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VOL. 133 | NO. 73 | Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Seller’s Market

Memphis housing market sees record-breaking first quarter

By Patrick Lantrip

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With one quarter in the books, the Memphis-area housing market appears to be on pace for yet another record-breaking year. The average home sales price for the first three months of 2018 rose to $159,274, which is the highest first-quarter amount on record, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, chandlerreports.com.

The volume of home sales in the first quarter reached $612 million, up 7 percent from $572 million a year ago.

“Our office alone, which is the biggest Crye-Leike has and often is a gauge for all of our others, for example – our February was the best February we have had in the past 11 years,” said Chet Whitsitt, Crye-Leike Real Estate Services sales leader and vice president.

A home under construction in Fountain Brook subdivision. Homebuilders pulled just 67 permits for new homes in February, down from 86 a year ago even as inventory remains low. (Daily News/Houston Cofield)

He said that while inventory is still low, he believes the market will continue its strong run.

“Even though interest rates are rising, they are still at historical lows, now at around 4.375 or so,” he added.

For the month of March, the area saw 1,878 units, down 10 percent from 1,899 in March 2017, while the average home sales price rose to $164,109, a 1 percent increase from $151,524 a year ago, according to Chandler Reports.

Vinh Le with First National Realty said that even though it’s a seller’s market right now, buyers are still competing to make offers. “I have gone from having 4 to 11 listings this month,” Le said. “I have five properties under contract as a buyer’s agent, and I’ve had a total of $300,000 in closed transactions so far.”

He also said that he expects these figures to only climb as the weather gets warmer.

Meanwhile, Eads’ 38028 ZIP code recorded the highest average price in March, at $415,000.

Year to date, the number of units sold was down slightly, with 3,845 sales recorded for the quarter compared with 3,880 last year.

Existing-home sales in the first quarter remained about the same, with 3,693 recorded last quarter compared with 3645 in the first quarter of 2017. The average price of existing homes reached $147,751, up 7 percent from $137,647 a year ago.

Sales of new homes declined 13 percent for the quarter, with 203 sales recorded compared with 233 in the first quarter of 2017. The average price of a new home, however, rose 22 percent to $365,711.

Arlington’s 38002 ZIP code recorded the most new-home sales for the quarter, with 43 sales averaging $314,888.

Building permits

Developers pulled 67 new-home permits in February with an average amount of $306,536, down from 86 filed in February 2017 averaging $332,880.

Regency Homebuilders was the top builder in February, with 18 new-home sales recorded averaging $299,032, and 11 new-home permits filed averaging $256,676.

Arlington/Lakeland’s 38002 ZIP code claimed the most new home permits in February, with 22 total averaging $297,815.

Foreclosure activity

Shelby County residential foreclosures continued to drop in Q1, according to Chandler Reports, with 403 recorded for the month, a 12 percent decrease from last year.

Of those 403, the average foreclosure amount was $82,279 and the average tax appraisal value for the properties was $110,151. Southeast Shelby County’s 38125 ZIP code had the highest foreclosure inventory value of $14 million across 83 properties, while Westwood’s 38109 ZIP code had the most homes in foreclosure inventory through the first quarter, with 165 valued at $6.8 million.

Among lenders, Fannie Mae had the highest foreclosure inventory, with 128 homes valued at $13 million.

Bank sales – or foreclosure sales – represented 7 percent of all Shelby County homes sold in the first quarter of 2018. The 272 bank sales recorded in Q1 marked a 17 percent decrease year over year. The volume of bank sales dropped 15 percent to $25.9 million.

Meanwhile, non-bank sales increased 1 percent to 3,570 in the first quarter, with the volume of non-bank sales also increasing 8 percent to $585.9 million.

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

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 87 87 7,836
MORTGAGES 108 108 9,307
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 8 1,366
BUILDING PERMITS 130 130 16,737
BANKRUPTCIES 55 55 5,461
BUSINESS LICENSES 32 32 2,980
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 47 47 3,297
MARRIAGE LICENSES 37 37 1,725

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