July pending home sales set new area high point

New pending sales set another high point for the NE Tennessee housing market in July.

There were 980 new contracts (pending sales) at the end of the month – up from 889 in June. The moving average trend for active pending sales was 13.5 percent higher than July last year.

Pending sales are a leading indicator of housing activity based on signed contracts for existing single-family homes, condominium, and townhome resales in the area monitored by the Northeast Tennessee Association of REALTORS® (NETAR) Trends Report. Since resales go under contract 30 to 60 days before the sale is closed, pending sales typically lead existing-home sales by about two months.

In the current market, it is not uncommon for a larger-than-average number of approved contracts to fall through. Some of that is attributed to contingencies and appraisal issues. But the fall-through rate isn’t enough to dampen another strong month for closings as we begin pivoting from the summer to the fall buying and selling market.

July was a banner month for sales. It was the second time since the Trends Report began tracking the local market that closings moved past the 800-a-month mark.

“The most significant headwind the market currently faces is the region’s continued lack of inventory,” said NETAR President Kristi Bailey. “There was a little over two months of inventory last month, and it was even tighter in the city markets.”

“There were 948 new listings. That is 62 more than June but 86 fewer than July last year. The bottom line is new listings are not coming on the market fast enough to keep up with demand. Nor are they providing relief to the overall inventory situation,” she added. “Active listings at the end of June were down 42.1% from last year. “

July’s median listing price ($209,900) was up 12.9% from last year, while the median sales price ($179,500) was up 14.2%.  

NETAR’s Trends and Pending Sales Reports capsule housing market conditions in Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties in NE Tenn. and Scott, Lee, Washington, and Wise counties in SW Va.