Nashville is the heart of country music, yes, but did you know the Volunteer State is known for much more than the Grand Ole Opry? For example, Nashville is a historic city. Not only did President Theodore Roosevelt coin the phrase “good to the last drop” after drinking a cup of coffee that was produced in Nashville, but the nation’s oldest African-American architectural firm, McKissack and McKissack and the oldest African-American financial institution, Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company are both located in Nashville.
Founded in 1779 on Christmas Eve, Nashville has seen her share of good times and bad, and right now, although times are tough, her fighting spirit is leading her towards a recovery that defies trends followed by many other states.
According to Nashville Realtor David S. Price,”We [sic] continue to enjoy a positive influx of people relocating here from more depressed locations.”
“We are still one of the top places to relocate to in the USA today. Our taxes are lower, our utilities, and public services are lower, and our housing is affordable,” continued Price.
Price believes that even though Nashville is feeling some of the same economic woes as the rest of the country, their market is in a good position to benefit from the current situation because their sellers aren’t trying to get out of their homes - they’re holding onto them which yes, is keeping sales reduced, but it’s also keeping home values stabilized.
Another important market condition is the state of new construction. New construction has slowed down, allowing the newly built homes to be absorbed into the market, reducing the impact that these homes have on the resale market, which is a good thing, since new homes have historically sold ten to one over existing homes.
As of September 11, 2011, the median sales price in Nashville was $158,750 - 4.4% more than this time last year, however this number represents a slight decline from last quarter by 1.7%. Nashville home prices have slowly increased over the last 5 years, appreciating by 2.5% - a slow but steady rise in value.
According to the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, Nashville saw 1,832 home closings during the month of September - a rise of 16.9 percent from the 1,567 closings during the same time last year. For the third quarter of 2011, 20 percent more homes were sold (5,900) than were sold in the third quarter of 2010.
GNAR (Greater Nashville Association of Realtors) President Alice Walker stated that, "Home sales have increased for the third consecutive month. The increase in sales seen in Middle Tennessee during the third quarter is certainly good news. Year-to-date numbers, which are down only slightly, still reflect the market distortion seen by last year's tax credit - which was still in effect until early in the third quarter of 2010. It is encouraging to see that we have nearly caught up with last year at this point in the year."
"Most every category saw an increase in closings compared to September last year,” continued Walker. “The increase in sales of farms, land and lots is particularly important as those sales are often indicators of coming developments."
"Median prices are down in the range of about 5 percent. While we don't like to see a drop in price, being down only single-digit percentages is much more desirable than the double-digit decreases other areas of the country are currently seeing," said Walker.
"Pending sales were up again for the fourth consecutive month, an encouraging sign of a potential market recovery," noted Walker. "Inventory was down compared to last year, but in this case, being down is positive news. The best case scenario is to have six months of inventory available on the market, and currently we have about 10 months. At this time last year there was about 15 months worth of inventory available. This level makes for a much healthier market and still provides plenty of options for potential home buyers."
"The Greater Nashville market continues to strengthen and fare better than many other cities," said Walker. "In fact, the latest numbers from the National Association of REALTORS® show the national median price for a single family home is $168,300 and we're slightly under that number. That keeps the Greater Nashville area attractive to both companies and families."
Nashville is home to many first class schools, however as is the case in many urban areas, the neighborhood you choose to live in will have some impact on the quality of the public schools your children will attend. As for higher education - Vanderbilt University - a “top 20 good value university” according to Kiplinger’s calls Nashville home as does Tennessee State University and others.
Without a doubt there is something to see and do in Nashville that will appeal to just about everyone. Whether you choose to live in The Gulch - a trendy area of Nashville known for its classy restaurants and hip, urban environment or in an older, more established and refined neighborhood, home values have remained fairly stable, and in general, the market appears to have fared better than many other communities both in the state and across the country.