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Report: Home sales, prices up in city

November 29th, 2011 8:24 am by Kate Prahlad

Report: Home sales, prices up in city

Both the number of homes sold and their average price increased in Johnson City in October, according to a trend report from the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors.
Johnson City was the only city market in the 11-county, seven-city region monitored by the Trends Report where both sales and prices increased last month, according to NETAR President Gwen Lilley.
The report showed 39 homes were sold in October in Johnson City, an almost 15 percent increase when compared to the same month last year, and the average price of $207,248 was 5 percent higher than October 2010’s average. NETAR defines Johnson City sales as those made in the Science Hill School Zone.
 In year-to-date numbers, which NETAR said illustrate trends better than more volatile monthly numbers, 440 homes have been sold through October 2011, a 9.5 percent increase from the first 10 months of last year. The average price for the same period was up 4.7 percent, the report said.
Lilley, a broker and Realtor at Century 21 Legacy in Greeneville, said the 11-county regional market has been essentially flat since February. She added that monthly regional average prices have steadily increased since February’s low point but are struggling against the pressure of both a down market and stressed sales. Sales and prices for the last half of 2011 are functioning without the tax credits that were being offered in 2010, she said.
One thing that has helped bolster the area housing market has been strong job creation in the first three quarters of 2011, the report said; but on the other hand, the market has been pressured downward by “lack of consumer confidence in the recovery, overly strict lending standards and sales cancellations caused largely by declined mortgage applications or failures in loan underwriting from appraised values coming in below the negotiated price,” the report said. “Foreclosures also continue to exert a downward pressure on prices.”
City foreclosure sales accounted for more than 15 percent of all sales, and so far in 2011, almost 12 percent of all existing city home sales, Lilley said, calling those statistics “pretty good” when compared to the national market — where stressed sales are around one-third of total sales. Still, the city’s stressed sales remain a drag on the prices of non-stressed sales, she said.
The average time on market for an existing home sale in October across the region was 168 days compared to 172 days in October 2010.

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