As we approach the year-and-a-half mark of Covid Stay Home orders, it’s incredible to reflect on the dramatic — and quick — shifts in our Grassland Real Estate market. And holy cow – the changes this has brought in our home values.
In Grassland alone, our average sales price for the first six weeks of 2020 was $846,486. That would have landed you something like this home, which sold in Temple Hills The Links for $800,000 on Valentine’s Day in 2020.
Today, a home in Grassland with similar square footage, bedroom, bath count and acreage is selling anywhere from $985,000 – $1.3 million! Of course, an exact price depends on updating and finishes, and there are always outliers. But man, for those of us who bought just 18 months ago, what a return on our investment. And things aren’t exactly looking down for the foreseeable future, in my opinion. I’ll explain why in just a bit, after we check out the latest in how your neighborhood is performing.
July and August (so far) have seen 61 Grassland closings in total, as of August 19th. In this seven week period, our average sales price in Grassland has been just over a million dollars, at $1,016,185. Take a look at where each of the neighborhoods with homes sold during this time are settling:
- Meadowgreen Acres – 1 home sold at $417,000
- Fieldstone Farms – 21 homes sold at an average of $591,198
- Founders Pointe – 3 homes sold at an average of $596,000
- Sunnyside – 1 home sold at $599,000
- Monticello – 1 home sold at $727,000
- Battlewood – 2 homes sold at an average of $768,065
- Cardel Village – 1 home sold at $820,755
- Cornerstone – 2 homes sold at an average of $822,500
- Cottonwood – 2 homes sold at an average of $826,175
- Battlewood Estates – 1 home sold at $901,130
- Horseshoe Bend – 3 homes sold at an average of $1,000,000
- Highgate – 2 homes sold at an average of $1,012,500
- Temple Hills – 1 home sold at $1,282,000
- River Landing – 1 home sold at $1,400,000
- Montpier Farms – 1 home sold at $1,450,000
- Dunblane – 1 home sold at $1,450,000
- Forest Home Farms – 2 homes sold at an average of $1,512,500
- Laurelbrooke – 2 homes sold at an average of $1,562,500
- Harts Landmark – 1 home sold at $1,625,000
- Sneed Valley – 1 home sold at $1,648,500
- Stockett Creek – 1 home sold at $1,700,000
- Legends Ridge – 2 homes sold at an average of $2,025,000
- Two Rivers – 1 home sold at $3,100,000
Click on each neighborhood’s hyperlink to see the details of each home sold. Homes that are not in neighborhoods are not included because there are often large differences in acreage and other features.
Considering the average prices of the 61 homes sold in the past 6 weeks compared to the beginning of 2020, we are looking at a 20% increase in our average sales prices in Grassland since before the pandemic! (Or, another $169,000 added value on average.)
And Williamson County’s numbers, as a whole, are even more impressive, if you get past the top row of numbers in the graph. You’ll see there were 530 Closings in July 2021, which is down from June, as are Active Listings. We also saw an average increase of Days on Market from 8 in June to 9 in July. But look at the prices of homes closed in July (after most of them likely went under contract in June):
An increase in average sales prices in Williamson County of $66,000 month-to-month!?! And $281,000 more year-to-year!?!?!? This is a 42% increase in average sales prices across Williamson County in just one year. And to think, we thought 3% was decent just two years ago.
I do expect we’ll see a lower rate of increase going forward (20-42% is not sustainable), but I don’t expect we’ll lose this value we’ve gained so far.
Why This Won’t Reverse
This is where everyone — from your friends and neighbors to economists and real estate professionals — all have differing opinions. (And those waiting on the sidelines to buy are really HOPING against what I’m about to say.) Everyone’s input is valuable as people from all perspectives share what they’re experiencing along with their real estate hopes and fears. But what I tend to rely mostly on is data.
I’ve said this a lot, especially since the beginning of Covid Stay Home orders, but the numbers tell us a story. And so far, every direction I’ve predicted in these blog posts for our real estate market has come true during these past 18 months, though the extremes have been a surprise to us all.
Most recently, what we’ve experienced in our local real estate market is a pumping of the brakes over the summer. (The market is still competitive, just not as competitive as we saw in the spring.) Nationwide, Redfin says only 60-percent of its agents offers on homes in July were in multiple offer situations, as opposed to 74% at the spring peak. I noticed the frenzy we saw here during March, April and much of May suddenly decreased in intensity once Williamson County Schools let out. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I believe that’s due to a variety of things all happening at the same time: Covid vaccinations came out, entertainment opened up again, Buyers were distracted by vacations and quite frankly, were worn out from making several offers on homes and repeatedly losing in multiple offer situations. At the same time, there was talk of interest rates going back up.
During June, July and August so far, we’ve seen our Grassland market still moving pretty quickly, though homes started lingering on the market a few more days than in Spring. Some areas stopped seeing multiple offer situations — or there weren’t as many offers (think 5 offers versus 20 in the spring). For the homes that you may have seen reducing price, a lot of that could be that they’re over-priced to begin with and Sellers have had to readjust their expectations.
The big question I left you with from my last monthly post was:
“Will it get crazy again once school resumes?”
Traffic has indeed started to pick up again, but I think what we’re seeing is a more seasonal patterned behavior mimicking pre-Covid.
I expect we’ll continue to see increased traffic through Labor Day and into early October, which is typical in Real Estate. Then activity will relax a bit again once we get to Halloween and will stay lower through the holidays before gearing up again, starting January 2nd.
What I’m seeing play out locally in our Grassland market is falling right in line with data and input from those monitoring the bigger picture.
Property data distributor CoreLogic has said they expect our price growth to slow down in the near future as well. Though our property values won’t decrease nationwide, they are expecting a slowdown in our rate of increase in values to a more “normal” level of 3.2 percent year-over-year by next summer. So instead of another year of 20% average sales price increases, we may only see a 3% increase by this time next year, according to CoreLogic.
We’ll continue to see demand in housing, keeping our home values steady. Nationwide, we continue to have more first-time homebuyers hitting the market than in the past couple generations, with millennials being the largest generation. Our birthrate nationwide continues to rise, and here in Tennessee, we continue to see political refugees from California, New York (and surrounding areas) and Illinois, coming here for tax relief. At the same time, Builder confidence has hit the lowest it’s been since July 2020 due to a squeeze on materials and supplies, handcuffing the rate they’re able to meet these needs.
Also, keeping an eye on interest rates: Rates were on the rise in early spring. But since fears of inflation have come down, that’s reduced the price of mortgages. Mortgage interest rates for 30-year loans are still hovering near the 3-percent mark. This will continue to keep Buyers engaged in our market.
Overall, a great report for those of us who already live here. And for those wanting to make Grassland home, now is as good of a time as any to make that move.