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Pending home sales continue to rise

Nathan Baker • Oct 30, 2017 at 11:15 PM

The region’s housing market continued to improve in September, with 695 new sales contracts signed on single-family homes.

According to statistics collected by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors, which monitors 11 counties in Tennessee and Virginia, there were 1,010 active pending sales, 193 more than at the same point last year.

Because most contracts close within six weeks after they’re signed, local Association of Realtors President Eric Kistner said September’s pending sales report is a positive indicator of fourth-quarter sales.

“The total inventory of accepted contracts was 24 percent higher in September than it was September 2016,” Kistner said in an emailed press release. “To benchmark this year’s market conditions, compare that to the September 2016 pending sales inventory. It was down 14 percent from September 2015.”

The market hasn’t experienced much of a seasonal slowdown, Kistner said. Pending sales started rising in June and have beaten the previous year’s numbers in each subsequent month.

New homes are being listed, but the high sales volumes are keeping available home inventory low. Kistner said there was 4.9 months of inventory on the market in September, meaning, if sales continued at their current pace and no new properties were listed, every home in the market would sell in 4.9 months.

The tighter supply has also increased price. According to Kistner, the average sales price for an existing single-family home is 5.6 percent higher than last year.

The Realtors’ association will release closing sales figures for October in mid-November.

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