Pending home sales growth rate slows

Homeowners accepted 1,099 offers for single-family and condo sales in August. It was the fourth month pending sales have been flat. Both the long and short-term trends have returned to the traditional pattern of seasonal slowing as the market moves into the early fall season. 

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

 ”Prices and sales – the trailing indicators – continue accelerating while the forward-looking indicator shows a slowing of the growth rate,” NETAR President Kristi Bailey said. “The overall inventory picture is still tight but improving. And there’s a chance that improvement will pick up in late September and October as more owners exit the mortgage forbearance program. The number of price reduction notices is also beginning to show up more often.” 

  There were 1,320 active listings at the end of August. It was the fifth straight month they have increased.    

  The typical home sale that closed in August was on the market for 49 days – an increase of one day. The time on market has been flat or decreased every month since March. An increase signals demand is softening. A decrease is a signal that demand is increasing.  

  The region had a 1.6-month inventory of homes on the market in August as it did in July. Balanced market conditions are five to six months of inventory.   

  The average listing price last month was $345,866. The average sales price was $257,137, up 21.7 percent from last year.  

  As measured by the median sales price, the market’s middle point presents a more conservative market picture than averages skewed higher by the number of expensive home sales.   

   July’s median listing price was $224,250. The median sales price was $210,000. So far this year, the median sales price is 16.9 percent higher than the first nine months of last year. In August, it was up 16.7 percent from August last year.