May home sale closings down, but average sales price second best in 11 years

Hank Hayes • Jun 15, 2019 at 9:00 AM

GRAY — May’s regional housing market could not match the decade-high closings benchmark set in May last year, but that did not hold back home price increases, according to a report released by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR).

Closings were down 2.7 percent across the 11-county area monitored by NETAR. At the same time, the average single-family home resale price was the best this year and the second highest since 2008.

There were 727 closings last month — 664 on single-family homes (down 3.9 percent) and 63 on townhome and condominium sales (up 12.5 percent). The average single-family home resales price was $182,378 (up 2.5 percent), and the average townhome/condo resale price was $128,291, (down 0.3 percent from May last year).

“When you look at the total number of closings and deals so far this year, things are definitely busier than they were last year,” said NETAR President Karen Randolph. “So far this year, we’ve had 2,885 residential closings. That’s 84 more than the first five months of last year. There were also 431 more new pending sales than there were this time last year.”

One pattern that has become a market staple continued last month. There are more new approved contracts than new listings. So far this year, the number of new listings is up 8.7 percent, while the count for new contracts is up 14.3 percent. “We had 3.7 months of inventory in May,” Randolph added. “That’s the lowest it has been in 24 months.”

Both the median and average listing prices increased to new record levels in May. The average listing price was $281,000, up 16 percent from May last year. The median listing price — the point where half of the listings were higher and half were lower — increased to $200,000. That’s 15 percent higher than it was in May last year.

The median days local listings were in Realtor Property Resource (RPR) last month was 63 — the same as April and the least time on the market in the past two years. That number is the median across 11 counties. A look at the county level shows less time on market. For example, it’s 51 days in Unicoi County, 52 days in Sullivan County and 53 days in Carter County.

NETAR’s report capsulizes housing market conditions in Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties in Northeast Tennessee and Scott, Lee, Wise and Washington counties in Southwest Virginia. It also includes market data from the region’s primary city markets. City and county market share, year-over-year and year-to-data closings and average sales prices can be found on the NETAR website’s market analytics page at https://netar.us/market-analytics.