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VOL. 42 | NO. 42 | Friday, October 19, 2018

Numbers reveal clear fade of real estate feeding frenzy

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Year-to-date home sales in the greater Nashville region decreased by a staggering 8 percent through the end of September, statistics compiled by the Greater Nashville Realtors reveal.

But since the Greater Nashville Region includes sales data from eight counties with wide-ranging socio-economic compositions, the number can be deceptive.

Sales from Davidson, Cheatham, Dickson, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties are included in the data. While downtown Nashville boasts $5 million condominium properties, Nashville proper has few, if any, 400-acre farm sales similar to those found in the surrounding counties.

“When looking at a breakdown of sales by county for the year through the third quarter, Davidson County shows consistent numbers, with only a half of one percent drop in single-family sales and a gain of two percent in condo sales,” says Sher Powers, president of the Greater Nashville Realtors. “Dickson, Maury, Robertson and Rutherford counties all showed increases in sales.”

Based on Powers’ statement, it would be logical to conclude that Cheatham, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson were the culprits that lowered the numbers.

Wilson County, for example, almost held serve with 2,289 single family residential sales in this year, 10 transactions more than last year’s 2,279, but the county lagged in farms, land and lot sales with 198 last year and 180 this year. Wilson had only nine fewer total sales than last year.

In Williamson County, SFR sales dropped from 4,225 to 4,175, while Cheatham County dropped from 3,017 to 2,767. Sumner County had a slight drop from 478 last year to 459 this year.

With an 8 percent drop spread over nine counites, the decline is not tremendously significant.

What is surprising is to see the inventory numbers accumulate during the year. There were 8,332 properties in inventory in January compared and to 12,415 in September, a 49 percent increase during nine months.

Yet with 3,258 closings each month, the 12,415 would seem to be a four-month supply, and real estate economists say a six-month supply is a balanced market with neither buyer nor seller having an edge.

The question is, will there be 3,000-plus closings each month going forward? That’s unlikely, based on the numbers the Greater Nashville Realtors supplied.

The most startling statistic contained in the release is that there were 3,914 pending sales at the end of September last year when the record for most sales in a year was broken. Sales numbers for the area were running neck and neck with the record setting year of 2006 heading down the stretch, and the October sales helped jettison 2017 past 2006 with 3,261 closings from the 3,914 pending sales at September’s end.

If this October follows last year’s performance, there will be fewer closed sales than there are current pending sales.

Last year, only 83 percent of the pending sales closed. With 2,662 pending sales currently, if only 83 percent of those pending sales actually close, that would allow for 2,209 sales in October as compared to 3,267 in 2017, an 18 percent drop with the slow season approaching and inventory increasing.

Finally, buyers have been given a fair shake and a gift of time in making decisions in the home-buying process. This environment allows buyers and investors “greater opportunities to negotiate,” Powers says.

Sale of the Week

Looming large and beautiful along historic Richland Avenue, several newly constructed homes are gracing the revered neighborhood. Well-known for its Halloween display of hundreds of jack-o’-lanterns and its dedication to maintaining its historical integrity, the Richland-West End is one of the city’s treasures.

When Welch College – formerly Free Will Baptist Bible College – decided to sell the coveted property and relocate to Gallatin, there were many suitors, although it took years to match the right developer at the right price. In a neighborhood steeped in architectural antiquity, there were concerns from the residents about how the developers would replace the buildings the college used for classrooms and dormitories, as well as its gym.

The design of the new structures is consistent with the homes in the neighborhood, and the tree-lined avenue boasts well-designed, solidly built homes reminiscent of the early 1900s, although somewhat larger than a typical home of the day. They blend well with the existing, 100-year-old homes.

The house at 3701 Richland Avenue, where the boys’ dorm once stood, is exemplary of the new homes and sold last week for $1,828,798. Listing agent Mary Kocina says it’s a custom build used “for comp purposes,” meaning she wanted the appraisers to understand the prices people were paying to get into the neighborhood.

Kocina, a new-construction whiz, is with Fridrich and Clark Realty and is running lead for the luxury townhomes that front West End Avenue, as well as the lots and homes that adorn Richland.

This house was co-listed by Sherry Erickson, who has more designations than any Realtor around. She is a CLHM, a CRS, a CSP, a GRI, A SRES and is affiliated with SRS. The sum total of those designations is that Shery is certified in dealing with commercial property, residential property, assisting seniors and is no stranger to the classroom. At one point she was with Fridrich and Clark but is now affiliated with Parks, according to the Realtracs roster.

The home has 4,948 square feet and sold for $362 per square foot. Along with five bedrooms, five full baths and two half baths, the house has almost 1,000 square feet of fun rooms with an enormous rec room and a sprawling hobby room.

The master bedroom is on the first floor, and the manse includes all of the modern bells and whistles. The neighbors are in hopes that the new owners have pumpkin carving skills.

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

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