Elizabethton sees spike in new homeowners for 2014

Published 8:38 am Monday, December 29, 2014

There are more new homeowners in Elizabethton and Carter County now than there were this time last year.
According to the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors, there were more closings on home purchases in the county this past November than there were in November 2013. Also, home purchases through the end of November total more than all of 2013.
“Year-to-date homes sales outperformed 2013 every month except February and April,” NETAR President Louie Leach said. “That’s a solid testament to the local market’s resilience since those gains came during a year when the region’s labor market was shedding jobs, new home construction was still struggling to return to pre-recession levels and credit was tight. November sales pushed the 11-month total three sales higher than the 2013 annual volume.”
The NETAR Trends Report says there were 15 closings in Elizabethton in November; four more than November 2013. Year to date, there have been 127 homes sold in Elizabethton. That total is 15 more than the first 11 months of 2013.
In Carter County, there were 34 house closings last month, four more than in 2013. Year-to-date, there have been 324 previously-owned single-family homes sold in Carter County – an increase of 20 more homes than in the first 11 months of 2013.
However, the rest of the Tri-Cities has seen a decrease in home sales. The NETAR report said home sales were down 1.4 percent from last November, but year-to-date sales were the best since 2008.
According to NETAR, there have been 357 home closings in the Tri-Cities, five fewer than last November. Year-to-date there have been 4,450 homes sold in the 11 counties monitored by the report. However, that was an increase of 169 more homes than in the first 11 months of 2013.
“Closings so far this year are at the highest level we’ve seen since 2008, the year before the Great Recession hit the local market,” Leach said. “Softer sales are normal for November and December, but if December’s volume is at least half the current monthly sales pace, the 2014 annual total will be a little better than the year before.”
Leach noted the annual Tri-Cities’ home sales have increased for the past three years, and 2013 was the first year they were higher than pre-recession benchmarks.
House sales were not the only housing option seeing increased sales in Carter County; while there were no condominium sales in the city for November, there have been nine sold through the end of November, an increase of five over 2013.
In the county, one condominium sold in November for a total of 20. This was 12 more condos that were sold than during the first 11 months of 2013.
For the Tri-Cities, there were 14 more condo sales through November 2014 than the same period in 2013. A total of 32 condos were sold in November, bringing the 2014 year-to-date sales to 378. The year-to-date Tri-Cities’ total included 67 more condos than in 2013.
The Trends Report also cites the average sales price in Elizabethton has grown in 2014 as well. The average price for 2014 so far has been $131,227, an increase of $39,163 from the average 2013 price. Carter County’s home prices increased as well. The average home sales price in November was $117,076, up by $23,794 from last year. November’s average sales price for a condo in Carter County was $92,000.
In the Tri-Cities as a whole, the average home price was $146,848, an increase of $8,777 from last year. On the other hand, Tri-Cities condo prices decreased on average by $10,689 to an average of $117,133.
NETAR counts Elizabethton homes sales as those made in the Elizabethton High School Zone. Sales from Elizabethton are included in the Carter County totals.
According to NETAR, the inventory of available homes in Carter County was up 9.9 percent, and up 8.7 percent in the city, during the second week of December. For the whole Tri-Cities, the inventory of homes was down by .4 percent.
The number of foreclosure sales was lower in November than any other month this year. NETAR’s Trends Report showed 8.8 percent of sales were from foreclosures. Last November, foreclosures accounted for 20 percent of all county home sales.
Foreclosures made up 14.6 percent of sales across the Tri-Cities. NETAR’s report shows that number has been flat for the past seven months.
It is taking a bit longer this year for homes and condominiums to sell, however. The average home sold in November was on the market 167 days compared to 160 last year; for a condominium, it was 203 days compared to 124 last year.

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