There are signs the local housing market is slowly transitioning to more normal conditions — demand is ebbing, and inventory is gradually increasing — but that didn’t pull August prices and closings off a record-setting pace.

Prices were at all-time highs, and closings were at an 11-month high, according to the August Home Sales Report by Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR).

“Some of the sizzle is coming off the market, but it is still very hot,” NETAR President Kristi Bailey said. “Mortgage rates have stayed in the basement, and even a slight inventory increase is giving buyers more choices.”

August’s average sales price was $257,137, which is up 21.99% from August 2020, according to a press release from NETAR. Bailey said the average was skewed by a surge of sales in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range and a 126% increase in the $500,000 and up price range.

The median sales price — the middle of the market — was $210,000, up 16.7% from last year. Sales in that price range accounted for 14.7% of August’s total sales, and new listings increased by 17%.

There were 935 closings in August, up 7.5% from last year and 16 sales short of the all-time record set in September last year, according to the release.

Signs that market conditions are moderating include:

  • A home’s time on the market before closing has increased slightly from 47 days in May to 49 days in August. The time homes stay on the market is a primary demand indicator. If it increases, it points to softer demand. If it declines, it indicates demand is rising.
  • New listings have outnumbered new contract acceptances for the past three months, pointing to a slow but steady increase in active inventory.
  • Since May, inventory has increased from a 1.3-month supply of homes for sale to a 1.6-month supply in August.

For more information, including monthly reports and other regional real estate data, visit www.netar.us.

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