by TJ AndersonLennon Stella's home, photo via People.comI was already impressed by Lennon Stella, who, by starring in TV drama Nashville, managed to build a double-threat career as an actress and
Home Prices In Tennessee At Record High
by TJ Anderson
We all know by now that the real estate market in Nashville is markedly strong, and has been for a good while now. Broader truth: It’s not just here in Middle Tennessee — all of Tennessee has been on a solid upswing, and the housing market in the Volunteer State has reached a new peak.
According to a new report from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, home prices in Tennessee hit an all-time high, the statewide median home price landing at a record $185,000.
Growth was significant in 2016, at 5.4 percent, but it kicked into high gear last year, boosting almost 8 percent in the first half of 2017.
The number of single-family homes sold rocketed up too — a 10 percent growth in 2016 that brought sales to the highest number in a decade.
What this means for Nashville homeowners and homebuyers
So, is this a good thing, or a bad thing?
The answer, as with most things real estate-related, is complex, and the view kind of depends on which side of the buyer/owner divide you sit on.
The rise in home values across Tennessee means we have a lot fewer Nashville homeowners under water on their mortgage — just over 4 percent of homeowners, statewide, owe more than their home is worth. That dropped from more than 6 percent a year prior, and from almost 17 percent at the start of the decade.
That’s great news for all Tennessee homeowners, and particularly good news in Nashville and in Williamson County, where the median home prices are significantly higher than the state median (at the start of 2018, the median single-family home value in Nashville was $281,500; in Williamson County, it was more than $477,000).
The stats get trickier when you’re on the potential-Nashville-homebuyer side. Renters in Nashville and throughout Tennessee continue to get squeezed — the THDA report showed that Tennessee income growth isn’t keeping pace with rent hikes, and that in recent years, as high as 45 percent of Tennessee households would be considered “cost-burdened” (with more than 30 percent of their household earnings going to housing).
Then, even back in 2015 (the most recent data they shared), only about a quarter of home sales in Nashville would be considered “affordable” to a median wage earner here.
What I take from this data
The THDA also points out something that’s obvious to anyone living in Nashville: Our population growth isn’t slowing, and it isn’t expected to any time soon. Between 2005 and 2015, Davidson County’s population rocketed up more than 23 percent. The projected population change from 2016 to 2026 is less aggressive, but still intense, at almost 12 percent.
With a still rapidly growing population in Nashville and median home prices continuing to rise as housing supply lags behind demand, I don’t see Nashville homeownership becoming drastically less pricey in the near future.
How that informs your next steps as a potential Nashville homeowner depends, but here’s my advice:
— If you’d be a first-time Nashville homebuyer, take a little time to explore the Great Choice Plus downpayment assistance program, designed to help Tennessee homebuyers with up to $15,000 for downpayment/closing costs, applicable to homes for sale in seven zip codes across Davidson County.
— Explore some Nashville neighborhoods that still have room to grow, and in that, have a lot of investment/appreciation potential. There’s been a lot of change, when it comes to neighborhoods fall under that umbrella, but I have some strong professional and personal opinions that I’d be happy to share with you.
— Sit down with an experienced, knowledgeable Realtor with a tight connection to Nashville (I think I’m a great option, personally), who can help you get a handle on what Nashville homeownership could look like for you, and how and where you might find a home that suits your needs, even if the rising home prices across the state are stressing you out.
Any questions/concerns you might have about buying a home in Middle Tennessee: Always happy to help. Call or email TJ Anderson Homes here.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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