March pending sales increase; inventory inches higher

Published 10:10 am Thursday, April 20, 2023

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Pending sales offered its version of mixed NE TN – SW VA housing market signals in March.
The number of accepted contracts increased. That’s what you would expect at this time of the year. It’s a sign more sellers are going to market. The monthly acceptance rate wasn’t as strong as the first two months of the year, but the spread between pending sales and new listing widened. That’s good news since it’s a boost to overall inventory although the increase was only 1.4% from February. 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, pending sales offer insight into the direction home sales will take.
Sellers accepted 728 new contracts in March, 59 more than February. Last month’s number is 134 fewer than this time last year. However, the market this time last year was still in an upward trend. Since then, sales have slowed into a pattern very similar to the pre-pandemic market.
There were more new listings than pending sales last month, boosting active inventory to 1.73 months from 1.63 months. That is how long it would take to sell everything on the market at March’s sales pace. The local market has been squeezed by less than two months of inventory since January 2021. Balanced market conditions are five to six months of inventory. The NETAR region hasn’t had balanced conditions since 2018.
The median constative days a home spent on the market before closing dropped to 50 last month. That’s also a signal that demand is picking up.
February-March price was down 0.8% in the NETAR region, down 0.8% in the Knoxville Market and 1.4% in the Chattanooga market.
New listings in the affordable market listings were down by 20%.
They were up 11.6% in the move-up market. Listings in the $300K to $400K were up 52%.
Luxury market new listings were up 38.4%.

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