Nashville’s residential real estate agents are feeling the slowdown in home sales.
The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors has had to report yet another down month in sales.
Nashville-area home sales dropped about 19.5 percent in November compared to last November as the market continues to feel pressure from a national decline in the housing industry driven by the subprime mortgage mess.
For the year, the association reported that sales of single-family homes are off more than 16 percent. With 2006 being the peak year, sales for this year could end up between 2003 and 2004 for sales of single-family homes and condominiums.
“It’s not a record-setting year,” said Richard Courtney, who is in his final days as president of the GNAR. “But it’s nothing to be concerned about. It’s really a healthy market.”
Courtney pointed out that interest rates are the lowest they have been for about two-and-a-half years. The difference is it’s not as easy to get the loans, he said.
Last month, 1,747 single-family homes were sold, compared to 2,256 last November. Condo sales came in at 361, one better than a year ago. For the year, the sale of single-family homes and condos total 29,193 — more than 4,800 lower than last year.
The median price has been declining since a peak of $196,000 in June, settling at $179,900 last month. That price is lower than last November but is in line with the average for this year and last. Condo median prices rose from $159,900 to $167,035.
Prices holding steady is one bright spot. Another bright spot is sales of condominiums are ahead of last year. Projects like Bristol West End and Adelicia and others have been closing sales on units, which helps drive the numbers. Though ahead of last year’s sales, condo sales would have to post a strong December to surpass 2006 numbers.
The average time on the market increased in November with 73 days, the high end of the range that bottomed at 64 days in August. The lowest average during the boom came in at 56 days last year.
Of course, sellers have sold houses in days or even hours and agents in hot areas got accustomed to that. Now the agents talk about the time it is taking. Still, by comparison, the time on the market has a way to go to get to the 90-plus days of three and four years ago.
Brian Taylor, managing broker for Prudential Woodmont Realty’s Nashville office, said it is more important to educate sellers in how to price a house on the front end so it sells instead of establishing a price and lowering after sitting for three months.
“We don’t have the 25 percent premium on housing like we did a year ago,” Taylor said.
He said if it’s not priced right, it won’t sell. “I think there are a lot of buyers on the fence looking for a deal,” he said.