Data Point to Improving Housing Market

By Amos Maki

The average number of days a home in the Memphis area stayed on the market for the month of May dipped to a seven-year low for that month, providing more evidence of a housing market in recovery.

All indications are that the local real estate market is bouncing back, good news for homeowners looking to sell, including this property on Mud Island.  

(Daily News File/Lance Murphey)

According to the Memphis Area Association of Realtors, the average market time for a home in May was 86 days, a 16.5 percent dip from 103 days in April and the lowest market time total for May since 2006.

Those numbers come from MAAR’s Multiple Listing Service, which covers Shelby, Fayette, Tipton, Hardeman, Hardin, McNairy, and Lauderdale counties in Tennessee; DeSoto County, Miss., and Crittenden County, Ark.

“This improvement with days on the market I think is a forecast for the summer,” said MAAR President Regina Hubbard. “It’s a great time for sellers to put their homes on the market.”

May was a good month for real estate agents, who have been smashed by the bursting of the housing bubble and the recession.

“It’s becoming a more stable market,” said Jason Gaia, a Realtor with Prudential Collins Maury Realtors and a MAAAR director.

Shelby County netted 1,457 home sales in May, up from 1,381 sales last May, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

The total sales volume in May in Shelby County was $197.2 million, up 15 percent from $171 million at the same point last year, according to Chandler Reports.

And the average sales price last month was $135,374, up 9 percent from $124,005 in May 2012, according to Chandler Reports.

The number of existing home sales increased 5 percent, from 1,320 last May to 1,388 this May. Total sales for May were $180 million, a 15 percent leap from $156 million last year. The average sales price for an existing home in May was $129,707, up 9 percent from $118,892 last year, according to Chandler Reports.

New home sales totaled 69 in May, up from 61 the same month last year. Non-bank sales in May totaled 1,178, up from 1,228 last year, while bank – or foreclosure – sales dropped to 279 in May, compared to 368 last year, according to Chandler Reports.

Year to date, Shelby County is 9 percent ahead of the first five months of 2012; the county has seen 6,176 home sales, up from 5,673 from a year ago.

The total sales volume of $777.7 million this year marks a 20 percent improvement from $650.8 million and the average sales amount of $125,925 marks a 10 percent improvement from $114,710 in 2012.

Gaia said May’s numbers were not a one-time fluke but the continuation of a steadily improving housing market.

“It continues to build each month and become more solid and stable,” he said. “This has been steadily improving and climbing since the start of the year and getting some feet under it, which is some really positive news.”

Chandler Reports is a division of The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc.