June 13, 2019

May home sale closings down; avg. sales price second best in 11 years

May’s housing market could not match the decade high closings benchmark set May last year, but that did not hold back home price increases. Closings were down 2.7 percent across the 11-county area monitored by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors’ (NETAR) Trends Report. At the same time, the average single-family home resale price was an 11-year high.

There were 727 closings last month – 664 on single-family homes (down 3.9 percent) and 63 on townhome and condominium sales (up 12.5 percent). The average single-family home resales price was $182,378, up 2.5 percent and the average townhome/condo resale price was $128,291, down 0.3 percent from May last year.

“When you look at the total number of closing and deals so far this year, things are definitely busier than they were last year,” said NETAR President Karen Randolph. “So far this year we’ve had 2,885 residential closings. That’s 84 more than the first five months of last year. There were also 431 more new pending sales than they were this time last year.”

One pattern that has become a market staple continued last month. There are more new approved contracts than new listings. So far this year the number of new listings is up 8.7 percent while the count for new contracts is up 14.3 percent. “We had 3.7 months of inventory in May,” Randolph added. “That’s the lowest it has been in 24 months.” 

Both the median and average listing prices increased to new record levels in May. The average listing price was $281,000, up 16 percent from May last year. The median listing price – the point where half of the listings were higher, and half were lower – increased to $200,000. That’s 15 percent higher than it was May last year.

The median days local listings were in Realtor Property Resource (RPR) last month was 63 – the same as April and the least time on the market in the past two years. That number is the median across 11 counties. A drill-down to the county level shows less time on market. For example, it’s 51 days in Unicoi Co.; 52 days in Sullivan Co. and 53 days in Carter Co.

NETAR’s Trends Report capsules 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. City and county market share, year-over-year and year-to-data closings and average sales prices can be found on the NETAR web site’s market analytics page at