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Home sales cool off, but closings still up for the year

Hank Hayes • Oct 15, 2018 at 10:30 PM

GRAY – Northeast Tennessee's September home sales made an expected seasonal decline from a robust August, according to a report released Monday by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR).

“At the same time the less volatile year-to-year and year-to-date numbers show a market still strongly in record-setting mode,” the NETAR report noted.

NETAR said there were 624 single-family sales in September, down 61 from August. Last month's average sales price was $177,448, up $4,845, or 2.8 percent, from last year.

NETAR insisted “the more telling numbers” were: September's closings were up by 84, or 15.6 percent, when compared to September last year. And so far, this year there have been 5,186 closings, 480 more closings than there were during the first nine months of last year – a 10.2 percent increase.

Forty-seven condominium and townhome resales closed last month, down six from August, and up 27 percent, 10 sales, from September last year. The average sales price $135,116, up $17,368, or 14.8 percent, from last year.

"Some slowing is typical for this time of the year. Still, the sales trend combined with current economic conditions point to a market that still has room for more short-term growth," said NETAR President Aaron Taylor.

NETAR pointed out new listings are slowly increasing and outnumber pending sales so there's a little inventory relief in sight. Mortgage rates are increasing and promise to continue increasing into next year, Taylor added. And higher rates typically move the market higher because buyers want to lock in the best rate than can get before the next increase. Plus, more owners think now is a good time to sell.

So far this year, sales in all but two city markets and one county market have exceeded last year's totals. The average sales price is down in four of the region's seven city markets and three county markets.

The average single-family resale that closed in September was on the market for 106 days. The average condo resale was on the market for 77 days. "That's a regional average," Taylor said. The time on market was much shorter in some of the individual city and county markets. For example: the average single-family resale in Sullivan and Washington County, Tenn., was on the market for 64 days.

City and county market share, September year-over-year and year-to-date closings and average sales prices can be found on the NETAR web site’s market analytics page at https://netar.us/sept-market-analytics#overlay-context=sept-market-analytics.

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