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VOL. 127 | NO. 201 | Monday, October 15, 2012

Homes Sales Jump 17 Percent

By Sarah Baker

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Shelby County home sales in the third quarter increased 17 percent compared to the third quarter last year, and local professionals say there’s a feeling of optimism among buyers and those in the business.

Shelby County saw 4,176 home sales from July 1 to Sept. 30, up from 3,556 sales during the same period in 2011, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. Year to date, 11,177 home sales have been registered, a 16 percent improvement from 9,664 units this time last year.

Greg Glosson, broker at Fast Track Realty LLC and 2013 president-elect for the Memphis Area Association of Realtors, said he gets the sense that confidence is slowly returning to the market.

“We have some pent-up demand, and I think people are starting to be more optimistic about the economy and about jobs,” Glosson said. “Combined with extraordinarily low interest rates, a lot of people that have been on the fence have decided to move and purchase right now.”

Pricing posted increases year over year as well. Home sales averaged $131,632 and totaled $550 million during the third quarter, compared to $128,860 and $458 million, respectively, in 2011.

Mindy Creech, a RE/MAX on Track agent and MAAR director, said her team has seen more multiple-offer situations, and some houses are even selling for more than the listing price.

“We’ve definitely noticed an upswing,” Creech said. “Prices are still a little bit lower than they were, but Memphis didn’t experience the drastic price reductions that a lot of the places in the country did.”

Out of the county’s 34 ZIP codes, Collierville’s 38017 generated the most housing activity in Q3, with 286 sales averaging $294,496 and totaling $84 million. Germantown East’s 38139 had the highest average price in the Memphis area, with 108 sales at $425,809.

Also outperforming last year’s totals were bank, or foreclosure, sales. Those homes notched 1,008 sales from July to September, up 11 percent from 905 last year. Year to date, bank sales are up 12 percent to 3,007 sales.

Glosson, who specializes in bank-owned properties, said part of this year’s increase is due to changes in bank procedures.

“Last year at this time, we were really kind of going through the whole robo-signing mess, and a lot of foreclosures were halted,” Glosson said. “It’s almost natural to see an increase this year in those, because those issues have been for the most part resolved.”

September Home Sales
Improve 19 Percent

Much like the third quarter, home sales in September saw impressive strides from the same month last year.

Shelby County notched 1,273 sales last month, a 19 percent increase from 1,070 sales in September 2011, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

The average price of a home in September was $127,912, which was consistent with the same month last year. Total sales volume reached $163 million, however, compared to $134 million in September 2011.

Frayser’s 38127 ZIP code had the most home sales with 83. Germantown East’s 38139 had the highest average sales price at $394,724.

Keeping in line with the quarterly trend, bank sales posted a 12 percent increase in September to 289 averaging $61,108 and totaling $17.6 million. Twenty-three percent of total home sales in September were bank sales, up 12 percent from last year.

On the other hand, 984 nonbank sales were recorded, a 21 percent boost from last year. Nonbank sales averaged $147,533 and totaled $145 million in sales volume.

New homes were unchanged year over year at 67 sales that totaled $16.9 million. Average sales price, however, jumped 9 percent from last September to $252,293.

Existing home sales were up 21 percent to 1,206. Those averaged $121,002 and totaled $146 million.

– Sarah Baker

Bank sales averaged $65,841 and totaled $66 million in the third quarter. Cordova North’s 38106 and Raleigh’s 38128 tied for the most bank sales with 72 each, although Raleigh’s pricing was significantly lower.

Creech said she frequently gets calls from buyers that don’t want to look at anything but foreclosures.

“They think that’s going to be their best deal that they can get right now,” Creech said. “And there are still a lot of foreclosures out there, so there’s a lot for them to choose from, unfortunately.”

Buyers are so focused on getting a bargain they’re more willing to wait for a distressed house to make its way through closing.

“We have a lot of short sales on the market right now – more than we’ve ever, ever had,” Creech said. “Short sales take longer. Six months ago, if I showed somebody a house that’s a short sale and told them they needed to be prepared that it could take a couple of months to finalize this deal, they would just say, ‘No, I don’t want to mess with that.’ Now, people are going, ‘that’s OK, I have the time, we can wait.’”

Conversely, nonbank, or traditional, sales rose 20 percent year over year to 3,168 in the quarter. Sales in that category averaged $152,566 and totaled $483 million. As with overall sales, Collierville topped nonbank sales with 263.

Meanwhile, sales on the new home construction front were relatively flat, with 209 sales in third quarter compared to 215 a year ago. Year to date, 560 new homes have sold, compared to 566 in 2011.

Average pricing for new homes saw a 20 percent boost to $256,276, and sales jumped 17 percent to $54 million. Arlington’s 38002 led Shelby County in new home sales with 50, followed by Collierville with 43.

Existing sales reached 3,967, a 19 percent increase from 3,341 during last year’s third quarter. Homes in that group averaged $125,066 and totaled $496 million.

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

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PROPERTY SALES 83 363 9,932
MORTGAGES 91 378 11,692
BUILDING PERMITS 213 788 21,098
BANKRUPTCIES 50 213 6,650

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