In March, Rutherford County’s real estate market again trended up in Contracts. Meanwhile, Closings fell slightly despite unprecedented buyer demand amidst the ongoing Inventory shortage. Interestingly, right at half of the current Rutherford County inventory is what we call “paper listings,” meaning they are not even built yet. Mortgage interest rates continued to climb, now sitting at an average of 3.18% (30-Yr FRM), the highest they’ve been since June 2020. Read on for an in-depth look at the local real estate market data.
Following the ongoing trend, Inventory continues to be the biggest issue facing the local real estate market, now down to a new record low of -57.97% from the same period last year. That shortage is causing most buyers woes, and resulted in Closed Sales being down -4.23%. Contracts, though, were once again up compared to last year at +15.56%, but remember last March we were in the midst of Rutherford County’s COVID lockdown.
On the other hand, Sellers are LOVING the historic low inventory. At John Jones Real Estate, we’ve adapted to this unique market by transitioning from pricing homes to sell for the most the market will allow, to positioning properties in order to maximize profit for our Sellers. And while those may seem like similar approaches, our clients are seeing significant returns due to the application of our experts’ deep market knowledge in this unique real estate market.
Looking at current Absorption Rates in Rutherford County, we see even more evidence of the Inventory shortage whicht is making this such a strong Sellers Market. For instance, in the under $200K price range there is currently less than two days inventory, or two homes for sale (yes two). And in what has now become RuCo’s average price point of $350-400K there are currently only 19 homes for sale, and 12 of those are new construction that will not be livable for several months, if ground has even been broken on them at all. And that trend continues through all price points, with 199 current active listings on the market, half (99) of which are the aforementioned “paper listings.” So Sellers are primed to make more on their home sales than ever before, while Buyers must practice patience and resilience in order to find, and contract, that dream home.
While the outlook for buyers may seem grim looking at Inventory, when looking at Purchasing Power buyers are still in a very positive situation. Mortgage interest rates do continue to climb, now sitting at an average of 3.18% (30-Yr FRM) the highest they’ve been since June 2020. But while that may seem high considering the full year of historic low interest rates we’ve just come out of, remember that pre-pandemic rates had only-just hit 3.50% which was the best we’d seen since Fall 2016. So while construction costs and rapid appreciation are driving home prices up quickly, low interest rates are offsetting that spike when looking at monthly payments over time.
Realtors® are having to dig dig deeper than ever before to find homes for would-be buyers. We’re looking beyond the MLS, turning over every rock to uncover homes that suit our buyers’ needs. We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again, “If you are looking to purchase in the current climate, you MUST be ready to pull the trigger with the best possible offer as soon as the right home hits the market.” Many of our buyers are having success, but now more-than-ever it’s become a battle of deep market knowledge, with most purchases happening in the first two days of a new listing coming to market. We’re seeing many homes contracting off-market altogether. That’s just the market we’re in. It’s now more important than ever to have a hyper-local market expert on your side! If you want to have success in this market… Call the LOCALmarket experts at John Jones Real Estate. 615-867-3020