Pending sales surge as buyers rush to lock in low rates  

Don Fenley 

March’s pending sales were a replay of February when buyers rushed to lock in mortgage rates before the next increase.

Sellers accepted 917 new contracts last month – 191 more than February and 47 more than March last year. 

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) Home Sales Report. Since resales go under contract 30 to 60 days before they close, accepted contracts offer insight into the direction home sales will take.      

   “Pending sales were not the only thing that increased,” NETAR President Rick Chantry said. “New listings have increased for two straight months. But it hasn’t relieved the inventory crunch because pending sales continue to outnumber new listings.”

Active listings were down almost 30% in March.  

There were 787 active listings in mid-March. At the current sales pace, that’s a little less than a month’s inventory. Some of the city markets, and the condo market, have less than a month’s inventory.  

The typical home that closed last month was on the market for 46 days before the sale closed. That’s down 12 days from January. The time on the market has been slowly increasing since June last year. When homes spend more time on the market it signals demand is softening. Days on the market start when a listing goes public and ends when the sale is closed. 

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