Housing market

Home-price growth climbed to a new record in July as buyers continued to compete fiercely amid a shortage of homes for sale, but September statistics from Greater Nashville Realtors show the market frenzy might be starting to ease. 

Home sales in Williamson County decreased for the second consecutive month in September, according to GNR data. The median home sales price fell by 4 percent and total transaction volume dropped by nearly 38 percent from the month prior.

While demand is still strong, some urgency has faded as potential buyers go on vacation, visit family or spend weekends at the beach rather than at open houses. Others, fatigued by the high prices and competition are taking a break from house hunting, according to National Association of Realtors experts. 

Highly desirable properties are still generating bidding wars, but others are sitting on the market, according to Greater Nashville Realtors president-elect Steve Jolly.

“It’s more hit-or-miss, or property specific,” he said.

In Williamson County, there were 517 new listings added in September and 760 in September of last year, a year-over-year decrease of 32 percent.

Overall total active inventory was up 7 percent month-over-month in September, but the number of listings priced below $500,000 in Williamson County was down from August.

High-end listings are more abundant because the investors who have been gobbling up single-family houses tend to purchase inexpensive homes to maximize returns, according to the NAR.

“We are seeing fewer and fewer first-time homebuyers because of this,” Jolly said.

Nationally, the share of first-time home buyers in the market fell to 29 percent, the lowest level since January 2019, according to the NAR.

Another factor is sellers overpricing their homes — the “make me move price”— but buyers are hesitant to pay too much, unlike earlier in the pandemic, Jolly said.

It seems the wild residential real-estate market is starting to calm down, at least by some metrics, according to Jolly.