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VOL. 46 | NO. 33 | Friday, August 19, 2022

Report: Multiple offers declining in Nashville

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Only one-third of homebuying offers written in the Nashville area in July encountered competition, down from 73% in July 2021, a new study from real estate brokerage Redfin reports.

Nationwide, 44.3% of home offers written by Redfin agents faced competition on a seasonally adjusted basis in July compared with a revised rate of 50.9% one month earlier and 63.8% one year earlier.

It’s the sixth consecutive monthly decline and the lowest share on record with the exception of April 2020, when the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought the housing market to a near standstill.

Homebuyer competition is cooling as more Americans are priced out of the housing market due to higher mortgage rates and inflation. Properties are lingering on the market longer and the housing shortage is easing up, giving buyers more options to choose from and room to negotiate.

The 33.3% July rate ranks Nashville fifth overall in least competitive July markets for Redfin, preceded by Phoenix (26.6%); Riverside, California (31%); Seattle (31.5%) and Austin (31.7%).

Many of these areas attracted scores of out-of-town homebuyers during the pandemic, pushing up prices and rendering them prohibitively expensive for some house hunters – one reason they now have relatively low bidding-war rates.

The average out-of-towner moving to Nashville last year had $736,900 to spend on a home, 28.5% higher than average budget for local buyers – the largest gap among U.S. cities recently analyzed by Redfin.

There were no metros in which the bidding-war rate increased on a year-over-year basis.

Film Festival announces Tennessee Program

The Nashville Film Festival, scheduled for Sept. 29-Oct. 5, has announced it will feature short films with ties to Tennessee among its nearly 30 films.

This year’s Tennessee Feature Films are:

• Alta Valley (dir. Jesse Edwards) - World premiere! To save her dying mother, Lupe, a Mexican-Navajo mechanic bands together with an outlaw cowgirl. Together they must travel across the desert, outrun criminals and confront a corrupt landowner.

• Big Old Goofy World: The Story of Oh Boy Records (dirs. Joshua Britt, Neilson Hubbard) - Oh Boy Records, founded by John Prine, Al Bunetta & Dan Einstein, took a mail order business and turned it into the everyman hero story of one artist believing in himself and his fans to help reinvent the music industry and create a path for today’s artists to stay independent.

• The Light We Share (dirs. Mattie Waters, Jules Downum) - World Premiere! This visual-album style film highlights stories from everyday people, inviting us to look at one.

• Old Friends; A Dogumentary (dir. Gorman Bechard) - The story of the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Mount Juliet.

• Showbusiness Is My Life, But I Can’t Prove It (dir. GB Shannon) - World premiere! Follows comedian Gary Mule Deer and his 60-year career making people laugh.

• I Can Feel You Walking (dir. Rachel Lambert) - Two broke and broken neighbors in a South Nashville duplex are tested when a crisis forces them to finally meet.

• Jacir (dir. Waheed AlQawasmi) - World premiere! A young Syrian refugee on the streets of Memphis faces the hard truth in chasing the American dream while living in poverty, witnessing social injustice and his neighbor’s addiction to opioids.

Acceptance donates 40K for school backpacks

With the start of the new school year quickly approaching, Nashville-based Acceptance Insurance gave away 40,000 backpacks filled with school supplies generously donated by customers, neighbors, and community partners across the country.

With the start of the 2022-23 school year approaching, this year’s supply drive took place during a critical time for many students and families facing record high costs caused by recent inflation and supply chain interruptions.

A major retail industry study estimated an average back-to-school shopping price tag of $864 this year, a 24% increase from just $697 in 2019.

Donated supplies ranged from basic essentials like pencils and notebooks to wish list items, including educational electronics and new clothing. Acceptance team members invited families to attend drive-up and walk-up giveaway events across 13 states through partnerships with local school districts and education nonprofits. Kemper Insurance co-sponsored supply drives in Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Sheriff’s Office adds tool to fight recidivism

Texas-based Tyler Technologies, Inc. announced that the Nashville-Davidson County Sheriff’s Office has successfully gone live with Tyler’s Community Readiness solution.

“Hundreds of thousands of individuals are released from incarceration every year without a plan for successful reentry into society,” Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said. “Tyler’s Community Readiness solution provides those incarcerated with a path to a better life. This technology easily connects incarcerated individuals with housing resources, job opportunities, and counseling services that will assist them in becoming productive community members.”

Community Readiness, previously called The Resource Project, is a comprehensive software application that bridges the gap between the jail and the community by connecting residents in jails with local support organizations.

These connections will help reduce recidivism by, ultimately, helping Davidson County’s 1,700 incarcerated individuals gain an education, find a job, and locate a place to live, or otherwise prepare them to be active, healthy contributors in their community after being released from jail.

Using the solution, incarcerated individuals can take education courses, gain information about how to manage finances, apply and interview for a job, and have resources waiting for them upon their release from jail.

Not only does it serve as a crucial resource for the incarcerated individuals, but the software also benefits DCSO staff by reducing physical paperwork, allowing them to focus on what is most important to the safety and effectiveness of the facility.

The software offers information and assistance from more than a dozen local community organizations, including Teen Challenge Southeast, Tennessee Prison Outreach Ministry and Project Return.

Belmont opens newest, largest residence hall

Belmont University last week dedicated its newest and largest residence building, welcoming students for the 2022-23 school year.

Caldwell Hall joins Belmont’s residential village on the southeast side of campus, created with the completion of Tall Hall in 2018. Providing scenic views of the Nashville skyline, Caldwell Hall will house 606 upperclassmen students growing Belmont’s capacity for residential students to more than 60%.

The building primarily features four-bedroom units, along with single studios and two-to-six-bedroom units, all with private bedrooms.

Increased amenities include flexible basement space, practice rooms, a fitness center, a two-story lobby featuring study and gathering areas, laundry room and two exterior courtyards.

The $98 million project by long-standing University partners R.C. Matthews and ESa is built with the same high-performance environmental standards as other Belmont projects.

At 268,000 square feet, Caldwell Hall is Belmont’s largest residence hall, demonstrating the University’s continued commitment to providing students with a residential, liberal arts education.

Tennessee State band prepares gospel album

From Black spiritual to contemporary, musical experts say Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands anticipated gospel album is a conceptual journey of faith that embodies the evolution of gospel music told through the lenses of an HBCU band.

Titled “The Urban Hymnal,” the 10-track album also features artists such as Jekalyn Carr, Fred Hammond, Kierra Sheard, John P. Kee, Louis York, Dubba-AA, Sir the Baptist, Larry Jenkins, Take 6, Mali Music and more.

When Reginald McDonald was promoted to director of bands in 2015, he was told by his predecessor to dream big for the band’s legacy, to ensure a high level of national prominence, and to be known as one of the top bands in the US.country.

AOB’s most recent main stage accomplishment was performing at the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans, sponsored by a partnership with McDonalds, highlighting African American culture.

“And as a result of that performance, so many mega artists within the gospel community asked to be a part of the project,” McDonald said.

“The Urban Hymnal” is executive produced by AOB assistant director professor Larry Jenkins, Grammy award-winning songwriter and artist Dallas Austin, two-time Grammy award-nominated songwriter and artist Sir the Baptist, and platinum recording artist, TSU alum Dubba-AA.

Metro unveils real-time tracker for projects

Nashville residents can now track the progress of more than 800 neighborhood improvements projects through a new online tool – a Neighborhoods Improvement Tracker – that will provide real-time updates throughout each phase, from groundbreaking to completion.

“Great cities have great neighborhoods,” says Mayor John Cooper, “and for too long Metro government has prioritized downtown development and tax incentives for billion-dollar corporations over more money for good schools, clean and well-maintained infrastructure like roads and sidewalks, first-class green space, playgrounds and community centers and other investments that will benefit families in their neighborhoods.

“I’m proud of the nearly 800 major neighborhood improvement projects currently underway in every community in Davidson County. The new online tool we are launching today will add an important layer of transparency to those projects.”

Cooper unveiled the new initiative earlier last week against the backdrop of one of the 800+ neighborhood projects – a key culvert replacement happening on Brick Church Pike between the Whites Creek and Joelton neighborhoods.

Each neighborhood project is a capital improvement, which means it has a use-life of greater than 10 years and costs more than $50,000. Projects can range from upgrades to Metro facilities like schools and community centers to upgrading infrastructure like sidewalks, bridges, speed bumps, bike lanes and more.

The Neighborhoods Improvement Tracker

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