Shelby County Posts Most Home Sales in 5 Years

By Amos Maki

Shelby County posted a five-year high in home sales and average sales prices in 2013, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports.

(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)

The uptick in sales activity and strong pricing increases point to a slow, steady rebound for the industry, which slogged through a five-year slump following the onset of the recession, real estate agents said.

“The housing market continues to recover after a brutal five to six years,” said Doug Collins of Prudential Collins-Maury Inc. “Fortunately, the gains are steady, and I believe sustainable, in 2014.”

The county netted 15,892 homes in 2013, up 6 percent from 14,936 homes sold in 2012, according to Chandler Reports,

The average home sales prices in Shelby County jumped 11 percent in 2013 to $138,072, up from $123,870 in 2012, and total sales volume for the year was $2.19 billion, up 19 percent from $1.85 billion in 2012.

According to Chandler Reports, 21 of Shelby County’s 34 ZIP codes experienced an increase in sales in 2013. Home sales reached their peak in August when 1,705 homes were sold with an average price of $139,559. The slowest month for sales in 2013 was February, when 918 homes were sold with average price of $115,363.

Real estate professionals said improved housing market fundamentals finally aligned in 2013 to produce the increase in activity. Attracted by still historically low interest rates, buyers began entering the market again, while homeowners who may have been wanting to sell for a while were drawn in by rising home prices fueled by low inventory.

“Lower inventories create upward pricing pressure, which in turn helps undo the damaged caused since 2008, thereby helping underwater homeowners get back to having an equity position in their homes,” said Collins. “This, in turn, allows more people to be able to sell who may need to due to any number of considerations.”

Collierville’s 38017 ZIP code had the highest number of sales in 2013 with 1,032, according to Chandler Reports. The 38016 Zip code of Cordova North was second, with 973 homes sold. Next was Cordova South’s 38018 Zip code, which netted 896 home sales.

Collierville led the way in sales volume in 2013 at $300.9 million. Eads’ 38028 ZIP code had the highest average sales price at $481,830, followed by Germantown East’s 38139 ZIP code with an average sales price at $400,119.

Bank, or foreclosure, sales plummeted in 2013. There were 3,030 bank sales recorded in 2013, down 21 percent from 3,818 bank sales in 2012. The average sales price of a foreclosed home was $74,243, up 10 percent from $67,497 in 2012.

Collins said he believes the market has finally worked its way through a massive glut of foreclosed homes. As foreclosures continued to mount, the federal government and lenders stepped in and created programs to help people remain in their homes. Those efforts, combined with the sheer number of foreclosure sales that occurred over the last several years, finally started to have an impact on foreclosure inventory.

“We had the financial collapse of 2008 and as a result of that we had an abnormally high number of foreclosures,” Collins said.

“I think we finally just stemmed the tide of foreclosures.”

There were 12,862 nonbank sales in 2013, up 16 percent from 11,118 nonbank sales in 2012.

There were 15,030 existing homes sold in 2013, down 6 percent from 14,140 existing homes sold in 2012. The average sales price for an existing home in 2013 was $130,923 up 12 percent from $116,530 in 2012.

There were 862 new homes sold in 2013, up 8 percent from 796 new homes sold in 2012. The average sales price for a new home in 2013 was $262,721, up 3 percent from $254,262 in 2012.

“The increase in new home sales and the decrease in the number of bank-owned sales is positive for our local market,” said Greg Glosson, president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors.

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