High demand for East Tennessee homes despite slower sales pace


While recent figures of home sales in East Tennessee show the sales pace has slowed, largely due to rising interest rates, the demand for homes continues.

Coldwell Banker Wallace Vice President of Residential Sales Claudia Stallings said there is a waiting list for new home buyers and those wanting to sell their homes are beginning to negotiate more.

“What we see while we hit a low in December which is typical for December, we came back in January which is back to pre-pandemic levels for people wanting to list their homes,” said Stallings.

According to the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors, home sales in the Knoxville Area increased in January, raising up 1.8% from the previous month. However, she added that sales are down 23.6% from a year ago.

“We have been on a very pace over the past couple of years, it feels slower because it’s a difference in pace. But what we have to remember this is where we were pre-pandemic. So, the median sales price, we actually set a January record. Our price hike overall was last May at $335,000 was our median sales price. It’s around 318 today,” said Stallings.

Developments have been springing up in many areas of East Tennessee.

“There is a waiting list for homes that are going up. They are calling for the highest and best offers and that house hasn’t even come out of the ground yet in many cases. It is still a seller’s market. But I do think buyers are able to take a little bit more time with their decisions. I do think buyers are considering having home inspections again and sellers are going to have to learn to perhaps negotiate repairs,” said Stallings.

“They were waived before, weren’t they?” asked Don Dare.

“Home inspections were waived which is a real risk to the buyer,” said Stallings.

Interest rates have changed a lot over the past few years, Stallings explained how the rising rates have affected prospective buyers.

“I think buyers have pushed pause. I think they are still watching and waiting to see if there are going to be any additional changes. Projection is that sales prices throughout 2023 will likely increase by 5 percent in our area,” said Stallings.

Even with the rising interest rates, Stallings says there is still demand.

While more homes will be hitting the market this year, that demand, Claudia described, will move the median price up. The Knoxville Area Association of Realtors said the median home sales price was $316,000 in January, which was up 6.3% from the previous year.

The Knoxville Area Association of Realtors lists the most expensive zip codes as Farragut, the Blue Grass Concord communities of West Knoxville, Downtown Knoxville, and the Hardin Valley area.