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Weekend edition February 02, 2024 | Katelyn Keenehan

East Tennessee Realtors predict home sales will increase this year

After home sales fell by 15 percent last year, we can anticipate an 11 percent increase in sales in 2024.

On Thursday afternoon, the Tennessee Theatre welcomed East Tennessee REALTORS® for their annual housing forecast. Hundreds of people in attendance were pleased to know the forecast for this year is positive (a stark contrast from the grim outlooks in 2023 and 2022). And for a room full of realtors, many were also pleased to know that there is a high likelihood that home sales will increase in 2024, maybe even as much at 11.1 percent.

The three-hour-long event started with a presentation by Hancen Sale, the Government Affairs and Policy Director at East Tennessee REALTORS.

He shared the increase in home prices over the last two years, and how it could impact 2024. He predicts that the median home sale price will be around $350,000

Courtesy: East Tennessee REALTORS

In the graphic above, you can see that home sales across the East Tennessee region declined 15.2 percent from 2022 to 2023. It was one of the largest annual declines on record. Even though there were far fewer home sales, the prices of those homes still climbed by 5.3 percent.

“We kind of hit rock bottom, and there’s nowhere to go but up in 2024,” Sale said.

Sale spent the second half of the presentation discussing the forecasted rebound of the housing market. East Tennessee REALTORS® expects a significant increase in home sales, a decline in mortgage rates, and improved affordability conditions. They believe these conditions will encourage people who have backed off from the housing market (out of fear), to start looking at homes again.

On the rental side of things, East Tennessee REALTORS® believes we could see a cool-off from fast-rising prices. For the first time in a long time, Knoxville will have more than a thousand new rental units open up this year, which means it should create a bit less competitiveness on the renter market. Despite this, Sale shared that Knoxville still has one of the highest occupancy rates for rental units in the United States (96.5 percent in 2023, forecasted 96.4 percent in 2024).

Perhaps one of the more interesting statistics from Sale’s presentation was the regional asking price for homes in East Tennessee is $459,950, which is higher than the national average of $410,000. It puts into perspective just how expensive home prices in Knoxville have become.

So, who is buying these homes?

Sale shared that despite popular belief, it’s not all people from out of state. Out of state people buying a home in Knoxville make up about 30 percent of the buyers market. The other 70 percent are Tennesseans looking to move locally.

Courtesy: East Tennessee REALTORS

Following Sale’s housing forecast, he welcomed Don Bruce, the Director of the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) to the stage to discuss how the East Tennessee REALTORS® forecast aligned with the university’s economics outlook. In short, the two reports meshed very well.

If you want more information about the 2024 Economic Outlook report by the Boyd Center, read this article.

Also, read the full report form East Tennessee Realtors.

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