March home sales increase, prices dip

Published 1:32 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2023

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The Northeast Tennessee housing market went into spring selling and buying mode last month. Sales were up 43 percent from February while prices gave up a little ground.
“We’re still struggling with issues like inventory and affordability, but activity is rapidly picking up with the warmer weather,” said Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR) President Jan Stapleton. “There has been a slight increase in new listings, but buyers are snapping them up almost as fast as they go public.”
Competition in the market’s affordable price ranges also increased with some multiple offers and instances of bidding competition.”
There were 645 closing on existing single-family and condo home sales last month, up from 450 in February. Compared to last year, sales are down 20.4 percent. “The big drop was expected,” Stapleton said, “because it’s a comparison of this year’s moderating market to a record year. The monthly sales pattern is settling into the same pattern we experienced before the pandemic.”
Last month’s median sales price was $236,500, down from $240,000 in February and up 5.1 percent from March last year. The price peaked at $250,000 in May last year.
Increasing demand is showing up in the time a property is on the market before closing. Last month it was 50 days, down from 53 days in February. This time last year it was 46 days.
More demand is also showing up in the early pending sales count. It had a healthy 16 percent increase from the previous month and new listings outnumbered pending sales.
Two other indicators are the number of discounted and over-list sales. Discounted sales declined while the number of buyers who paid over the list price increased. Sellers dropped their asking price on 34 percent of March’s sales, down from 56 percent in February. March’s average discount was $7,850, down from $17,954 in February.
The number of March sales that went for more than the list price was 23.9 percent, up from 20.7 percent in February. Buyers paid an average of $13,384 over the list on the sales. February’s average was $10,870.
The region had 1.7 months of inventory at the end of March. That’s how long it would take to sell everything on the market at the current sales pace. Inventory has been in a 1.7-months rut since August last year. Five to six months of inventory is the benchmark for balanced market conditions.
Sales and prices in the county, city and community submarkets illustrated hyper local performance. Kingsport recorded the most sales, while Piney Flats had the highest median price.

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