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VOL. 130 | NO. 133 | Friday, July 10, 2015

Shelby County Home Sales Jump 13 Percent in June

By Amos Maki

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Fueled by an apparent surge in consumer confidence, home sales in Memphis and Shelby County jumped significantly in June.

There were 1,792 home sales recorded in Shelby County last month, a 13 percent increase from the 1,586 sales recorded in June 2014, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, chandlerreports.com.

“Everybody is busy in this business,” said Thomas Murphree, principal broker of Birch Tree Realty Resources Inc. and president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors “It’s overdue, really.”

Shelby County home sales surged ahead in June. There were 1,792 sales recorded last month, up 13 percent from June 2014 and a 40 percent increase from May.

(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)

The surge in activity was widespread.

Of Shelby County’s 33 ZIP codes, 21 experienced an increase in overall sales activity in June, while 24 ZIP codes saw increases in average sales prices, according to Chandler Reports.

Collierville and Germantown were the only municipalities to record fewer sales this month compared to last June. Home sales in all other municipalities, including the city of Memphis and unincorporated areas of Shelby County, all rose more than 5 percent from last year. Total revenue for the month was $295 million, up 15 percent from 2014.

“I believe it speaks directly to consumer confidence,” Murphree said. “I think we’re seeing the demand that was pent up because of economic factors finally being released.”

The Conference Board said in a June 30 report that its national consumer confidence index rose to 101.4 in June, up from a May reading of 94.6, mainly because of confidence in job and wage growth.

The 1,792 homes sold in June mark a 40 percent increase over the 1,272 homes sold in May.

“It is very hard to pinpoint a specific reason why we had a good month,” said Steve Brown, general manager for Crye-Leike Realtors Inc.’s Memphis region. “It’s a lot of different factors. It’s not just one thing. Employment is getting better. Weather is better. There was pent-up demand. Rents are going up so people are looking at investing in homes.”

Brown said Crye-Leike’s Memphis-area sales were up 39 percent in June.

“It’s the best June we’ve had since 2007,” Brown said.

The average price of a home in Shelby County in June was $164,669, up 2 percent from $161,725 in June 2014. The median price was $129,000, up from $125,000 a year ago.

Murphree said that as home values rise, homeowners become more willing to put their home on the market and pursue a move they may have been delaying partly because of concerns about the economy.

“Our inventory was low, but we’re seeing that grow a little now,” he said.

“Values overall are rising and that inspires confidence in the market. People see the market doing well and say, ‘I am going to put my house on the market.’”

Collierville’s 38017 ZIP code had the most home sales for the month, with 151 averaging $326,246. Germantown’s 38139 ZIP code had the highest average sales price – $381,852 – across 42 sales.

Non-bank sales were up 16 percent for the month – 1,614 compared to 1,392 last year – but the average sales price on arm’s-length transactions was essentially unchanged. Shelby County recorded 178 bank sales in June, down 8 percent from 194 last year.

In the second quarter, 4,399 homes were sold in Shelby County, up 5.3 percent from the 4,178 over the same period a year ago. The average sales price in the second quarter was $155,782, up 3 percent from a year ago.

Year-to-date, home sales are up 3 percent from last year, while total home sales revenue is up 7 percent.

“Given our track record over the first half of the year, our market has healed,” Murphree said. “We are seeing our market return to a normalcy that is a little overdue.”

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 69 357 17,741
MORTGAGES 66 403 20,438
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 18 44 2,689
BUILDING PERMITS 208 696 36,641
BANKRUPTCIES 52 210 11,374
BUSINESS LICENSES 22 115 5,824
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 25 90 6,804
MARRIAGE LICENSES 21 107 4,023