Sellers increase listing prices again in July 

Don Fenley 

Homeowners continued increasing their listing price for the seventh straight month in July. The only sign of them yielding to a slower market is the rate that they’re upping the asking price is slowly decreasing. 

The typical – or median – listing price rate increase peaked in April at 6.8% from the previous month. It dropped to 5.4% in May. In June, it was 3.3%. Last month it dropped to 0.4%. 

At the same time, the dollar value owners are placing on listings hit an all-time high of $279,900 last month. That’s $44,950 more than it was in January. 

Last week’s Market Pulse said that the simple answer to the question of when would home prices go down was – when demand goes down. So far, it looks demand is plateauing instead of making any significant decrease. 

While closing and pending sales declined from last year’s level in July, sales prices and listing prices were up. The number of days a property is on the market before closing – another demand indicator, was unchanged from last month.  

While speculation about if we’re in a recession is leaning toward the affirmative, questions about how damaging it will be are increasing. National Association of Realtors® chief economist Lawrence Yun says several healthy economic trends, including a robust job market and new efforts to boost affordable housing, could stave off a more serious slum. 

The local jobs market continues to add jobs despite a worker crunch. Most of the open jobs are clustered at the bottom end of the wage and benefits level. But the number of available jobs has declined from peak levels of 10,000 earlier this year. 

Another encouraging factor for the local economy is over half of the mortgaged properties have equity-rich status. That means owners have 50% or more equity. That represents a significant amount of wealth and leverage homeowners have against the damaging effects of an economic downturn. 

Although current market conditions are frustrating for some and subject to some rapid changes, the overall market picture is one of stability, at least in the short term.  

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