November was a ho-hum period for the Nashville housing market compared to the pace of sales earlier this year, representing the first monthly dip in closings for 2015. But the median price is still running $15,000 above last year, and potential buyers feel they've reached a tipping point.
“I waited so long that Nashville is sort of out of my price range,” says Collette Strassburg, a 50-year-old librarian at Nashville State Community College.
Three years after moving from Arizona, Strassburg is still house-hunting. She has bought and sold before and knows there’s no perfect property out there.
But she finds herself in bidding wars over homes that are just “perfectly OK,” like one near the Nashville Zoo located in a floodplain. She bid $6,000 over asking price and still lost. The winning offer was $11,000 more than the list price.
“It’s been a little humbling because there were neighborhoods that I poo-pooed when I got here that I can’t afford to live in now,” she says.
Strassburg says it’s not in her personality to attend an open house and make an offer on the spot, but she says that’s what it may take.
Home sale prices in the Nashville area are now nearly $80,000 higher than in the depths of the recession in 2009.
The Realtor Spin
The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors reports closings have already surpassed the total from 2014 with one month left to go.
“Even with a slight dip in year-over-year sales, our market continues to thrive,” GNAR president Cindy Stanton says in a statement.
Stanton says the slow-down of 3.1 percent isn't a surprise and could be healthy for the local market, which has been rebounding for five years.
"Home prices continue to experience incremental gains and pending sales remain strong, both of which are positive indicators for the sustained strength of our market,” she says.