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Pending home sales 23 percent higher than November 2015

From Staff Reports

A gauge for residential home sales continued to show some seasonal slowing in November. At the same time, it was 23 percent higher than new pending sales for November last year.

The Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors reports there were 562 new pending sales in the 11-county region monitored by NETAR’s Trends report in November, down from 641 in October and up from 457 November last year.

New pending sales include accepted offers on single-family, townhome and condominium properties in Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Washington and Unicoi counties in Northeast Tennessee and Washington, Lee, Scott and Wise counties in Southwest Virginia. Sales typically close in 45 days to two months after signing.

The National Association of Realtors said last week that its pending sales index fell 2.5 percent from October. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economists, blamed the decline on a recent jump in mortgage rates combined with rising prices and a tight inventory.

NETAR President Marsha Stowell said the local market has 5.6 months of inventory is November. That’s the number of months it would take to exhaust active listing at the current sales rate.

“New listing were 6 percent better than November last year following two months of decline,” she added. The total active listings for November was down 21 percent from last year. “This time of the year we typically see about 4,000 active listings.”

In November, there were a little over 3,000 active listing in the region.

Stowell said the mortgage rate increases have not blunted demand all that much.

November’s average listing price was $234,000 compared to $210,000 November last year. The average sales price as a percentage of the average listing price in November was 95 percent, down from 96 percent in September and October.