The Weekly Membership Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. New Home Sales Slump
2. NEW! Local Market Information Available
3. The Importance of Well-Kept Yards
4. Upcoming Events and Courses
5. Rates Stable, Low
6. Useful Web Links

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1. New Home Sales Slump

Sales of new homes have slumped to the lowest level in three months, falling 8.1 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 283,000, reports the Commerce Department. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a sales pace of 310,000 units for the month. The government revised sales upward for September to 308,000 from 307,000 units reported last month but revised sales for August downward from 288,000 to 275,000, a low for any month dating back to 1963.

[SOURCES: American Banker; Information, Inc.]

2. NEW! Local Market Information Available

The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has introduced a new website for the general public that allows anyone to access economic and market data for any state, MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) or county in the United States!  You can access it by CLICKING HERE.

The “Market at a Glance” reports for the counties and metropolitan areas are based on data from BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), and American Community Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Some adjustments are made by HUD field economists based on regional information. The data is expected to be released on monthly basis for most of the metropolitan areas and counties.

Look up information on your own county or area …it’s interesting!


3. The Importance of Well-Kept Yards

We always knew that attractive yards make a neighborhood more appealing, but now a survey, reported in a new RISMedia article, finds another reason why well-kept lawns are critical to sales:

A new survey conducted by finds that 75% of Americans believe the most important factor in determining a neighborhood’s safety is the up-keep of surrounding homes, especially the conditions of the front lawns, which trumps even Googling neighborhood statistics to get a feel for a community.
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To read the entire article (“Well-Kept Yards Signal Neighborhood Safety…”), CLICK HERE.


4. Upcoming Events and Courses

Dec. 7: TAR Executive Committee Planning Session – TAR Office, Nashville.

Dec. 8: Leadership Session for Local Association Presidents and Presidents-elect – TAR Office, Nashville.

Dec. 9: RPAC/Government Affairs Training Session – TAR Office, Nashville.

Dec. 10: Homeownership Options Course (6 hrs. CE) – Murfreesboro. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

The complete 2011 schedule of GRI Courses (both Classroom and E-Class) is now posted HERE.

Watch each week’s TAR DIGEST for schedule changes and additions!

5. Rates Stable, Low

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) and the 15-year (FRM) edged up only slightly this past week. According to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, “During a holiday-shortened week, average mortgage rates were largely unchanged from the prior week.” 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) averaged 4.40 percent with an average 0.8 point, up only a little from the previous week when it averaged 4.39 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.78 percent.

[SOURCE: Freddie Mac]

6. Useful Internet Links

Click on any of the following to access:

Back Issues of the TAR DIGEST
Tennessee Assn. of REALTORS
TAR Education
Online Risk Reduction Resources
Online Resources for Association Leaders
Tennessee Real Estate Commission