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VOL. 126 | NO. 166 | Thursday, August 25, 2011

MAAR: Home Sales Improve 4.6 Pct.

By Sarah Baker

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The Memphis Area Association of Realtors’ latest numbers show a nice change of pace from recent residential real estate totals with a healthy 4.6 percent bump in July home sales.

The Memphis area recorded 1,289 home sales last month, up from 1,232 in July 2010, according to the association’s MAARdata property records database. The MAARdata system includes records of all property transactions in Shelby, Fayette and Tipton counties.

But total sales decreased 1.9 percent from June’s 1,314 units. July’s average sales price of $127,990 declined 5.5 percent from July 2010; the 2011 average price of $124,462 is down 2.2 percent from the same period of 2010.

Year to date, total sales are off 16.6 percent from 2010. Inventory was flat, with 8,498 units listed for sale with an averaging listing price of $213,078. YTD sales volume declined 16.8 percent to $915.3 million.

John Stamps, 2011 vice president of MAAR, said July’s numbers are a reflection of last year’s first-time homebuyer’s tax credit, which bolstered sales during the first half of 2010 before falling off in July.

“From last year in July and this year in July, we were in more of a normal market, instead of being stimulated at the first part of the year and then the sales just dropped off,” said Stamps, principal broker of Prudential Collins-Maury Inc. Realtors. “We’re looking for the next couple of months to be more of a normal, whatever the new normal is. And it’s not that it’s necessarily pretty, but that’s why I think we’re seeing definitely an increase this July compared to a year ago July.”

Besides the overall year over year sales increase, another bright spot in July’s numbers can be found in its existing home sale totals. That category boasted 1,230 sales for a 7.2 percent boost from 2010’s 1,147 sales.

The other side of that equation was that new home sales took a hit, with only 59 sales compared to July 2010’s 85. Last month’s bank sales saw a notable 14 percent increase, with 392 recorded averaging $60,799.

Meanwhile, July’s nonbank sales totaled 897 units, representing a 1 percent boost from July 2010’s 888. Average sales price of July nonbank sales was $127,062.

The software glitch that caused some data to move forward from one month to another has been corrected by MAAR’s software vendor, Redplus Innovations. The January through June 2011 Market Reports have been recalculated and will be reposted on the website this week.

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