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VOL. 127 | NO. 137 | Monday, July 16, 2012

Q2 Home Sales Up 11 Percent

By Sarah Baker

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Local home sales saw an 11 percent boost during the second quarter of 2012 from the same period last year, and real estate professionals say it’s likely units and sales volume will continue to increase for the remainder of the year.

Shelby County registered 3,820 sales from April to June, compared to 3,450 during the same period last year, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. Year to date, home sales are up 15 percent.

Carol Lott, broker with Crye-Leike Realtors Inc. and president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors, called the increase in sales “interesting,” given that it’s an election year and a time when people tend to wait and see what November brings.

“A lot of buyers and sellers have been on the fence for three or four years and they are tired of sitting,” Lott said. “Low interest rates are helping with the trend as well.”

To that end, units weren’t the only category in Chandler’s second-quarter report that saw positive change year over year. Q2’s average sales price increased 9 percent to $129,864 from $119,141 in Q2 2011.

And total sales volume reached $496 million in Q2, a 21 percent increase from $411 million in Q2 2011.

Out of the county’s 34 ZIP codes, Collierville’s 38017 saw the most activity, with 254 sales, as well as bringing in the highest sales volume, with $72 million. Eads’ 38028 saw the highest average sales price at $673,340.

Dick Leike, president of Crye-Leike Realtors, said in certain areas, his agents often find themselves in multiple-offer situations.

“We’re seeing more of that, which means that buyers are out there and that inventory may be getting to slim pickings in some locations,” Leike said.

Nonbank, or traditional, sales totaled 2,771 in Q2, a 13 percent uptick from Q2 2011. Sales in that category averaged $153,294 and totaled $425 million.

But also notching an increase were bank, or foreclosure sales. Bank sales totaled 1,049 during Q2, up 6 percent from 987 in Q2 2011. The average bank transaction sold for $67,973. The category totaled $71 million in sales volume, compared to Q2 2011’s average sale of $63,863 and $63 million in volume.

Lott said rising bank sales are going to happen sporadically from this point forward as the local market normalizes.

“Memphis has always had more than its fair share of foreclosures even before the downturn,” Lott said. “The fact that prices are rising in this category suggests that even though a property may have been taken back by the bank, the neighborhood in which it is located can support a higher value. I think we will continue to see this trend as a new norm.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, July 11, that the housing market has finally turned. The report said the number of homes that are vacant is at its lowest level since 2006. Leike sees this trend in Memphis as well.

“Our management company manages 500 to 600 homes and is constantly asking for more homes being available to rent,” Leike said. “We’ve seen that there’s a shortage of rental properties in certain areas and that our inventory overall has been decreasing.”

Existing home sales reached 3,639 in Q2 with an average sales price of $123,850 and total sales of $451 million. It was a 12 percent increase from 3,261 sales in Q2 2011.

Meanwhile, new home sales slipped 4 percent to 181. However, those sales averaged $250,783 and totaled $45 million, both posting increases from Q2 2011, as well as an increase in average square footage.

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

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PROPERTY SALES 105 105 9,674
MORTGAGES 82 82 11,396
BUILDING PERMITS 134 134 20,444
BANKRUPTCIES 58 58 6,495

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