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Middle TN homes sales, prices surge in May

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Jun. 6, 2013   

 

FILE / Associated Press

Written by

Duane Marsteller

The Tennessean

 

Middle Tennessee home sales continued their torrid growth pace in May, according to figures just released by the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors.

Realtors closed 3,061 sales of existing homes during the month, 22.4 percent higher than the 2,500 closings in May 2012. It’s the 23rd consecutive month that sales exceeded year-ago figures by at least 15 percent, with year-to-date sales up 24 percent from last year.

May also was the first time that closings topped 3,000 in a single month in nearly six years. The last time it happened: August 2007, just before the housing slump took root.

“That’s a major milestone for our region,” said Price Lechleiter, the group’s president, in a statement.

But he again struck a cautionary chord, saying “while the signs are encouraging, they are far from solid.” He cited uncertainty about the availability of federal financing, the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the potential changes to the mortgage interest deduction.

Another, more-pressing concern: Tight inventory. The number of homes for sales barely moved from April to May, and remained 14 percent below year-ago levels.

As a result, homes are selling faster and for more.

The median single-family sales price jumped $10,000 to $195,000 from April to May and by 9 percent in the past year, and homes sold in May were on the market an average of 73 days — more than a week shorter than earlier this year. A year ago, the median price was $179,000.

Condominium prices have risen even faster: From $160,000 per unit in May 2012 to $179,000 last month, a 12-percent jump.

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