December home sales increase over 20%

Year-end home sales most since 2007

There were 2,147 closings during the month of December, according to figures provided by the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. This is a 21.1% increase from the 1,773 closings reported for the same period in 2011.

Fourth quarter closings are 6,657 for Greater Nashville. That total is up 30.7% from the 5,093 closings during the fourth quarter of 2011.

Final numbers for 2012 show there were 26,097 homes sold in the region, according to figures provided by the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. Compared to the prior year, the final figures are up 26.5%. There were 20,624 closings in 2011.

“December home sales were up more than 20% over December 2011, and for the ninth consecutive month, over 2,000,” said GNAR President Price Lechleiter. “Single-family residential closings alone this month exceeded the total closings for all categories combined in December 2011. And for the first time since 2007, year-end home sales numbers surpassed 26,000.

“The Greater Nashville and Middle Tennessee real estate market is showing healthy signs of recovery, something our region shouldn’t take for granted. The same growth is not necessarily being experienced in other parts of the state and nation. Our diverse economy, progressive local and regional leadership and even the TV show, Nashville highlight our city and create a positive spirit and outlook. That results in both businesses and families being attracted here.”

“All nine counties in our primary service area experienced significant increases in home sales, with many of them exceeding 20% for the year. And, modest increases in residential median prices were a clear trend throughout the region.”

There were 1,857 sales pending at the end of December, compared with 1,652 pending sales at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 82 days.

The median residential price for a single-family home during December was $187,900, and for a condominium it was $149,178. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $168,500 and $140,062, respectively.

Inventory at the end of December was 15,054, down from 17,216 in December 2011.

“In December, the median price for single-family homes was up more than 10% and up six percent for condominiums. Though prices are rising, homebuyers still have a very favorable environment as affordability remains high and interest rates continue to be at historic lows,” said Lechleiter. “There is a total inventory supply of only seven months remaining, with just a five-month supply for residential and condominiums. But with farm/land/lot sales up significantly, home building and development activity may be increasing in the near future.

“Trends going into 2013 are positive and encouraging for buyers, sellers and realtors in the greater Nashville and middle Tennessee area. But there are many unknown factors, including federal government fiscal choices. Confidence is currently much better than it has been in recent years, but fragile. Solving some of the nation’s fiscal issues will be a great help to sustaining the recovery of the housing and real estate market.”

The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors is one of Middle Tennessee’s largest professional trade associations and serves as the primary voice for Nashville-area property owners. Realtor is a registered trademark that may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of Realtors and subscribe to its strict code of ethics.