April 22, 2019

Local pending home sales continue to outpace new listings

New approved contracts for existing single-family, townhome and condominiums raised the bar again in March. The record is now 839 new approved contracts in one month. That total is 58 more than recorded by Realtor Property Resource (RPR) March last year. It is also 219 more than all the residential closings in March.

Add last month’s new contracts to those awaiting closing, and you have a total of 1,160. That number is also a record for active pending sales in the 11-counties monitored by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR).

Pending sales are forward-looking indicators based on new contract signings.

“The recent trend toward lower mortgage rates is welcome since it reduces the total monthly mortgage payment. The rates are a factor in how much home the consumer can afford,” NETAR President Karen Randolph said. “At the same time, local buyers and sellers are navigating through record tight inventories. This is especially true and very stressful in the $200,000 and below price range. That price range accounts for approximately 70% of local resales.” 

The average 30-year fixed rate was 4.17 percent for the week ending March 19.

So far this year, new single-family listings are running 6.3 percent better than the first three months of last year, but new pending sales were 14.2 percent higher during the first quarter of 2018. These numbers mean there were 50 more new pending sales than new listings, according to NETAR’s market research analyst Don Fenley

The ratio of the new listing to new pending sales in the townhome and condominium market sector show a similar inventory absorption picture, he added. During the first three months of this year, new listings are down 20% from last year, and new approved contracts are up 3.9%. In raw numbers there were 33 more pending townhome or condo sales than new listings in March.

A home sale is listed as pending when a contract has been signed, but the transaction has not closed. Pending sales usually move to closings in 30 to 45 days. Not all contracts in the pipeline will move to closing. It is normal for as many as 5 percent to fall through and the fall-through rate has been higher recently due to the number of contingency contracts.

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee - is the largest trade association in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,200 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Pending sales, monthly Trends Reports and the regional market analytics can be found on the NETAR websites at .