Soft townhome sales throw shade on region’s June housing report

Hank Hayes • Jul 18, 2019 at 5:30 PM

GRAY — Lagging closings on townhome and condominium sales nudged the regional housing market’s June residential resales into negative territory, according to a report released by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR).

Total closings were down by 0.7% (five closings) compared to June last year. At the same time, the average single-family resale price was a record high $188,957 — up 8.5% from June last year.

There were 730 closings last month (683 single-family, up 1.9%, and 47 townhomes, down 27.2%), NETAR reported.

“Don’t be fooled by closings numbers. The housing market in the 11-county region monitored by NETAR continues to set new sales and price records,” NETAR President Karen Randolph said. “Falling mortgage rates and a growing local jobs market are keeping consumer confidence high when it comes to real estate.”

The mid-year trend shows total residential sales are 2.2% better than the first six months of last year while single-family resales are up 2.8%. Townhome sales, however, are throwing shade at the mid-year total residential sales mark with a 3.9% decline.

The mid-year average price performance is better than last year across the board. So far, the total residential average price is up 2.8%, the single-family resale average is up 3.7%, and the townhome average is up 1.7%.

“Lack of inventory has a chokehold on sales, and that’s driving prices higher,” Randolph pointed out.

In June, there were 860 new listings, but inventory dropped to a 3.2-month supply of properties on the market. There were a little more than 2,100 active listings in June, which was also a two-year low.

The average single-family sale that closed in June was on the market for 105 days. “That’s the least time on the market since 2008,” Randolph noted.

The story for townhome sales is the same. In June, the average was 75 days. Aggressively priced properties are selling much faster — especially those in the $200,000 and below price range, she added.

NETAR’s Trends Report capsules housing market conditions in Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties in Northeast Tenn. 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.