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VOL. 132 | NO. 10 | Friday, January 13, 2017

Shelby County Home Sales Prices Hit Record High

By Patrick Lantrip

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The Memphis and Shelby County housing market remained healthy in 2016, where a record high in average home sales prices and a 15-year low in foreclosures helped make the housing crisis of last decade seem more and more like a distant memory.

The average sales price reached $158,651 in 2016, a 3.4 percent increase from the previous year and the highest average on record, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports. Eads’ 38028 ZIP code recorded the highest average price, at $469,904.

Home Sales, Prices Also Rise in December

Shelby County saw 1,466 home sales recorded in December, up 7.6 percent from the 1,362 sales in December 2015, according to Chandler Reports. The median price for the month was $124,000, which was 7.8 percent higher than the $115,000 mark from a year ago.

Cordova, Arlington and Collierville were the top three locations is terms of total number of sales, with 96, 90 and 88, respectively. 

Of the 117 new-home sales in December, the greatest number was in Arlington/Lakeland’s 38002 ZIP code, which recorded 19 new sales averaging $292,538.

Conversely, 1,349 existing homes were sold for an average of $149,537, which was up 4 percent. 

There were 126 bank (foreclosure) sales in the month of December, compared with 1,340 non-bank sales. Banks sales averaged $86,785, an 11 percent increase from December 2015, while non-bank sales averaged $167,581, a decrease of 7 percent.

The total number of units sold in 2016 rose 8 percent from 2015, with 17,537 sales recorded for the year – the highest level since 2007, according to the Chandler Reports data. Total home sales volume rose to $2.8 billion compared with $2.5 billion in 2015, a 12 percent increase. Collierville’s 38017 ZIP code tallied the highest number of sales with 1,182.

“The inventory is so low that it is becoming a sellers’ market,” said Lee McWaters, the second-generation owner of McWaters & Associates Realtors. “With the supply being limited, it’s going to drive prices up, and the properties that are in good shape are getting top dollar.”

McWaters said the inventory is at the lowest point he can remember since he started selling real estate in 1987.

Despite the low inventory, sales of both new and existing homes increased, as did the average price in each category. Sales of new homes rose 11 percent in 2016, with 888 sales recorded compared with 802 in 2015. The average price of a new home grew 4 percent to $304,647 from $291,898 in 2015.

By comparison, 16,646 existing home sales were recorded in 2016, up 8 percent from 2015, and the average price of $150,864 last year was 3 percent higher than in 2015.

Arlington/Lakeland’s 38002 ZIP code recorded more new-home sales for the year than any other municipalities, with 180 sales averaging $291,816.


Year to date through November, new-home permits rose 7 percent to 874, compared with 817 recorded during the same period of 2015.

ZIP codes 38002 (Arlington/Lakeland), 38017 (Collierville) and 38125 (southeast Shelby County) recorded the most new-home permits through November with 179, 168 and 114, respectively.

Crye-Leike Real Estate Services sales leader and vice president Chet Whitsitt said that since it takes a year at minimum for developers to plan and start construction on a subdivision, we’re just now seeing an uptick in new homes whose seeds were planted when the market began to stabilize several years ago

“The developers who have been developing these subdivisions are fixing to come into play this year more than ever,” Whitsitt said. “I think, the company thinks, and the board of Realtors think that (2017) is going to be a banner year.”


Shelby County foreclosure activity was also the lowest in more than 15 years, according to Chandler Reports, with fewer than 2,000 recorded for the year – a 31 percent decrease from 2015.

Of the 1,968 residential foreclosures recorded in Shelby County, the average foreclosure amount was $77,191 and the average tax appraisal value was $110,953. Fifty-seven percent of these properties have been resold by the bank and were owned an average of 13 years prior to foreclosure.

Every municipality saw a decline in foreclosures except for Lakeland, which had 20 foreclosures in 2016 compared with 16 the previous year.

Overall, the number of bank sales – or foreclosure sales – reached 1,793 with a total volume of $141.9 million, while 15,741 non-bank sales were recorded totaling $2.6 billion.

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

PROPERTY SALES 100 375 3,773
MORTGAGES 63 202 2,481
BUILDING PERMITS 392 651 8,607
BANKRUPTCIES 38 117 2,021