markets headed in opposite directions.

In the luxury market, those homes selling for $1 million or more, there were 77 homes sold between June 20 and August 31. Of those transactions, the highest was in the $3 million range, while there were nine for $2 million and 67 for $1 million or over.

In comparison, during the same period in 2015, there were 68 sales in the luxury home market with one more than $3 million, five for $2 million or more and 62 for $1 million or more.

The upper, upper end – sales of $3 million or more – has slowed considerably for several years, while the $1 million and $2 million home sales are stronger.

In the other world, that of work force housing, the sales figures are astonishing and reflect the crisis in affordability in the city. Realtracs shows 271 sales of $100,000 to $150,000. At that pace, there would be 400 units sold in that range this year.

Those 400 sales would be down from the 475 sales in that price range in 2015, and 2015 was down from the 542 sales in 2014. Even in the Recession, there were 454 sales in 2009 and 512 in 2008. Pre-Recession there were 870 in 2005 and 887 in 2006.

It could be argued that those inflated numbers were exaggerated since unqualified buyers were being allowed to buy homes. Many of those transactions resulted in foreclosure, but not half.

Affordability has left the work force, and it is a crisis. The recent action of the Metro Council as it relates to affordability and inclusionary housing has been viewed by some as drastic, but there must be housing for those in the median income bracket or the city will flounder.

On the rental side, things are worse. The average rent has doubled since the Great Recession. What good is an “It” city if no one can afford it?

Sale of the Week

Oak Hill is a community that spreads from Crieve Hall to Forest Hills and drops down to the Williamson County line near Maryland Farms. The freshly renovated Oak Hill home at 5349 Forest Acres Drive recently sold in the Oak Hill community for $625,000. Strategically listed for $599,000 and boasting 2,845 square feet, listing agent Kyle Felts described the improvements as “breathtaking.”

Felts has recently opened a new real estate brokerage house, Bradford Real Estate, after a wildly successful run with another company, opted to price the home at less than the $599,000 mark, even though the price reflected a hefty $210 per square foot price tag. The diversion worked, as there were several offers and the spunky Allen Huggins outmaneuvered his peers in landing the property for his client.

Among Oak Hill’s many assets is its public schools designation with students in the area attending Percy Priest, John T. Moore and Hillsboro, some of Metro’s finest academic institutions. A family with three children could save $1 million over a 12-year period not sending children to private schools – $23,000 per child per year in after-tax dollars, the federal taxes being the component that pushes the total over $1 million.

That leaves a larger budget for culinary supplies and the kitchen at 5349 Forest Acres is ready to absorb the cuisine and as it provides a “chef’s kitchen with quartz counter tops and stainless steel appliances” according to Felts. Bon Appétit.

Richard Courtney is a real estate broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney and Associates and can be reached at