Home sales in Rutherford County continued trending upward last month, mirroring activity taking place across Middle Tennessee, newly released data shows.
A total of 288 homes were sold in Rutherford County in March 2012, compared to 222 in February 2012 and 259 in March 2011.
“March 2012 home sales continue to show positive signs the real estate market is improving,” said Steven Dotson, president of Rutherford County-based Red Realty in his monthly sales report.
Surrounding counties experienced similar growth, with a collective 14 percent year-over-year growth. Sales in Davidson County increased from 427 in March 2011 to 526 last month, while Wilson County’s sales jumped from 133 to 162 during the same time period. Williamson County fared slightly lower with only three more homes sold last month than last year.
While gains can be partly attributed to the springtime’s peak selling season, Dotson said the increase in closed and pending sales combined with a decrease in inventory “tell us we have an improved spring/summer market ahead of us.”
The price of homes crept up modestly with a 1 percent increase month-over-month, but the average price remained level as compared to March 2011.
“Prices are starting to improve a little,” Dotson reported. “As seller confidence improves where sellers feel they don’t have to take any offer they get, we will see prices improving. I have heard several stories of the great properties receiving multiple offers, so the more times that happens the more comfortable Realtors and appraisers will be with higher prices.”
He added that all average closed prices improved from last month.
“Hopefully this is a trend we will see as activity increases,” Dotson said.
These numbers are consistent with the upward trend seen across Middle Tennessee, according to data provided by the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors.
Sales jumped 17.3 percent last month, as compared to the same time last year. In March 2012, a total of 1,963 homes were sold - quite an increase from 1,673 in March 2011. Additionally, numbers for the first quarter of 2012 topped 4,855 closings, climbing 24.2 percent from the 3,908 closings during the first quarter of 2011.
“The encouraging trends in home sales for Greater Nashville this year continued in March with the number of home closings increasing more than 17 percent from this time last year, and with more than 2,200 pending sales for the month,” said Kendra Cooke, president of the Association of Realtors. “The increase in the residential median price is also a welcome sign. Our expectation is that the positive trends will continue as we move into the spring and summer months.”
She noted that while there still exist significant economic challenges, “it is still clear that the Greater Nashville and Middle Tennessee real estate market is stabilizing and strengthening.”
Data shows the median residential price for a single-family home during March was $168,500, which compares with last year’s median price of $165,000. Also showing promise of a recovering market was the decrease in inventory. Cooke says the number of single-family homes at the end of last month represents fewer than eight months worth of inventory with 18,984 homes sitting on the market, down from 21,647 in March 2011.
“Inventory is down from last year but up slightly from last month,” Cooke added. “With the traditional home-buying season underway, it is expected that more homes are becoming available. It is good that more people are beginning to consider selling their homes, as the number of buyers is clearly increasing.”