Housing sales in East Tennessee remain red hot, when are they expected to cool?


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The East Tennessee housing market remains super-charged. Analysts say there’s been no let-up since spring 2020 when the pandemic began. The average home value across the area has gone up $73,000 over the last 12 months; never before has the housing market seen such an increase in one year.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States 15 months ago, East Tennessee realtors weren’t sure what to think with everything down for nearly two months, housing sales at first, stalled; but low-interest rates kept motivating buyers.

Then when the limited supply of homes started going up for sale, prices started rising, and it became a sellers market that hasn’t slowed down.

Home sales prices in East Tennessee continue to soar. Almost as quickly as a home is placed on the market buyers are lining up.

“I listed one this morning, we had over ten showings already schedule for it as of 8 a.m. this morning,” Realtor Andrew McGranaghan said. “That’s potential buyers for this one home in Karns. Still have high buyer demand here locally whether it’s local buyers or buyers moving in from California, Chicago, or other parts of the country that are driving this demand here locally. While we are seeing some increase in listings, we still don’t have enough homes to sell them.”

We’ve been checking in with Claudia Stallings, vice president of residential sales for Coldwell Banker Wallace, for the last year. She says there’s 17% more homes coming on the market during this year’s second quarter than there was last year.

“Well, we’re seeing some new construction come back into the area and really take off. We seeing lots of people just decide to capitalize on increased prices,” Stallings said. “They’re up 18 percent. Which means we still don’t have enough listings. As homes enter the market they’re being claimed almost immediately and that leaves very little supply.”

From April through June of last year to the same quarter this year, the median sales price of a home has shot up. Stallings says they’re up 29% on average sales price, something they’ve never seen that type of increase in this short amount of time. Rounded off, $253,000 was the average sales price from April through June of 2020 throughout East Tennessee. $326,000 is the average sales price for a previously owned home in the same quarter this year. When it comes to prices Stallings says there is little wiggle room to bargain.

“So in Knox County our average list price is being exceeded by 1%. So if you want to buy a house in Knox County on average you are going to have to offer 101% of what is being asked. Our two superstar counties, are Anderson County and Union County where they are up to 103% of list price,” Claudia Stallings says.

Here is some advice from the experts if you’re looking to buy a home. To start, get qualified and have your financing in order. Use a lender and appraiser who knows the market and knows what you want to buy. Be ready to make an offer quickly.

“That will give you an edge, that will give you a leg up,” McGranaghan said. “It moves that quickly; you’ll need that advantage too.”

When will the housing market cool off in East Tennessee? The word from experts is, the demand for new and previous owned homes will remain high throughout the summer, which is when most people move. While mortgage interest rates have inched up, historically they still remain low making buying a home more affordable.

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