Signs point to good year for housing market

STEVEN DOTSON, Post Columnist

Rutherford County’s 32 percent increase from January 2012 to January 2013 is a good sign that this year will be another good year of positive growth in the local real-estate industry.

I’m not sure we will continue to see 32 percent increases all year long, but it’s a great start.  

Some analysts are predicting anywhere from a 5 percent to 30 percent increase over last year. So, I would predict we will be somewhere in the middle, with a 15 to 20 percent increase for 2013.

One reason for not going with the higher estimates is I think volume will be held back due to quality inventory levels being depleted. Given the situation, buyers are more likely to wait until the home they prefer comes onto the market. This supply and demand issue should cause prices to rise.

Prices are still very attractive, but that will start to change in the near future.

Middle Tennessee is starting to show up on the radar of larger institutional investors who have been focused on larger markets until now.

In this market, investors could begin to favor investing capital in a more stable economy, which Middle Tennessee has to offer.

The Middle Tennessee real estate market didn’t suffer as bad as  larger markets like Atlanta, Phoenix. and Las Vegas, which were the first areas large institutional investors started investing in once the bottom of the market was established.

The good news for Middle Tennessee is we didn’t drop as low as these other markets. And with the increased investments from these investors, we will climb up from the bottom much faster than we would otherise. This addition will also help deplete the inventory, which is already starting to be a problem in some areas.

Of all homes sold, 33 percent are purchased within the first 30 days of being listed for sale.  

There is also an increase of multiple offers being made on good inventory. Quick sales figures suggest that the good inventory is very limited, and this will continue to be a problem because builders are still not pulling permits at a high enough level to take care of the demand for quality properties.