TN Home Sales Steady, Condo Sales Jump in 2014
Median Home Prices Rise; TAR Forecasts 2015 Trends

The home-buying market remained active throughout Tennessee in 2014 and picked up steam as the year came to a close, and several signs point to continued vitality as 2015 unfolds, according to year-to-year data compiled by the Tennessee Association of REALTORS® (TAR).

During 2014, the state’s single-family home sales totaled 65,006, down a slight .43% from 2013; condominium sales totaled 5,926, a rise of 6.53%. Median home prices rose 6.90% for the year to close at $169,900; median condo prices gained 8.58% to close at $149,900.

Of Tennessee’s three major regions, the Middle Grand Division led the way in 2014 with 34,401 home sales (+4.46% over 2013) and 1,828 condo sales (+12.16%). The Eastern Grand Division saw sales of 21,641 homes (+1.22%) and 1,828 condos (+6.84%). The Western Grand Division registered 12,160 home sales (-11.08%) and 1,430 condo sales (-3.51%).

Momentum picked up in the fourth quarter of 2014, when Tennessee’s total home sales (+4.42%) and median prices (+8.56%) rose over the same period in 2013, while fourth-quarter condo sales leaped by 17.35% and median condo prices gained 9.02% from a year earlier.

“Overall, these results show that Tennessee’s home-buying market remains robust and moving in the right direction, which is good news both for buyers and sellers,” said 2015 TAR President Pat Beech. “While the biggest gains last year took place in and around Nashville in the Middle division, we remain optimistic that sales will rise across the state in the year ahead.

“Tennessee remains a great place to live and work,” Beech said. “Our business-friendly climate, excellent educational opportunities, and a continuing high quality of life are among the many reasons for us to expect real-estate activity to increase as 2015 unfolds.”

Among the positive signs that Tennessee’s home market is likely to gain strength:

  1. Rising rent rates are pushing more buyers off of the fence to explore the benefits of homeownership.
  2. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) reports that more consumers are seeking advice about purchasing a home. “Seeing that more people are realizing the value of housing counseling is a sign that the next wave of home buyers will be better prepared to preserve home ownership,” according to the NFCC’s Bruce McClary.
  3. Business Facilities, a leading national publication focused on site selection and economic development, recently named Tennessee its 2014 State of the Year for the second consecutive year. Tennessee becomes the first state in the award’s history to win back-to-back honors and the first state to earn the designation three times (2014, 2013, 2009).
  4. Unemployment in Tennessee remains relatively low, at 7.1% as of November 2014, a sign of economic strength that tends to have a positive overall effect on the housing market.

Other factors to consider include a continuing influx of new businesses and residents to Tennessee, while a cause for concern could be the extent of troop drawdowns at Fort Campbell and its impact on Clarksville and the Middle Grand Division’s marketplace.

“While the future is impossible to predict with 100-percent certainty, we have every reason to believe that Tennessee will remain a pacesetter in economic activity in 2015, and that the rising tide will keep lifting key sectors including the real-estate market,” Beech said.