Northeast Tennessee's pending home sales increase, inventory remains lower than usual

Mackenzie Moore • Jun 2, 2018 at 10:35 PM

Northeast Tennessee’s housing market sales increased from last year, according to the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors’ New Pending Home Sales Index.

The index is a forward-looking indicator based on new contract signings reported by Realtor Property Research. It showed new contracts were up 1.8 percent from March, with a 10.2 percent increase from April last year.

There were 877 new approved contracts in April, which brought the total pending sales to 1,259. The active, pending sales index was 111.2, up 0.8 percent from April last year.

Both indices were benchmarked to the 2015 annual average pending sales totals. A number above 100 indicated increasing closings; below 100 signaled declining closings.

A sale was listed as pending when the contract had been signed but the transaction had not closed.

NETAR President Aaron Taylor said the local housing market kicked off with a strong start with year-to-date single-family resales up 5.4 percent, but the PHSI foreshadowed the momentum to be short-term due to the lack of inventory.

“So far this year there have been 3,174 new listings and 3,888 new approved contracts,” Taylor said. “So, listings are down 1.9 percent from the first four months of last year while new approved contracts are up 21.2 percent.

“At the end of April, we had 2,472 active listings. During the same month last year, there were 3,248. At the current sales pace, we have 3.8 months of inventory for the region, but in the city markets, inventory is below a three-month supply.”

Six months of inventory is considered normal market conditions.

The steadily increasing mortgage rates prompted buyers to lock in deals rather than wait, according to Taylor, and demand remained high while inventory remained lower than usual.

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