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Bustling Real Estate Market 'Feels Like 2006 Again'

February 24, 2012

Bustling Real Estate Market 'Feels Like 2006 Again'

Agents see surge in home sales with new and existing inventory (Thank you to Jeanne Reasonover of The Tennessean for this article in the Williamson AM.) Area realty agents say the real estate business in Williamson County is picking up tremendously. Wendy Monday, an agent with Bob Parks Realty, says Multiple Listing Service figures show home sales across its database were up 25 percent in January over January 2011. “As an agency, our sales are up 100 percent for the same time period,” Monday said. “It feels like 2006 again. Activity is widespread across Williamson County, and in all price ranges.” Monday said she’s seeing a resurgence in sales of existing homes as well as in new construction. “I see a lot of movement in the $300,000 to $400,000 niche and also in the high end, $800,000 and up. The interest rates remain low and buyers and sellers are seeing, I think, that we’ve hit bottom on home prices and those prices are beginning to rise,” she said. She attributes the surge to several factors, consumer confidence included. “People are feeling better about the economy and about their jobs. There’s a lot of pent-up demand, as well. I see a lot of young families looking for larger homes. Plus, the economy in Williamson County is so healthy. I have young families moving up in home size from Davidson to Williamson because of the school system in Williamson,” she said.

Fear factor dissipates

Janell Glasgow-Hall, an agent with Crye Leike, says she saw improvement in the market in 2011 and that it has continued to pick up. “A house listed in Brent Meade sold in just 10 days recently,” she said. “I’m seeing sales across Brentwood surge, and also in Spring Hill. I saw a foreclosure in Spring Hill have an offer two days after it was listed.” She says the upper-end sales are surging, too. “I had a client in the $750,000 to $1 million range back in 2010 that looked at 75 houses and never bought. The fear factor was just too great for many buyers. Now, homes are selling. The fear factor seems to be far less dominant now,” she said.

Discouraged sellers have reason to hope

Lisa Culp Taylor, an agent with Bob Parks Realty, says she’s seeing buyers who can’t find what they want in existing listings, so she and other agents are going back to revisit expired listings. “So many sellers just gave up and let listings expire or took houses off the market. As a result, there’s just not that much inventory now,” she said. “Homeowners always wait until spring to list their home, but I’m advising anyone who plans to sell to get it on the market now because we sure have buyers.” Culp Taylor says it’s not a sellers’ market yet, but she said he believes we’ve hit bottom and prices are starting to increase again. “I think so many people have just gotten tired of waiting to buy a home,” she said. “Consumer confidence is up and they’re taking the plunge.” Culp Taylor, who specializes in new construction, says as of January, the market is the best in Williamson County that she’s personally seen since 2007. Susan Gregory, another Bob Parks agent, says building lots are selling like hotcakes. “Tuscany Hills, a Brentwood community, opened its second phase recently. Three of nine lots sold within a month,” she said. “I’ve seen a house at $720,000 get an offer within two days with three more buyers lined up if the first falls through.” She had a listing in Willow Springs that for six months had no activity until recently, when a contract was signed. “Since the Parade of Homes in Annandale at the end of October, more than 30 lots have sold, and those will end up being $1 million homes,” Gregory said. “Now, builders are gobbling up lots because there are so few these days. And it takes one year for a development to go from planning to online with lots. “The banks just weren’t lending for so long and so many builders were weeded out that now the pent-up demand is surging.”

Try a new appraisal

Gregory says she’s seeing sales increase at prices from $200,000 to $1 million and up. She advises anyone who had their home appraised in 2011 to consider having it re-appraised now. “I have a client who had an appraisal in 2011; she just had it appraised again a few weeks ago and the appraisal was $30,000 higher,” Gregory said. “I do recommend appraisals for the sake of sellers, buyers and lenders.” Christina Gregory, a realty agent who represents The Governors Club, says it has had more interested home buyers in January and February than she’s seen in the four years she has been there. “In Governors Club, we have 10 new homes at an average price of $1 million each under construction; four of those 10 were started in 2012,” she said. “We’re running out of lots. We have only 13 remaining, and we predict they’ll be gone before year’s end.” Lisa Culp Taylor, an agent with Bob Parks Realty, says she’s seeing buyers who can’t find what they want in existing listings, so she and other agents are going back to revisit expired listings. “So many sellers just gave up and let listings expire or took houses off the market. As a result, there’s just not that much inventory now,” she said. “Homeowners always wait until spring to list their home, but I’m advising anyone who plans to sell to get it on the market now because we sure have buyers.” Culp Taylor says it’s not a sellers’ market yet, but she said he believes we’ve hit bottom and prices are starting to increase again. “I think so many people have just gotten tired of waiting to buy a home,” she said. “Consumer confidence is up and they’re taking the plunge.” Culp Taylor, who specializes in new construction, says as of January, the market is the best in Williamson County that she’s personally seen since 2007. Susan Gregory, another Bob Parks agent, says building lots are selling like hotcakes. “Tuscany Hills, a Brentwood community, opened its second phase recently. Three of nine lots sold within a month,” she said. “I’ve seen a house at $720,000 get an offer within two days with three more buyers lined up if the first falls through.” She had a listing in Willow Springs that for six months had no activity until recently, when a contract was signed. “Since the Parade of Homes in Annandale at the end of October, more than 30 lots have sold, and those will end up being $1 million homes,” Gregory said. “Now, builders are gobbling up lots because there are so few these days. And it takes one year for a development to go from planning to online with lots. “The banks just weren’t lending for so long and so many builders were weeded out that now the pent-up demand is surging.”

Try a new appraisal

Gregory says she’s seeing sales increase at prices from $200,000 to $1 million and up. She advises anyone who had their home appraised in 2011 to consider having it re-appraised now. “I have a client who had an appraisal in 2011; she just had it appraised again a few weeks ago and the appraisal was $30,000 higher,” Gregory said. “I do recommend appraisals for the sake of sellers, buyers and lenders.” Christina Gregory, a realty agent who represent The Governors Club, says it has had more interested home buyers in January and February than she’s seen in the four years she has been there. “In Governors Club, we have 10 new homes at an average price of $1 million each under construction; four of those 10 were started in 2012,” she said. “We’re running out of lots. We have only 13 remaining, and we predict they’ll be gone before year’s end.”
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