Move-up, luxury market push April pending home sales higher

Published 9:45 am Friday, May 17, 2024

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The Tri-Cities area housing market continues a slow, steady gain as it moves into the second quarter. The Pending Sales Index, which benchmarks to a pre-pandemic level, is up 8.9%. New contract raw numbers are up 11.8% from last year. The three-month trend is up 11.1%.

New contracts in the luxury and move-up markets drove April’s pending sales increase.

Demand – as monitored by the number of days a property is on the market before selling – picked up in March and continued through last month. 

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So far this year, home sales are up 4.7% from where they were during the first four months of last year, and the median sales price ($252,750) is up 5.3%. April’s pending sales increase in the $250-$300K price range ensures some price stabilization in the overall median price in next month’s early market report.

Pending sales are a leading indicator of housing activity based on signed contracts for existing single-family home 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 market’s direction. 

Buyers approved 320 contracts in the $100K-$250K price range last month with the best performance in the $200K-$250K price brackets.

The number of approved contracts in the move-up market was 28.7% better than last year, with the strongest performance in the $300K-$400K price range. They were 17% above last year’s total on 179 contracts.

New contracts in the luxury market were up 37.5% on 99 new approved contracts.

At mid-month, total active inventory of the counties monitored by NETAR was 1,464 listings, up from 1,342 last year. New listings have been slowly increasing, but sales have absorbed many of them. That has held a total inventory growth to a 2.3-month supply. April’s inventory is the weakest the region has seen this year, but is 83% better than the April 2021 low point.

The typical home that sold last month was on the market for 56 days, down from 61 days in March and up from 47 days last year. When homes spend more time on the market, it signals softer demand. NETAR’s measure of days on market begins on the day a property is listed until it closes.

Sellers reduced their original list price on 56% of the homes that sold last month. The average price reduction of $10,000 was the lowest it has been so far this year.

The median existing home listing price last month was $312,550. The median sales price was $260,500.