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VOL. 132 | NO. 50 | Friday, March 10, 2017

Shelby County Home Sales Prices Rise in February

By Patrick Lantrip

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Warm weather in February correlated with a real estate market that is heating up as home sales prices in Memphis and Shelby County continue to climb in 2017.

The average home sales price in February was $145,421, a 7 percent increase from $135,330 a year ago, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, chandlerreports.com.

With an average price of $315,784, developers in Memphis and Shelby County pulled 46 new home permits in January, which is up 5 percent from 2016.

(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)

Lauren Harkins Wiuff, a Marx-Bensdorf Realtors agent and the Memphis Area Association of Realtors’ 2017 president-elect, said February’s warmer-than-normal temperature may have been partially responsible for heating up the Memphis market.

“Two years ago, we had a major snow this week,” Wiuff said. “When it’s cold and it’s snowing, Memphians don’t want to do anything. The fact that it’s been 70 degrees in February – it got the flowers growing early and it got the buyers wanting to look early.”

The volume of home sales in February reached $162 million, up 8 percent from $150 million a year ago, according to the Chandler Reports data.

Eads’ 38028 ZIP code recorded the highest average price, at $535,900.

The number of units sold was up 1 percent in February, with 1,115 sales recorded for the month compared with 1,107 last year.

Existing-home sales in February remained almost identical year over year, with 1,047 recorded last month compared with 1,046 in February 2016. The average price of existing homes, meanwhile, reached $137,596 in February, up 8 percent from $126,913 a year ago.

Sales of new homes rose 11 percent for the month, with 68 sales recorded compared with 61 in February 2016. The average price of a new home, however, declined 5 percent to $265,903 from $279,665 a year ago.

Arlington/Lakeland’s 38002 ZIP code recorded the most new-home sales for February, with 14 sales averaging $307,096

For Crye-Leike’s Judy McLellan, the month of February wasn’t bad, but she said the lack of new inventory is keeping the market from reaching its full potential – something she hopes to see change in the coming months.

“Spring is coming and people are starting to get the bug,” McLellan said. “I’m hoping, like other agents, that there’s going to more to come to the market.”

Building permits

Developers pulled 46 new-home permits averaging $315,784 in January, up 5 percent from 2016.

Regency Home Builders was the top builder in January, with seven new-home sales recorded averaging $285,068 and 13 new-home permits filed.

The areas seeing the most new-home permits in January were Collierville’s 38017 ZIP code, with 13 permits averaging $460,259, and Arlington/Lakeland’s 38002, with nine permits averaging $277,644.

James Reid, president of Reid Homes Inc. and the West Tennessee Home Builders Association, spoke about the lack of new building permits at Chandler Reports’ annual Real Estate Review seminar, held Wednesday, March 8, at Memphis Botanic Garden.

“While the market has obviously improved tremendously, last year in Shelby County we only pulled about 925 permits, which traditionally we’ve done in the neighborhood of 3,000 to 4,000,” Reid told The Daily News. “So while we’ve recovered some, we’re still down from a typical year.”

Reid said he sees the market getting a little better, but doesn’t expect it to return to the 3,000-permit level anytime soon. He cites a few obstacles, including lack of available lots and competition with North Mississippi, which has better infrastructure for builders in place.

However, he pointed out that growth, no matter how slow, is still much better than the alternative.

“I really do think that we are on an upswing,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a slow upswing, but any upswing is welcome.”

Foreclosure activity

Shelby County residential foreclosures continued to decline in February, according to Chandler Reports, with 127 recorded for the month – a 25 percent decrease from last February.

Of those 127, the average foreclosure amount was $64,686 and the average tax appraisal value was $107,055.

The city of Germantown recorded four foreclosures for the month averaging $184,000, which is up 100 percent from a year ago.

Cordova North’s 38016 ZIP code had the highest foreclosure inventory value of $14 million across 103 properties, while Westwood’s 38109 ZIP code had the most homes in foreclosure inventory through February, with 162 valued at $6 million.

Among lenders, Fannie Mae had the highest foreclosure inventory, with 161 homes valued at $17 million.

Bank sales – or foreclosure sales – represented 9 percent of all Shelby County homes sold in February. The 99 bank sales recorded last month marked a 44 percent decrease year over year. The volume of bank sales dropped 8 percent to $9.5 million.

Meanwhile, non-bank sales increased 9 percent to 1,016 last month, with the volume of non-bank sales also increasing 9 percent to $153 million.

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

PROPERTY SALES 27 150 2,415
MORTGAGES 57 228 2,835
BUILDING PERMITS 157 441 6,509
BANKRUPTCIES 61 133 1,920