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VOL. 131 | NO. 30 | Thursday, February 11, 2016

Shelby County Home Sales Slow in January

By Madeline Faber

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After closing out 2015 on a high note, Shelby County home sales are off to a slow start this year.

Shelby County home sales are off to a slow start this year with 971 recorded in January, a 28.9 percent drop from December.


The 971 home sales recorded in January marked a 28.9 percent drop from the 1,366 sales in December, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports.

Last month’s sales were 4.4 percent lower than the 1,016 recorded in January 2015.

“We’re not robust as we once were, that’s for sure,” said Thomas Murphree, principal of Birch Tree Realty Resources.

Year over year, January sales revenue dropped 9.6 percent to $128.9 million compared with total revenue of $142.7 million in the year-ago period.

“As far as the actual sales, last year was a great year. Our national forecasters are predicting a 3 percent increase in sales. That’s not going to set the world to world on fire, but we’ll take it,” Murphree continued.

He attributes the decrease in home sales to seasonal patterns and mortgage rates.

“People don’t want to go looking at a house when it’s cold. We always see that seasonal effect in our market,” he said.

Average sales prices fell to $132,722, a 6 percent decrease from January 2015, while the median sales price was $97,000, down 8 percent from the same period.

Across Shelby County’s 33 ZIP codes, 12 saw an increase in overall sales activity for the month and 15 saw increases in average sales prices, according to the Chandler Reports data.

Cordova had the most sale activity in January. The Cordova South ZIP code of 38018 saw 62 total sales averaging 1,957 square feet and $146,125. Cordova North’s 38016 saw 58 home sales averaging 2,336 square feet and $171,701.

Arlington/Lakeland’s 38002 ZIP code saw the greatest number of new-home sales, with 16 total averaging $255,272, according to Chandler Reports.

January new-home sales jumped 51 percent, with 53 recorded sales for the month compared with 35 a year ago.

“(New homes) did go up quite a bit, but they’re still small in number,” Murphree said. “In Shelby County, the main issue there is the lack of vacant lots. Shelby County is getting built out. And in Collierville, they’ve built a house on just about every piece of land they can get.”

The average sales price of a new home fell 17 percent to $266,716 compared to the year-ago period.

Bank sales fell 8 percent, with 144 recorded in January compared with 156 recorded in the same time last year. Average prices for bank sales were down 9 percent.

“To me, the exciting part is the continued decline in foreclosures, which I think does speak to the general health of the market itself,” Murphree said.

Chandler Reports’ latest figures on new-home permits show a slight decrease for full-year 2015, with 847 home permits filed – 3 percent lower than 2014.

The ZIP codes with the highest number of permits were Arlington’s 38002 (208), Collierville’s 38017 (163) and Bartlett/Memphis’ 38133 (77).

At the end of the year, there were 753 homes in new housing inventory, a 1 percent decrease from 2014.

“Inventory is still a little bit lower than what we’d like to see. I’d much rather have seen an increase,” Murphree said.

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

PROPERTY SALES 28 290 16,197
MORTGAGES 33 165 10,087
BUILDING PERMITS 184 608 38,544
BANKRUPTCIES 33 125 7,597