Pending home sales up 15% on more high-end contracts

Don Fenley 

Pending sales jumped 15.1% in March on a 113.3% increases in the number of new contracts in the top bracket of the move-up market.

Although demand – as monitored by the number of days a property is on the market before selling – has slowed, it has not been enough the throw a damper on the beginning of this year’s prime buying and session season.

So far this year, home sales are down 6.1% from where they were last year, and the median sales price ($251,500) is up 4.8%. The pending sales increase in the $400K-$499,999K price range should strengthen the overall median price in next month’s early market report.

Pending sales are a leading indicator of housing activity based on signed contracts for existing single-family homes and condominium sales in the region monitored by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR). Since resales go under contract 30 to 60 days before they close, pending sales offer insight into the market’s direction.     

Although new contracts in the $100K-$249,999K affordable housing price zone didn’t dominate March’s pending sales as it did in prior months, it was better than last year. Buyers approved 310 contracts in that price range with the best performance in the $180K-$199,999K and $200K-$249,999 price brackets.

The number of approved contracts in the move-up market was 32.7% better than last year, with the strongest performance in the $400,000K-$499-999 price range. They were 11.3% above last year’s total on 96 contracts.

New contracts in the luxury market were up 38.6% on 97 new approved contracts.

At mid-month, total active inventory of the counties monitored by NETAR was 1,524 listings, up from 1,237 last year and 65 more than February. New listings have been slowly increasing, but sales have absorbed many of them. That has held a total inventory growth to a 2.4-month supply. Still, the March inventory is the best the region has seen 2021. Since then, it has increased 55.5%.

The typical home that sold last month was on the market for 61 days, up from 50 days last year. When homes spend more time on the market, it signals softer demand. NETAR’s measure of days on market begins on the day a property is listed until it closes.

Sellers reduced their original list price on 39% of the homes that sold last month. The average price reduction was $27,000. The typical was $10,000.

Of the homes that sold last month, 59% saw a price reduction during negotiations. The average reduction was $18,511. The typical reduction was $10,000.

The median existing home listing price last month was $299,950. The median sales price was $251,500.

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 1,800+ 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