Tri-Cities home sales take a breather

February Tri-Cities’ home sales took a breather from the double-digit increase we saw in January with 30 fewer closings.

“Don’t read too much into that,” said Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR) President Kristi Bailey. “Residential closings were equal to February last year, and this year’s sales trend is up 7.9%.”

Some home sellers are making changes to how prospective buyers view their listings amid growing concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak.   In a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, agents disclosed their clients are taking extra precautions such as forgoing open houses and requiring buyers to sanitize hands and remove shoes.

There were 458 residential closings last month, according to NETAR’s Trends Report. The average sales price of $168,951 was down 1.6% ($2,758) from last year. Single-family closings totaled 423, one more than last year, while condominium/townhome closings were one less at 35. The average single-family price was $171,740, down 0.7% while the average townhome sales price was $135,249, down 14.2%.  So far this year, 946 residential resales have closed with the average sales prices up by 0.9%. That is a 7.9% gain from the first two months of last year.

The number of pending contracts continues to be higher than usual, but so is the fall through rate, according to NETAR Data Analyst Don Fenley. Much of the fall-through increase is due to contingencies on accepted contracts.

February’s active listings count was 3.4 months of inventory, 32.7% lower than February last year. Months of inventory describes how long it would take to exhaust listings at the February sales rate. A single-family home was on the market for an average of 105 days before selling. The days on the market for a townhome-condo sale was 88 days.