By DON FENLEY
TRI-CITIES, Tenn. – Small changes were the hallmark of August’s housing market. Prices dipped slightly below July’s level but were 9 percent higher than last year. Sales eked out a small monthly gain and were 13 percent off last year’s pace.
“Buyers are getting used to higher mortgage rates, but affordability and the lack of inventory continue punishing the market,” said Jan Stapleton, president of the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR). “Sales in the $300K to $399K and those over $500K are leaders.”
There were 705 closings in NETAR’s early August sales count, an increase f 18 from July and 144 fewer than August last year. The sales figure typically increases with the mid-month update when closing reported too late for the first-of-the-month count are included.
August’s median sales price was $257,760, down $12,140 from July and $13,260 higher than last year. The median is the point where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. August’s average sales price was $295,435. It was $277,146 last year.
Last month sales in the affordable market were down 12.2 percent from last year.
The move-up market’s three price ranges are where most activity occurs. Overall sector sales were down 8.3 percent from last year. The only improvement was those in the $330K-$399K range. They were up 9.7percent
Demand – as measured by the time a property sits on the market before closing – declined to 49 days from July’s 50-day level. A decline in time on market signals higher demand. NETAR’s days on the market is calculated from the day a property is listed until it closes. Many of August’s sales were going from listing to accepted contract two weeks or less.
Sellers reduced their asking price on 49 percent of last month’s sales. The average discount was $17,237. July’s average discount was $21,770.
Active listings grew by almost 100 listings last month, boosting the region to 2.1 months of inventory.
Most county and community submarkets market conditions follow the regional pattern of fewer sales and higher prices.
Categories: REAL ESTATE