Local real estate data key to good marketing, savvy shopping

By KRISTI BAILEY 

Eye-popping describes some of the current headlines about real estate. But savvy consumers should be wary.  

Most of what is printed or broadcast in the mass media is based on the so-called national market or a metro area model. That’s two big issues for agents’ marketing and savvy consumers looking for real estate deals. 

First – there’s no such thing as a national housing market. Instead, it’s a collection of the information from all the local markets crunched into one data set. Lumping the big with the small and then calculating averages and medians is a good way to see the big picture. But that picture may or may not bear much resemblance to local conditions. Much of the time, it doesn’t. 

Secondly, the data collection of selected metro areas is a pretty good representation of the housing market conditions in metro areas. It works just fine if you’re talking about markets like Nashville, or Knoxville. But if you’re interested in the Tri-Cities, don’t invest too much in metro area models. The only resource for the Tri-Cities marketplace is the Northeast Tennessee Association of REALTORS® three monthly reports.  Those reports focus on the region NETAR monitors – not just MSA areas.  

Here’s just one example of how data reports can go off the tracks.  

The monthly S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller Report for September was released at the end of November. It cited a year-over-year 19.5% increase in single-family home prices from the previous year. The data behind this index is the real estate gold standard for the national big-picture. It’s informative for those who monitor market news on a national level and a great resource for investors looking at housing market funds. But it won’t provide local insight or a good negotiating baseline on the local level. Real estate is way too hyper-local for that.  

The NETAR Home Sales Report for the same period reported a 15.7% average price increase for residential sales. The median sales price was a 14.5% improvement over Sept. 2020. 

So why are local listing prices and sales numbers different from the numbers reported in the mass media?  

The answer is simple.  

Remember the mantra that all real estate is location, location, location? 

Well, when it comes to keeping your fingers on the pulse of the NE Tenn. – SW Va. market, the rule is: the only information that counts is local, local, local.  

How fast properties sell, what buyers are looking for, and what sellers are willing to accept varies from neighborhood to neighborhood, from city to city, and from month to month. NETAR’s three major market reports do that each month. 

But even those reports have weaknesses because when you look closely at the drivers of housing demand and consumer preferences, you’ll find more puzzles. 

Myriad issues affect buying or selling a home because each family’s or individual’s needs and financial constraints are different. That’s why it’s critical to marshal the most precise local housing market information available before making a real estate decision. That kind of information can’t be found in mainstream media reports. The primary sources for this key data are local REALTORS® and NETAR’s monthly reports. They are the voice of and for real estate in the NE Tenn. and SW Va. area. It’s a voice you can trust for quality and detailed information market information instead of generalized national market reports because local, local, and local. 

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,500 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.   

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region, representing over 1,600+ members and 100+ business partners involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Weekly market reports and information for both consumers and members are available on the NETAR website at https://netar.us