Knoxville area 2010 homes sales end strong

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 11:08 pm, January 14th, 2011  

One of the tough things about making predictions of any sort is that it’s pretty easy to be wrong. I seem to have been wrong once again on my prediction in total 2010 Knoxville, TN area home sales.

If you will recall on November 15, 2010 I predicted a year end total of 9,500 total homes and condos sold in the greater Knoxville area but the final total turned out to be 10,133 for the year. That’s about 600 more than I thought would sell making my guess off by about 6%; not too bad for a guess. It appears the 4th quarter sales of 2010 were far stronger than I thought they would be.

Here’s how 2010 ended up in Knoxville compared to the past 9 years:

2010 sales

You’ll notice that 2010 ended up about 400 homes below 2009. In analyzing the sales data for the past few years I believe the 2009 and some of the 2010 data was artificially inflated by the $8,000 tax credit that expired on April 30th of 2010.

That tax credit may have been driving Knoxville area sales by as much as 20% or more. In addition to driving sales it also seems to have encouraged the sale of more lower priced homes (first time buyers) driving the average sales prices down along with the median prices.

average & median

So now we’re in January of 2011 and what’s the Knoxville housing market like so far?

We’re only 2 weeks into the year so very little hard data is available but I’m hearing a lot of anecdotal positive stories from my fellow Realtors about increased traffic at open houses, more inquiries on listings for sale, and lenders fielding questions about interest rate and mortgage loans.

If all that positive activity continues, then 2011 should be a good year for Knoxville sellers and buyers with both increased numbers of sales and higher average prices since the market will be more balanced with the demise of the tax credit.

Interest rates remain at historic lows and inventory of homes in all prices ranges is plentiful.

Head on over to to see all the Knoxville, TN area homes for sale and please email or call me with any homebuying or selling questions.

knoxville tn real estate word cloud

knoxville tn real estate word cloud

Technology dos and dont’s for your listings | Knoxville Tennessee Homes For Sale

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 6:59 pm, July 7th, 2010  

For some strange reason the post below I wrote several years ago popped on a Google alert. After re-reading it I decided it was still very relevant to today and hopefully you will find it worthwhile:

Play VisualTour

BTW, this is a pretty cool listing of mine in North Knoxville just in case anyone has a buyer. This listing is NOT several years old.  😉

I just received my July/August issue of “The Real Estate Professional”, a great magazine sent to all REBAC (Real Estate Buyers Agent Council) members.

A feature story is titled “Technology and Home Sales: How the Internet is Changing the Real Estate Industry”. Boy, ain’t that the truth. 😉

I found some of the technology do and don’ts for using technology in your listings to be especially relevant.

  1. I think a lot of us don’t quite realize yet is that most buyers (and sellers) are way more tech savvy than the average Realtor. Probably something to do with their average age being in the 30s and ours being in the 50s.
  2. The time to make a first impression is shorter than ever before. This is especially important on your websites. You have very, very little time to catch and hold someone’s attention before they’re bored and/or ready to move on to a site that gives them what they’re looking for. In order for your website to be effective it must be:
  1. Easily findable by consumers.
  2. Deliver the content they’re looking for
  3. Have compelling reasons to cause them to contact you to do business.
  • Don’t try to overwhelm consumers with lots of bells & whistles on your site, i.e. lots of flash or downloads, NO MUSIC, and make sure your website is compatible with current popular browsers such as Internet Explorer (still the most widely used), Firefox, & Mozilla.
  • Photos. Some panoramic photos tend to distort a room, so stills only or stills plus a panorama are best to appeal to the lowest common denominator of viewers.
  • Award winning Key Lime Pie recipe

    Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 8:16 am, March 25th, 2010  

    One of my favorite kinds of pie is Key Lime. Easy to make but hard to find a good one.

    My benchmark for excellence in Key Lime pies are the ones made at the Donut Hole Bakery & Cafe on Harbor Boulevard in Destin Florida. Their pies are what all Key Lime pies should aspire to; that tart-sweet taste that makes your mouth sort of pucker and gets your saliva glands flowing at the same time. Delicious.

    I have now discovered another Key Lime pie that you can easily create at home that tastes just as good. My fellow Realtor Jean Tavenner’s daughter Yvonne is an accomplished cook just like her mother. Yvonne has a Key Lime pie recipe that won First Prize in a local cooking contest and after tasting a slice last night, I know why. It was delicious with that trademark tart sweet taste all Key Lime pies should have.

    With her permission I’m sharing her award winning recipe with you.

    Yvonne Farmer Award Winning Key Lime Pie recipe

    Yvonne Farmer

    Here’s what you need to make your own “Yvonne’s Award Winning Key Lime Pie”:

    • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
    • 1/4 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup of melted butter
    • 2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk (Yvonne uses one regular and one low or non-fat).
    • 1 cup of  Key Lime juice (make sure it’s REAL Key Lime juice, regular limes just don’t produce the same taste) Yvonne uses about 3/4 cup and squeezes the remaining 1/4 cup from fresh Key Limes.
    • 2 egg whites
    • 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tarter
    • 2 tablespoons of sugar
    • Lime slices to garnish
    1. Combine the first 3 ingredients. Press into a 9 inch pie pie plate or pan. Bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes and then let it cool.
    2. Stir together sweetened condensed milk and lime juice until blended. Pour into crust.
    3. Beat egg whites and cream of tarter at high speed with electric mixer just until foamy. Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time while beating until soft peaks form and sugar dissolves  (2 to 4 minutes). Spread meringue over pie filling.
    4. Bake @ 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool completely. chill 8 hours. Garnish with lime slices. Yields 1 9 inch pie.

    There you go, one of the best and easiest Key Lime pie recipes around. Thanks to Yvonne Farmer for sharing her award winning recipe.

    Visit Knoxville Home to see all Knoxville area Realtor listings for sale.

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    What’s happening this month in Knoxville, TN real estate.

    Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 11:59 am, March 21st, 2010  
    Play VisualTour

    Here’s a marvelous North Hills home that has been extensively updated. Hardwood floors, fireplace, and lots of other great features.

    See all the greater Knoxville area listings of homes and condos for sale at Knoxville Home, just click here and you’re there. 😉

    My apologies to my regular readers for not posting anything in the past 2 weeks but I’ve been pretty busy listing and selling houses which is a good thing.

    The February sales numbers are now available from the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors for the greater Knoxville area and surrounding counties so let’s take a look and see how we did this past month.

    knoxville tennessee real estate and knoxville tn homes for sale

    February to past Februaries comparison

    While this just past February was up 42 homes over 2009 the total volume is still way down compared to the past 7 years or so. According to these numbers we’re basically at around 2001-02 levels.

    Here’s the latest Knox County sales figures for the week just past.

    knoxville tennessee real estate and knoxville tn homes for sale

    From the Knox County Register of Deeds

    I count 92 transactions in the chart above. That’s down considerably from the 150 or so we were averaging in 2009 which dovetails with the sales figures above from the Realtor Association.

    It appears this February is pretty much like January 2010; down from years past but up over last year a little. Modest good news for the Knoxville area real estate market.

    Another way to calculate the current state of a real estate market is by the absorption rate. That means how long will it take to sell the current amount of homes for sale at the current sales rate.

    Currently in the Knoxville Area Association of Realtor’s MLS (Multiple Listing Service) there are 4,021 single family homes and condos for sale. Based on the latest February sales figures for Knox County there were 369 closings. That means it would take 13.3 months at the current sales levels to sell all 4,021 listings assuming no new ones came on the market.

    Those figures tell me we’re still in a very strong buyer’s market in the greater Knoxville, Tennessee area.

    Knoxville median sales prices

    Median sales price is the middle of the price range, half were more, half were less.

    If anyone is thinking of buying this year let me remind you the $8,000 federal tax credit expires at the end of April 2010 and most likely WILL NOT be renewed this time. Here’s some FAQ about how it works, please call or email me with any additional questions or to get started buying your own home.

    You do have until the end of April to have your selected home under contract and then an additional 60 days beyond that to get it closed. Some active duty military personnel have more time under special circumstances; I can help with that as well.

    See all the greater Knoxville area listings of homes and condos for sale at Knoxville Home

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    Knoxville, TN weekly real sales report for the week of December 20th

    Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 9:08 pm, December 23rd, 2009  
    Play VisualTour

    This very motivated seller is willing to do a lease purchase on this beautiful country home in north Knoxville.

    Here’s the latest real estate property transfers as reported by the Knox County, Tennessee Register of Deeds.

    Year to date Knox County has been averaging around 150 transfers (sales) a week. The week just passed reported 135 sales which is a bit below the average. I’m putting that down to the fast approaching Christmas week and other things than home buying on people’s minds.

    Knox County Register of Deeds, Knoxville, TN

    You’ll notice from past reports that even the hot $100,000 to $150,000 price range sank down a little this past week.

    I’m starting to hear from mortgage bankers all over the country that interest rates are on the rise and we will almost certainly be looking at 6% rates sometime before mid 2010, probably in the early months.

    Of course 6% is a pretty phenomenal rate, I remember back about 30 years ago when I bought my first house and got an 8% fixed rate. I thought that was the best thing possible, which of course at that time it was.

    If you’re thinking if buying, NOW is a great time. The $8,000 tax credit that most buyers will qualify for expires at the end of April in 2010 and I’m betting it will not be renewed again.

    Even existing home owners can now get up to $6,500 if they buy another home for their principal residence AND your existing home does not have to be sold for you to qualify.

    There is still a huge selection of homes for sale and motivated (for now) sellers are willing to make deals to entice buyers to buy their house over another.

    And finally interest rates are still very, very attractive.

    So putting all these factors together makes this sort of a perfect storm for home buyers. is the ‘go to’ place to see all Knoxville and Farragut Realtor listings as wells as many surrounding counties. Come on in and have a look around, you might find that “just right” home for you and your family.

    Please feel free to leave your comments or email me with any questions.

    Best wishes to everyone for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2010!

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    Knox County Register of Deeds real estate transfers for the week of Dec. 13th

    Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 9:37 am, December 14th, 2009  
    Play VisualTour

    235 real estate transfers recorded in Knox County, Tennessee this past week. I believe that’s only the 4th time in 2009 we’ve had over 200 sales recorded in 1 week! A good sign for the local real estate market and sellers and buyers.

    Here’s a graph showing the breakdown.

    Lots of real estate transfers recorded in the past week

    Lots of real estate transfers recorded in the past week

    As has been true all year, the $100,000 to $150,000 price range continues to dominate the market, there were 70 recorded sales in that category for the past week.

    And the higher end, that’s the over $500,000 price point, continues to languish.

    As most everyone is aware now, the $8,000 tax credit for new homebuyers has been extended until April 30, of 2010. I’m still convinced that is driving a very significant percentage of the lower price sales. Some say as much as 40% of those sales are qualifying for the credit.

    One plus in the extension is that it now applies to sellers if they buy another home and you do not necessarily have to sell your current home to qualify. That category can get up to a $6,500 credit when they buy.

    Housing sales in the greater Knoxville area remain fairly strong relative to our usual seasonal downturn which historically happens about July/August of each year and declining through the winter months until the spring market starts coming to life.

    However houses are bought and sold every day of the year and it looks like more than normal are going to be bought and sold through the next few days of this year and into 2010.

    Good news for the Knoxville, Tennessee real estate market.

    Here’s a link to a great article by Marc Roth jokingly titled “If you don’t buy a house now, you’re broke or stupid.”

    And here’s the place to go find that house to buy:

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    Knox County, TN Register of Deeds transactions for the week of December 6th

    Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 1:02 pm, December 6th, 2009  

    I counted the property transfers published by the Knox County Register of Deeds for the previous week and found 186 which is a little above the 150 or so average we’ve had for all of 2009 so far.

    It seems the extension of the homebuyers tax credit is continuing to drive the lower end of our market (the $200,000 and under price points) and the upper end remains sluggish.

    Knox County TN closed transactions

    Knox County TN closed transactions

    I’ve been reading lots of encouraging news about real estate markets all across the county and how they’re seeing increases in sales. Our market has shown one encouraging sign in the past 2 months in that sales have remained high instead of taking their usual seasonal downturn in the fall and winter months.

    Let’s hope that trend continues, in past recessions real estate has been the force that drove the recovery.

    Here’s some more statistical data from the National Association of Realtor’s research department.

    Tennessee building permits

    Tennessee building permits

    As you can see from the huge drop off in building permits new construction is still in deep trouble.

    What drives local supply and demand

    What drives local supply and demand

    And finally how Knoxville is doing relative to the rest of Tennessee

    Comparing Knoxville sales to U.S. sales

    Comparing Knoxville sales to U.S. sales

    Visit to see all of Knoxville’s homes for sale.

    Please feel free to comment or ask any real estate related question you may have.

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