Tri-Cities pending home sales continues decline in November

Published 2:55 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2022

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Tri-Cities area pending sales continued falling in November. Sellers accepted 605 new contracts, down 81 from October and 171 fewer than November last year, for a 22% decline.
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). Since resales go under contract 30 to 60 days  before they close, accepted contracts offer insight into home sales’ direction.
“Last month’s pending sales were a continuation of a slowing trend that began in May,” NETAR President Rick Chantry said. “Despite a steady decline since their peak during the week of November 10, mortgage rates have been a big part in slowing existing homes sales and flattening prices.”
At mid-month, the region had 1,384 properties on the market — 17 more than the previous month. At the end of November, the region had a 1.8-month inventory of homes on the market for sale. That’s the time it would take to sell everything on the market at the current sales pace. “Inventory has increased at a snail’s pace,” Chantry said. “We have had less than two months of inventory for 24 months, and the last time we had balanced market conditions was the first quarter of 2018.”
The typical home sold in November was on the market for 49 days before it closed. That’s up one day from October and the seventh monthly increase this year. However, it is still five days less than it was this time last year. Time on the market is a demand indicator. When it increases, demand is softening. When it declines, demand is rising. Typically, sales slow during the holiday season, and inventory is flat. After that, things change as sellers start their marketing strategies for the spring peak buying and season.
The current outlook for 2023 is for a continuation normalization of sales and flat to slightly higher prices. The lack of inventory continues to keep upward pressure on prices. The 2024 outlook is for a more robust market.

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