April home sales down 17.9%; sales price up 14.9%

In April, home sales were down by 17.9% in Northeast Tennessee. However, home prices increased by almost an equal percentage.

According to the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR), 543 residential sales closed for the month and were down 118 for the same month last year and 25 from March. The average sales price of $195,291 was a $25,398 or 14.9%  improvement from last April.  So far this year, 2,099 existing home sales have closed, 99 fewer than during the first four months of 2019.

 “April’s sales decline is a big number for a market accustomed to record-level sales, but there is more to the housing market story than that number,” said NETAR 2020 President Kristi Bailey.  “Because closings usually take about 30 to 45 days, April is the first full month we see the effects delivered by the health crisis. May and June may deliver more shocks, but real estate has not shut down. A little over $106 million worth of real estate was sold locally during April, and sellers accepted 681 new contracts. That is only 33 fewer than April last year.  One issue causing such percentages in our real estate market is an already low inventory.  Some sellers have held back on listing properties during this time, and buyers are just waiting to grab up homes when they come on the market because the interest rates are at historic lows, causing part of the problem.  We have more pending sales awaiting closing than there was April a year ago.  Most housing economists think sales will rebound in the third and fourth quarters,” she said.

Single-family sales accounted for 501 closings in April, down 116 from April last year. The average sales price was $200,067. That is a $26,648 (15.4 %) increase from last year.

Forty-two condominium/townhome resales closed last month, down two from last year. The average sales price of $138,327 was up 14.8% – a $17,868 gain for sellers.

At the end of April, the local housing market had 3.4 months of inventory. Active listings were 25% lower than last year, and 601 new listings came on the market.

Sales closed in April also spent less time on the market. The average for a single-family resale was 109 days down from 132 days last year. For the townhome/condo segment, it was 90 days down from 157 April the previous year.

NETAR’s Trends Report reflects housing market conditions in Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties in NE Tenn. and Scott, Lee, Wise, and Washington counties in SW Virginia. It also includes market data from the region’s primary city markets.

CLICK HERE to download Regional-county-city April – year-to-date analytics

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