Today’s post comes to us from guest blogger Lillian Swift. Thanks for your interesting and insightful look at the Nashville real estate market, Lillian!
The real estate market all across the country has taken a whipping over the past several years, but recent market trends seem to suggest a rebound in certain areas. Nashville real estate trends, for example, show home sales from the last quarter of 2011 up a significant percentage from the last quarter of 2010. For the month of December 2011, home closings were up more than 18% from the previous year’s reports.
In fact, December marked the sixth month in a row of increasing home sales. This is encouraging news, especially given the facts that area mortgage rates are at record lows and Nashville apartments are hitting growing rental rates. All of these factors could be major parts in driving prospective buyers into the scene in early 2012.
Though closings are up from a year ago, total home sales are still struggling to catch up with levels seen at the height of the so-called “housing bubble” that occurred from 2003-2007. Looking back at Nashville real estate trends from the middle of 2006, for example, numbers show the year began with homes sales near 2,000 closings per month, and rose sharply to 4,000 by the middle of the year. Closings in Nashville have not since returned to those levels. In contrast, the highest levels of closings in 2011 topped out at just under the 2,000 mark.
Median home sale prices in Nashville have been holding fairly steady over the past three years, hovering around $150,000. Home prices rose slightly in the middle of 2011 and fell in the last part of 2011. When compared to prices in the last quarter of 2010, price per square foot of Nashville homes for sale rose by 30% to reach $149 per square foot. This is encouraging news for sellers, and with the median home price for a three-bedroom still sitting around $137,500, buyers are still in a good position.
Compared to other areas of Tennessee, buying real estate in Nashville is considerably more expensive than other markets. Though that has always been the case, it doesn’t mean home buyers are hard-pressed to find affordable listings in Nashville city limits. The most expensive house currently on the market in Nashville is a six bedroom, nine bathroom mansion listed at $19,500,000 for 20,533 sq. ft. This house is the grand exception, not the general rule. The average home in Nashville is listed for far below even the $200,000 mark.
The entire country has been in a state of recovery from the foreclosure crisis that impacted millions of Americans since it began in 2007 and Nashville is no exception. By the middle of 2011, the national foreclosure rate was hovering around 3.5%, while Nashville had a rate of just 1.84%. Though this number is far below the national average, the number is actually a half-percent higher than it was during the same period during the previous year. In December 2011, the foreclosure rate for the entire country dropped by 9%, bringing the nation’s foreclosure levels to their lowest point since the crisis began.