‘Good News’ for Housing in Second Quarter

By Amos Maki

Shelby County’s housing rebound continued in the second quarter, with key indicators showing improvement over the same period last year.

(Daily News File/Lance Murphey)

Shelby County netted 4,226 home sales in the second quarter, an 11 percent bump from 3,821 in the second quarter of 2012, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

Total sales volume in the second quarter was $597.1 million, up 21 percent from $494.1 million in the second quarter of last year.

The average sales price was $141,303, up 9 percent from $129,316 in the second quarter of last year.

“We started this year out and we projected we would have moderate, steady improvement over the year and that’s what we’re seeing,” said Regina Hubbard of ERA Legacy Realty and president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors. “It is absolutely good news.”

Collierville’s 38017 ZIP code saw the highest number of sales in the second quarter, with 290 homes taken off the market. Next was Cordova North’s 38016 ZIP code, which recorded 251 sales. The University of Memphis’ 38111 ZIP code came in third with 246 sales.

Collierville led the way in total sales with $85.9 million, followed by Arlington’s 38002 ZIP code at $47.9 million. Eads’ 38028 ZIP code – which recorded 10 sales in the quarter – had the highest average sales price at $692,210, followed by Germantown East’s 38139 ZIP code at $405,264.

The number of existing home sales increased 10 percent, to 3,998 in the second quarter from 3,624 in 2012. The average sales price for an existing home in the second quarter was $134,438, up 9 percent from $123,019 last year.

Doug Collins of Prudential Collins-Maury said the moderate improvement in housing numbers was bound to happen after the slump the market has endured since 2006.

“I think it’s a result of having been so bad for about six years,” Collins said. “We bottomed in 2011 and we saw an increase in 2012 but that increase was off such low numbers it was nothing to write home about.

“We’re getting back to around 2001 levels. The heydays of 2005 and 2006 were not sustainable levels. They were created by Wall Street and led to the housing crash, and that wasn’t good for anybody.”

New home sales totaled 228 in the second quarter, up 16 percent from 197 over the same period last year. The average sales price for a new home was $261, 693, up from $245, 161 last year.

Non-bank sales in the second quarter totaled 3,401, up 23 percent from 2,771 last year, while bank – or foreclosure – sales dropped to 825 in the quarter, down 21 percent from 1,050 last year.

Hubbard said the reduction in foreclosure sales was having a trickle-down effect.

“It’s affecting our inventory, which affects the sales price,” said Hubbard. “We do not have much of that inventory out there.”

Hubbard said the decrease in foreclosure sales should excite homeowners who have been considering selling but have been holding off because of worries over the housing market.

“My word to sellers out there who have been thinking about it and want to make that move is now is the time,” she said. “I encourage them all the time, let’s move forward.”

For the year, Shelby County has recorded 7,608 homes sales, up 9 percent from 7,000 sales over the same period last year. Total sales volume tipped the scales at $1 billion, up 20 percent form $839 million last year. The average year-to-date average sales price in Shelby County was $132,153, up 10 percent from $119,948.

Leon Dickson, owner of Benchmark at Southwind Realtors LLC, said the improved market metrics have his office buzzing with action.

“There’s more activity in the office,” Dickson said. “You have a lot going on across the board to make it an exciting time for Realtors.”

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