‘Unprecedented’ market climbs back to 2006 levels

Friday, July 14, 2017, Vol. 41, No. 28

I predicted last month that the number of closed sales for June in the area would drop below those that closed in June 2016. That forecast was based on the fact that the pending sales for May 2017 were considerably lower than those reported in May 2016.

But alas, I have been proven wrong as closed sales were once again ahead of last year’s numbers.

Yes, sales for last month slaughtered those recorded in June of last year by 18 sales, 3,887 this year as compared with 3,869 in 2016.

“Sales were virtually flat,” says Scott Troxel, president of the Greater Nashville Realtors.

“This is no surprise given the disparity between market supply and the demand in the market.”

Oddly enough, even in this inventory-barren market overrun with buyers, some seasonality still exists.

For example, the closed sales in May totaled 3,943 properties – 56 more than this month – yet in sales are up by .4 percent when comparing June versus June.

With an inventory of 8,842 of active listings and some 3,887 sales, there is a 2.2-month supply available.

Last year, a time when most buyers and Realtor felt the cupboard was bare, there were 9,865 active listings, 1,023 more than last year.

The Greater Nashville Realtors also noted there were 3,914 properties under contract at the end of June compared to 3,863 in 2016, numbers that would seem to support continued growth in the market.

Prices have predictably climbed, as well, with the median price for a single-family home reaching $293,753 in June, compared to $260,148 in 2016. The median was $279,142 just a month earlier.

Condos followed suit with a median price of $199,350, topping last year’s $186,495.

Sales are up 5.6 percent for the year, providing the strongest second quarter on record. Total units sold for the six months was slightly lower than in 2006.

Troxel predicts the area will “come to close to the 2006 record of more than 40,000 closings.” Such a prediction, while certainly achievable, is worthy of reflection and points to the destruction that the Recession inflicted on the local market.

It has taken years of record sales, months and months of cranes hovering over the city, weeks of 100 people each day moving here for the city to reach the point in the real estate market where it was 11 years ago.

Sale of the Week

There are few more seasoned real estate veterans than Whit Clark of Fridrich and Clark Realty.

Some think Clark put the “real” in Realtor, as he is the real thing, an actual what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of fellow.

Quick-witted with a slow, Southern drawl, he prices things so well that he usually baits the hook in a manner that lures multiple offers.

Clark pulled that stunt again at 408 Sunnyside Drive, pricing the Belle Meade home at $995,000 and closing for $1,008,075, that price an obvious result of intense negotiations.

MacKenzie Strawn of Scout (no relation to Jean Louise Finch) Properties represented the buyers in a manner that won the war of the offers and secured the 5,008-square foot home located on .81 acres for only slightly more than $1 million.

The home included five bedrooms, four full baths, one half bath and many updates.

Clark noted there are “Arched doorways, hardwood floors, a huge kitchen and family room and updated baths.”

Additionally, there is a dedicated office, an in-law/nanny suite, a bonus room, covered porch and a two-car garage.

Sales for the first six months in Belle Meade totaled 32 in 2017, up from 30 in 2016.

During that period, the average price rose from $1,470,982 to $1,634,909. Additionally, the price per square foot rose from $309.66 in 2016 to $315 in 2017.

Coincidentally, homes that sold in neighborhoods abutting Belle Meade with Belle Meade in the name – Belle Meade Links, Belle Meade Courts and Belle Meade Highlands, for example – sold for an average price of $1,046,550 with a price per square foot of $266.

What a difference 50 feet can make.

On Nichol Lane, the even-numbered houses are in Belle Meade and the odd numbers are in the Belle Meade Highlands, even though they are at a lower level than the Belle Meade houses across the street.

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