February home sales in Nashville up 12 percent

Source: The Tennessean

Roughly 2,091 residential properties changed hands in the Nashville area last month, a 12.6 percent increase from February 2014.

With sales pending at the end of February up nearly 11 percent year over year, home closings for March should also be higher than last year.

“February sales are likely a reflection of contracts that were written in January, so if there was any impact
of the storm in February it would be reflected in the lower numbers for March,” appraiser Richard Exton of Manier and Exton in Nashville said about last month’s severe winter storm. “The impact may not be that great.”

Inventory remains a challenge for the Nashville area’s residential real estate market although an uptick in listings of single-family homes should occur as spring nears, said Cindy Stanton, president of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. “The hardest hit market, in regard to inventory, is the first-time buyer range,” said Stanton, who also works for real estate firm PARKS. “The inventory supply there is very low.”

The inventory of 7,912 single-family homes at the end of February equates to a 4.6-month supply, which reflects a balanced market. Data GNAR tracks indicate higher-priced homes generally take much longer to sell than lower-priced homes.

For instance, the absorption rate for single-family homes below January’s median price of $215,000 in Davidson County is 2.2 months. The absorption rate above the median was 4.8 months and 8.9 months for homes priced $600,000 and above.

The median price of a single-family home was $206,000, up 5.6 percent from a year ago but down 4 percent from January. The median price of condos was $163,125 last month, up 14 percent from a year ago but down only slightly from January.

Nationwide, the National Association of Realtors’ monthly Realtors’ confidence index for January showed growing optimism that a slow loosening of credit standards will allow younger buyers with good credit to enter the market. The group now sees 30-year fixed mortgage rates ending the year at 4.2 percent instead of nearly 5 percent largely because lower inflation pressures amid recent decline in gas prices.

“This is certainly good news for buyers and will preserve affordability since we expect home prices to continue to rise,” said Adam Desanctis, NAR’s spokesman.


Source: http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/real-estate/2015/03/09/nashvilles-february-home-sales/24650937/