Written by Chas Sisk, December’s median is lowest since 2004, The Tennessean:
Home prices dropped sharply in December – back to levels last seen before the real estate boom – as the Nashville housing market wrapped up its weakest year in a decade.
The median price of a single-family home sold last month dropped 13% compared with the same month a year ago, and the price of a condo unit fell even more, 21%, in the latest sign that homeowners may be more willing to sell at reduced prices.
The single-family median of $163,750 was the lowest for the month since December 2004, when the median was $153,000, according to data released Thursday by the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. The condo median of $134,062 also was the lowest for the month since 2004.
The declines are a sharp reversal from a year earlier, when homeowners appeared to be holding out for their asking prices despite fewer buyers.
Since then, sales have slumped an additional 29%. The 24,246 closings recorded last year were the fewest since 1997 in the nine-county region tracked by the GNAR.
December sales were down a bit more. There were 1,422 closings in the month, a drop of 33% from a year ago. “It’s consistent with what’s been going on,” said Mike Nichols, GNAR’s president.
The declines in home prices essentially reversed the increases that Middle Tennessee had experienced over a three-year run that began in early 2005. From December 2004 to December 2007, the median price of a home rose nearly $35,000. That represented an increase of more than 22%.
But since this summer, sellers began to respond to the slower market with price cuts, and the median price settled lower back to a pre-boom level.
“If you bought in 2004, 2005, you’re going to be fine,” said Richard Exton, principal appraiser with the local firm Manier & Exton. “If you bought in 2006, you may not get out what you have in it.”
We here at Remarkable Homes do not agree with Mr. Exton’s generalization as certain areas of Nashville have held values much better than others.
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