There were 974 home closings reported for the month of January, according to figures provided by the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors®. This represents a decrease of 40.7 percent from the 1,644 closings reported for the same period last year.
“The real estate market in Middle Tennessee is clearly feeling the effects of the national economy,” said GNAR President Mike Nichols . “This is the first time we have had fewer than one thousand closings in one month since February of 1994. The Greater Nashville area was slower to feel the full impact of the current national economic situation, and we are traditionally on the early side of recovery, but right now the market is slower than anyone wants it to be.”
“The standard formula items, such as interest rates and available inventory are all positive. However, when people don’t have jobs, or don’t have confidence that their jobs are reasonably secure, they are not likely to purchase homes or other significant items. Perhaps the passing of the stimulus package this week will initiate an increase in consumer confidence, but it is likely to take some time before the market really shows solid signs of recovery,” Nichols said. “It does appear that rents have increased, so once people begin to feel confident again, it will make even more sense for them to consider the purchase of a home rather than continuing to rent.”
There were 1,282 sales pending at the end of the month, compared with 1,924 pending sales at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 89 days. The median residential price for a single-family home during January was $165,000, and for a condominium it was also $165,000. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $179,900 and $158,890, respectively.
Inventory at the end of January was 22,509, up from 21,952 in January 2008.
“Inventory is actually down in every category but farm, land and lots,” said Nichols. “That is an indication that land available for development is not being purchased, as the need for new homes is limited in light of current available inventory and sales activity. There is a good selection of homes available and ready for those interested in buying now, or for when consumer confidence strengthens and sales activity increases.”
Source: Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, Press Release 020909.