Sept. pending home sales decline    

Don Fenley 

After four months of flat performance, pending sales were down in September. Owners accepted 996 offers for single-family and condos – a decline of 103 from August.  After four months of flat performance, pending sales were down in September. Owners accepted 996 offers for single-family and condos – a decline of 103 from August. But like sales and prices, the current pending sales level is up from last year.

   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.   

   ”Last month’s pending sales performance conforms to a more normal seasonal pattern,” NETAR President Kristi Bailey said. They were in sync with an increase in the days on the market, which means there was slightly less demand. Days on the market have been slowly increasing since June. At the same time that the forward-looking indicators are signaling the market is taking a breather, inventory continues improving. She added that that should pick up for the rest of the year as more owners exit the mortgage forbearance program. 

Sales and prices declined from August while the average price was substantially higher than last year.

There were 1,383 active listings at the end of September. It was the sixth straight month they have increased.    

  The typical home that closed in September was on the market for 50 days – an increase of one day from August. The time on the market has been flat or decreased every month since April. An increase in the time a home spends on the market signals demand is softening. A decrease is a signal that demand is increasing.  

  The region had a 1.7-month inventory of homes on the market last month. 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.   

  September’s median listing price was $222,500. The median sales price was $205,000. So far this year, the median sales price is 16.1 percent higher than the first nine months of last year. In September, it was up 14.5 percent from September last year.    

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