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VOL. 133 | NO. 33 | Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Housing Prices Continue to Rise in 2018

By Patrick Lantrip

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After a hot 2017, the Memphis area housing market looks to carry over its success into 2018.

The average home sales price in January came in at $163,024, a 14 percent increase from January a year ago, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, chandlerreports.com.

The volume of home sales in January reached $199 million, up 21 percent from $165 million a year ago, according to the Chandler Reports data.

The Memphis area housing market is picking up where it left off in 2017, with Chandler Reports data showing a 6 percent increase in home sales in January compared to a year ago and an average sales price that is 14 percent higher. (Shutterstock)

Collierville’s 38017 ZIP code recorded the highest average price at $367,962.

The number of units sold also was up 6 percent in January, with 1,220 sales recorded compared with 1,153 a year ago.

Existing-home sales rose 7 percent in January with 1,160 recorded last month compared with 1,085 in January 2016. The average price of existing homes, meanwhile, reached $152,333 in January up 15 percent from $132,474 a year ago.

Vihn Le, with First National Realty, said he expects the strong market to continue in 2018.

“I think it’s going to be another good year,” he said.

Le, who was First National’s top selling agent last year, said that while he is not a politician or economist, he feels as though people’s confidence in the economy is one driver behind the increased activity.

“They’re feeling secure enough to make that upgrade or that purchase,” he said.

Le also said that the slow increase in interest rates is pushing some people to test the market before they rise any higher.

“It’s not ridiculous like it was, but it’s gradually rising,” Le said of the interest rates.

Bankrate.com showed the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate in Tennessee was 4.34 percent as of Feb. 12 and the average 15-year fixed rate was 3.65 percent.

Sales of new homes fell 13 percent for the month, with 59 sales recorded compared with 68 in January 2016. The average price of a new home, however, rose 14 percent to $373,020 from January a year ago.

Arlington/Lakeland’s 38002 ZIP code and Collierville’s 38017 ZIP code recorded the most new-home sales for January with 15 sales a piece averaging $312,584 and $510,205, respectively.

Marx-Bensdorf Realtor and president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors’ board of directors Lauren Harkins Wiuff said that the area’s low inventory is another driver behind the busy market.

“Inventory is really at a low,” Wiuff said. “I don’t remember it ever being this low.”

While the inventory level makes it a seller’s market, Wiuff says, it doesn’t necessarily mean buyers are getting the short end of the stick.

“Even though it’s a seller’s market, because there is not a lot of inventory, I think that because buyers are so in tune with what’s going on, they’re not going to just buy anything that’s on the market,” she said.

But if the house is priced right, it probably won’t stay on the market for very long.

Building permits

Developers pulled 915 new-home permits averaging $324,901 in 2017, which was down from 1,010 permits averaging $277,974 in 2016.

Regency Home Builders was the top builder in 2017 with 184 new-home sales recorded averaging $305,255 and 191 new-home permits filed averaging $267,471.

The area that saw the most new-home permits in 2017 was Arlington/Lakeland’s 38002 ZIP code, with 219 permits averaging $305,255.

Foreclosure activity

Shelby County residential foreclosures continued to decline in January, according to Chandler Reports, with 148 recorded for the month – a 10 percent decrease from 164 last year. Of those 148, the average foreclosure amount was $85,036 and the average tax appraisal value was $126,061.

Cordova-North’s 38016 ZIP code had the highest foreclosure inventory value of $14.7 million across 91 properties, while Westwood’s 38109 ZIP code had the most homes in foreclosure inventory through January with 153 valued at $6 million.

Among lenders, Fannie Mae had the highest foreclosure inventory, with 133 homes valued at $14 million.

Bank sales – or foreclosure sales – represented 7 percent of all Shelby County homes sold in January. The 81 bank sales recorded last month marked a 12 percent decrease year over year. The volume of bank sales dropped 3 percent to $8 million.

Meanwhile, non-bank sales increased 7 percent to 1,138 last month, with the volume of non-bank sales also increasing 21 percent to $190 million.

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

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Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 63 233 7,982
MORTGAGES 87 288 9,487
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 40 1,398
BUILDING PERMITS 0 243 16,850
BANKRUPTCIES 48 153 5,559
BUSINESS LICENSES 39 108 3,056
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 75 3,325
MARRIAGE LICENSES 23 93 1,781

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