Are we there yet?
The road to recovery for Nashville's housing market has been long and bumpy, and it's impossible to tell for sure whether conditions are improving enough to declare that we have made it through the worst of the economic slump. But this month's Headline Homes may be at least a slightly positive indicator.
June sales numbers released by the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors last week showed a shallower year-over-year decline in home prices than seen in previous months. And while there were 19 percent fewer sale closings in June 2009 than in June 2008, the total number of sales crept above 2,000 for the first time since last September.
On the other hand, a City Paper analysis found that initial foreclosure filings in Davidson County spiked dramatically higher last month, from 318 in May to 459 in June.
So it's anyone's guess whether the housing market for most of us in Nashville is really healing itself, but among the upper crust, conditions do seem to be stabilizing. June's Headline Homes have an average price of $1.58 million, up 11 percent from May's average. May's list included four houses that sold for under $1 million, with the last house on the list a mere $840,000 sale. The June list bottoms out at $1.2 million.
Buyers this month include a new Tennessee Titan, a country songwriter, various corporate officers and — just when we were looking for one — an expert on cloned muscarinic receptor subtypes.
Largest single-family home purchases recorded in Davidson and neighboring counties in June 2009, ranked by dollar value:
1. 300 White Swans Crossing, Brentwood, 37027
Buyer: Tammy Matthews
Sale price: $2.095 million
Seller: Higham Management Inc.
Seller's agents: Janice R. Lovvorn (Fridrich & Clark Realty) & Laura Baugh (Worth Properties)
Buyer's agent: Laura Baugh (Worth Properties)
Complete with three-story elevator, catering kitchen, media room and guest quarters with a private entrance, this 9,000-square-foot house sits on two acres of what used to be the Goldston spread along Old Hickory Boulevard. The seller started out asking $2.54 million, and the place spent 13 months on the market.
No legal documents are on file to indicate that buyer Matthews took out a mortgage, so this may have been a cash purchase.
2. 3912 Wayland Drive, 37215
Buyers: Christopher & Janet R. Wall
Sale price: $1.84 million
Sellers: Caroline B. & Thomas W. Cook III
Sellers' agents: Caroline Cook & Linda M. Elder (Worth Properties)
Buyers' agent: Elaine Reed (Worth Properties)
The real estate listing for this property says seller Thomas Cook built it in 2006 as his family's own home. It sits on a 1.3 acre lot in Forest Hills.
3. 6440 Edinburgh Drive, 37221
Buyer: Sandra Cornelius
Sale price: $1.7 million
Seller: James W. Carell
Seller's agent: Richard B. French (French Christianson Patterson)
Buyer's agents: Laura McSpadden & Corinne Barfield (Fridrich & Clark Realty)
The listing terms this one an "equestrian estate." Arrayed on 14 acres at the Davidson-Williamson County line are a 7,300-square-foot home in "French Normandy style" and a barn/office with another 2,300 square feet of space.
Sandra Cornelius is married to Brett James Cornelius, the country singer/songwriter who performs under the stage name Brett James.
Carell runs home-health company CareAll Management. He was recently in the news after federal authorities sued him, claiming the company billed Medicare for more than $6 million in inappropriate costs. His attorney denied any wrongdoing, saying it was actually the government that owes Carell money.
4. 9533 Sunbeam Court, Brentwood, 37027
Buyer: Nathaniel Washington
Sale price: $1.599 million
Sellers: Barry S. & Rebecca A. Callahan
Agent for both sides: Gania Clayton (Fridrich & Clark Realty)
Nate Washington joined the Titans as a wide receiver earlier this year, inking a six-year, $27 million deal as a free agent after earning two Super Bowl rings in his four years with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
5. 4420 Warner Place, 37205
Buyers: Catherine E. & Toby S. Wilt Jr.
Sale price: $1.5 million
Sellers: Julie D. & Thomas F. Frist III
Agents: none of record
The eldest son of HCA co-founder Tommy Frist Jr. and his wife sell their venerable Belle Meade home to the son of well-known Nashville investor Toby Wilt. In 2005, the younger Frists paid $7.5 million for the late banker Sam Fleming's former place just down the street, at 810 Jackson Blvd. Renovations to that home have been underway for some time.
6. 283 Jones Parkway, Brentwood, 37027
Buyers: Kevin J. & Pamela J. Tyner
Sale price: $1.499 million
Builder/seller: Dan Stern Homes Inc.
Agent for both sides: Dana B. Stern (Pilkerton Realtors)
According to his bio at the social networking site LinkedIn.com, Kevin Tyner is chief financial officer of Nashville-based Document Solutions Inc.
7. 1465 Willowbrooke Circle, Franklin, 37067
Buyers: Timothy J. & Alison Pagliara
Sale price: $1.46 million
Sellers: Burt J. & Mary C. Wilson Living Trusts
Agents: no information available
Timothy Pagliara is managing partner at Capital Trust Wealth Management in Franklin.
8. 2308 Firefly Court, Franklin, 37069
Buyers: Mark A. & S.V. Penelope Jones
Sale price: $1.45 million
Builder/seller: Oak Tree Builders Inc.
Seller's agent: Dee Russell (Realty Executives)
Buyers' agent: Tim Thompson (ERA Johnson & Thompson Inc.)
A promotional video posted in November 2007 shows that this house was priced at $2.15 million then. Within its 7,100 square feet are five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and two half-baths. It sits on 11 acres in the Two Rivers Subdivision.
Someone named S.V. Penelope Jones was on the psychiatry faculty at the University of California-San Diego earlier this decade and has published a number of papers with titles like "Cloned Muscarinic Receptor Subtypes Expressed in A9 Cells Differ in Their Coupling to Electrical Responses."
9. 4910 Maymanor Circle, 37205
Buyers: Frances J. & Albert E. Ambrose Jr.
Sale price: $1.45 million
Sellers: David H. & Linda B. Rue
Sellers' agent: Amanda Wachtler (Pilkerton Realtors)
Buyers' agent: Jamie Granbery (Pilkerton Realtors)
Albert Ambrose, who comes from a family that has been in the printing business in Nashville since the mid-19th century, is president of E.T. Lowe Publishing, a typographer and output service bureau founded in 1906.
Last spring, Bass Berry & Sims hired David Rue to serve as managing director of its corporate and securities and health care practices — even though he is not a practicing attorney.
10. 3033 Flagstone Drive, Franklin, 37069
Buyers: Jack E. & Beverly C. Polson
Sale price: $1.2 million
Seller: Kevin J. & Pamela J. Tyner
Agents: no information available
Jack Polson is executive vice president and chief accounting officer for Franklin-based Psychiatric Solutions Inc.