The numbers vary slightly depending on whose report you read but overall the residential real estate market in Memphis continues increasing in sales volume.
The National Association of Realtors (NRA) reports this spring's national sales season has been the strongest since the economic melt down. All major regions across the country have seen increased sales volume for the past six months. National May and June sales numbers are the strongest two months since early 2007.
Nationally, the average time on market for all housing types dropped to 34 day in June, down from 40 days in May. NRA also reports a 5 month supply of inventory is currently on the market.
Memphis is beating the national average. The Memphis Area Association of Realtors' (MAAR) July report shows a 12.6 percent increase over July 2014. Total sales closings rose in July to 1,685 units compared to 1,496 in May. Year on year sales are up 4.2 percent. As of July 2015, total annual sales volume is 9,414 units compared to 9,038 in 2014.
Based on the strong sales volume, it's a bit surprising that both the year on year medium and average sales prices declined ever so slightly. Medium sales price is the price point where half the prices were above the medium and half were below. Average is the sum of all sales divided by the total number of sales. The medium sales price in the Memphis area was $130,000 in July 2015, down slightly from $135,000 in July 2014. The average price declined to $162,773 in 2015 from $168,386 in 2014.
It is unusual for prices to be declining in a market where sales volume is rising. One logical reason could be that more first time buyers are entering the low end of the market. Another logical contributor is that people reentering the market after a foreclosure, short sale, or distressed sale are buying more affordable homes this time around.
Keep in mind, the previous numbers were month on month. Year on year, the sales prices have increased. The overall 2015 medium price was up at $125,255 from $118,000 in 2014. The average 2015 price has risen to $157,443 in 2015 from $153,215 in 2014.
All of the numbers indicate the Memphis real estate market is strong. High sales volumes are good for sellers. Steady or slightly declining prices are good for buyers.
Of course, real estate is all about location, location, location. And so are the monthly and annual statistics as well as the methods used to collect them. You are advised to contact a local realtor or your local realtor association for the most accurate information for any neighborhood that you are considering investing in. Local MSL data will always be the most accurate price and sales volume data for a specific neighborhood.
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Author bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 35 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years. He also draws upon 30 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest in the Olympic Mountains with the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.