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VOL. 127 | NO. 99 | Monday, May 21, 2012

Home Sales Fall in Fayette, Improve in Tipton

By Sarah Baker

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April home sales dipped in Fayette County but rose in Tipton County, and agents who specialize in each area say foreclosures are behind it all.

Fayette County saw 33 home sales in April, a 25 percent decrease from 44 during the same month a year ago and a 39 percent decline from March’s 54, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

Conversely, Fayette County’s first quarter performance was relatively flat, with 105 sales tallied from January to March compared to 110 during the same three-month-period in 2011.

Mary Ann Tapp with Crye-Leike Realtors Inc. said she’s working harder and longer than she has in the past 25 years to make deals work. Although December, January and February were “awesome months,” business since then has decelerated.

“It’s very slow,” Tapp said. “To me it’s abnormal for it to be this slow for this time of year. It’s been slow in my entire office here, not just my personal office.”

April home sales in Fayette averaged $195,523, up 2 percent from $191,434 in April 2011. Average size jumped 11 percent to 2,679 square feet last month from 2,418 square feet during the same month a year ago.

But April’s average price per square foot dipped 10 percent – $75 per foot in 2012 compared to $83 in 2011. Tapp said prices and values are down across the board due to nontraditional sales.

“There seems to be in certain areas a tremendous amount of short sales and foreclosures – much more than I’ve ever remembered,” she said. “Every time we do a study on a particular listing that we are having to go and list to see what the prices are, our comps are not there. It’s alarming.”

Oakland’s 38060 ZIP code produced 13 sales – the most out of all 12 Fayette County ZIP codes – making up 39 percent of the county’s total sales.

Eads’ 38028 ZIP code topped the county for average price ($378,571) and average size (4,181 square feet). Average price per square foot went to Rossville’s 38066, with $113 per foot.

The price range with the most activity last month in Fayette County was $150,000 to $199,999, accounting for 30 percent of the county’s total sales. This was also the most active price range in April 2011.

Meanwhile, Tipton County home sales saw a 61 percent increase year over year with 71 sales, compared to 44 in April 2011. Tipton County home sales also represented a 29 percent increase from 55 sales in March.

First quarter sales in the county reached 142, a 36.5 percent boost from 104 during Q12011.

Tipton County’s home sales averaged $130,584 in April, up 12 percent from $116,823 in 2011. Average price per square foot was also rose to $66 compared to $57 last April.

Average square footage dipped slightly to 1,842 last month from 1,964 in 2011.

Nancy Carol with Crye-Leike has also been selling homes for more than 25 years along the northern part of Shelby County and began specializing in Tipton during the mid-1990s as it was developed. She attributes the jumps in year-over-year pricing to the trend away from foreclosures.

“Last year everybody was (saying), ‘Oh foreclosures are the way to go, that’s what you’re supposed to buy.’ And there may have even been more foreclosures on the market at that time, too,” Carol said. “This year, there are still buyers that look for foreclosures, but I also believe that there are many buyers that would like to buy your typical sale and work directly.”

Carol said because foreclosures are sold “as is,” they require more maintenance, whereas with traditional sales, repairs can often be factored into the contract and negotiating process.

Topping Tipton’s sales was Atoka’s 38004 ZIP code, producing 19 sales accounting for 27 percent of the county’s total. It was closely followed by Brighton’s 38011, with 17 sales averaging $128,077.

Atoka has large subdivisions such as Williamsburg and Templeton, Carol said, allowing more homes to be sold in that area versus in more rural areas in other parts of the county. Brighton is also home to many of Tipton’s newer schools.

Atoka also had the highest average price ($173,445), average price per square foot ($82).

The price range with the most activity in Tipton County homes for April was $100,000 to $149,999, accounting for 27 sales, or 38 percent of the county’s total sales. Last April’s most active price range was also $100,000 to $149,000.

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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