By KRISTI BAILEY
The local housing market has hit lots of new benchmarks this year, and there will likely be a few more before the end of the year. It has not been that long since there was an average of 10 months of inventory on the market or that the average sales price was in the $150,000 range. When those conditions were the norm, it was common for buyers to visit up to 10 properties before they made an offer.
Today, they still look at that many properties, but mostly on-line. Making an offer on a property they had not visited used to be a rarity, but not in today’s market. Properties also used to be on the market much longer before going under contract. In 2011 – the longest time we have recorded, it took a little over six months. This year, it has been 57 days. Some homes are now getting the first offer in a matter of hours, and multiple officers are not uncommon.
Of course, total sales and the average price are the market data biggies. In September, there have been 951 residential sales. The bigger story is with single-family sales accounting for a little more than 93% of those sales. Since 2008, the area’s housing market weathered the Great Recession when it was common to see headlines trumpeting huge home value losses in some areas. Locally, 2009 was the worst year for sales with less than 4,400 residential sales.
Sales began recovering the following year and have increased every year since then. It took prices a little longer to recover. They were down for the next three years. The annual average price bottomed out in 2011 at $137,175 – a three-year drop of 10.6%.
The takeaway is the local housing market did not take as big a hit as many other markets during those years. It has been a resilient and vital part of the area economy during crucial times. The real estate industry accounts for 15% of the region’s total economy and repeatedly a high point.
Another local constant is the role professional REALTORS® have and continue to play. They are always out front helping their clients navigate the ever-evolving conditions, whether searching for the perfect home or the best investment opportunities.
So, here is a big shout out to all the real estate professionals whose training, dedication, and efforts to both their profession and their communities do not go unnoticed!
NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,300 members and 100 affiliates involved in the residential and commercial real estate industries.