Category: Red News


Spring selling season is reaching full speed, according to the Red Report.

“Spring home selling season is still here and appears to be continuing into May,” said Steven Dotson, president of Red Realty and issuer of the Red Report.

While data from National Association of Realtors show a 4.6 month supply of homes on the market, Dotson said Rutherford County is only showing a two-month to three-month supply.

“Rutherford is at 1,133 (units), which is 26 percent lower than last year this same time,” Dotson said, adding it was still low in 2014.

The Red Report shows total inventories were down 13 percent for April across the four-county area compared to the previous year.

Dotson said the lack of quality inventory can be traced to a lack of places to build.

“Lots for new homes are also an issue as the supply is being depleted much faster than they are being developed,” Dotson said.

Many of the lots left open by the Great Recession have been built on and developers are snatching up the remaining lots on a daily basis, according to records from the Rutherford County register of deeds office.

Those records also show about five houses are being completed daily across Rutherford County, but that supply is being quickly outstripped by demand. And the demand is going to grow along with the job market, Dotson said.

“If I haven’t said it before or someone hasn’t said it: ‘The switch has been turned on, and we are now in a seller’s market,'” Dotson said.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said demand, along with sales, is picking up across the nation.

“Demand appears to be stronger in several parts of the country, especially in metro areas that have seen solid job gains and firmer economic growth over the past year,” he said about the number of pending sales posted in March, which turned into closed sales in April.

He said the increased activity is a good sign, but a better sign is that traditional buyers seem to be replacing investors in many markets.

“It indicates this year’s activity is being driven by more long-term homeowners,” Yun said.

The Red Report shows both cash sales and sales of distressed homes are both down for a year ago, Dotson said.

Overall closed home sales increased 2 percent from March and 7 percent over 2014 in April across Rutherford, Wilson, Williamson and Davidson counties, according to the monthly Red Report.

In Rutherford County, closings held steady from 2014, but the average home sales price increased 5 percent over last year to $201,158, the monthly real estate data tracker shows.

In William County, sales only increased 1 percent in April over 2014’s numbers while both Davidson and Wilson counties saw marked increases of 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Sale prices are also on the rise in the midstate. Williamson and Wilson counties saw double-digit increases in April. Rutherford and Davidson only increased 5 percent over last year.

Month over month, closings increased 5 percent in Rutherford County, 5 percent in Davidson County and 2 percent in Wilson County, while sales dropped 8 percent in Williamson County, according to the report.

The number of pending sales, which is a forward indicator, suggest sales may be leveling off for the season.

The number of pending sales in Williamson, Wilson and Davidson counties only increased slightly from March while Rutherford County saw no increase at all.


MURFREESBORO – Spring has sprung in Middle Tennessee’s housing market, according to the monthly Red Report.

Sales were up in March for the month and for the year in Davidson, Rutherford, Wilson and Williamson counties signaling the selling season has begun, said Steven Dotson, author of the Red Report and president of Red Realty.

“Spring home selling season is officially here with a big March,” Dotson said.

Overall, total closed home sales are up 36 percent in March compared to February and 12 percent year to date 2015 versus year to date 2014.

At the same time, total inventories are down 12 percent for March 2015 compared to March 2014.

“Inventories are tight and the lower-priced home and first-time homebuyer inventories are extremely tight. Quality homes that are clean and move in ready are selling amazingly quick at full price or above,” Dotson said.

Inventories are down across the board with a 25 percent drop reported in Rutherford County, a 1 percent down in Williamson County, 8 percent drop in Davidson County and 24 percent drop in Wilson County, according to the Red Report.

The reduction in supply has pushed up prices across the four-county area.

Year-over-year, sales were only up 2 percent in March in Rutherford County, but sale price increased 12 percent to an average of $201,264.

In Williamson County, closings were up 18 percent with average closed prices up 7 percent to an average of $472,200. In Davidson County, closings were up 11 percent with average closed prices up 22 percent with an average of $287,501. In Wilson County, closings were up 25 percent with average closed prices up 2 percent to an average of $254,914.

“It will be interesting to see how our market reacts to the lack of inventory in the lower price ranges,” Dotson said.

He said both buyer and builders have options for the future.

Buyers could turn into renters and builders could supply the market with higher-density homes and condos at a lower price point.

“It will be interesting to see how developers and builders and the customers react after the scars of the recession,” Dotson said. “Everyone has to have a place to live, so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out over the next five to 10 years as the economy is stronger and our population continues to grow.”

According to the Business and Economic Research Center at MTSU, builders are responding to the market by trying to fill the need with single-family homes. The number of permits issued for single-family home construction for Tennessee showed a strong performance in January but declined in February because of the weather.

Seasonally adjusted units fell to 1,460 for the month, lower than both December and January. Total construction permits, including both single-family and multi-family units, also declined.

Over the year, single-family permits are 9.2 percent higher but total permits are 5.7 percent lower.

Dotson predicts the spring selling season will continue to perform well with double-digit increases in pending home sales across the region.

The forward indicator shows pending sales up 16 percent in Rutherford County, 20 percent in Wilson County, 38 percent in Williamson County and 41 percent in Davidson County.

MURFREESBORO – Rutherford County remains one of the fastest growing counties in the United States even as other Middle Tennessee communities expand at a faster rate, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released last week.

While Census officials estimated Rutherford County had the second-highest population jump in the state in 2014 at 7,533 to a total of 288,906, it had the fourth-highest rate of growth in the state behind Williamson, Montgomery and Wilson counties.

The population gains in 2014 were the first time in recent years that Wilson had outpaced Rutherford, though local economic and housing officials said the additional regional growth won’t affect Rutherford County’s growth.

The difference among all of the high-growing counties is small enough to not be consequential, said Murat Arik, the interim director of the Business & Economic Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University.

Rutherford County’s grew by an estimated 2.7 percent from 2013 to 2014. Williamson County had the highest projected growth rate in the state at 3.1 percent, according to the Census Bureau data, and Wilson County has a growth rate of 2.8 percent.

“For me, what matters is how the economy is growing,” Arik said. “If you have this type of job growth, you’re going to have this type of population growth.”

Rutherford County’s jobless rate has remained in the same range as Nashville and its surrounding counties. The region has eight of the top 10 lowest unemployment rates in the state and has become the major economic engine in the state, Arik said.

“This is the real epicenter for population growth in Tennessee,” Arik said. “In all other counties, it’s really lagging behind.”

The increase in regional growth isn’t expected to alter the number of homes built in Rutherford County, even as the cost of land and construction continues to rise, said Steven Dotson, the president of Red Realty, a Rutherford County real estate firm.

The number of new home permits went up 21 percent between 2013 and 2014 in Rutherford County, he said.

The percentage of home sales was also up 10 percent year to year, which was the same rate as Wilson County.

“We’re still the most affordable county in the market, and I think people will come here,” Dotson said.

Moving forward, the county will have to consider how to handle additional homes with a dwindling number of vacant lots to build new homes on, Dotson said.

“A few years ago, that’s what Rutherford County was known for,” Dotson said. “I think that’s going to affect our market for good and bad.”

Even with a smaller amount of new homes, Dotson said Rutherford County’s affordable housing stock would keep new residents moving into the county at a similar rate.

Social media that extends the reach of first impressions

First impressions are lasting. In the world of real estate, sometimes a first impression is the only opportunity you get to make a sale happen.

Because of this, in the past few years there has been a major influx in advocacy for the use of professional photography for your listings. People are incredibly image-driven, and having compelling imagery can truly determine how quickly you find a buyer for your listing. One of the ways you can maximize the power and reach of your imagery is to establish a bold presence on Pinterest.

Commonly known as the social media hub for moms and brides-to-be, Pinterest allows you to discover, collect, organize and share visually compelling images on your “boards” by “pinning.” Each board represents a theme to help you categorize where you want to put a given “pin.” Although fashion, recipes and parenting posts run rampant on Pinterest, there is also a huge DIY (do it yourself) and home design element. This makes Pinterest a natural fit for a real estate presence — but only for those willing to do it consistently and well. Stick to these basic rules, and you’ll hit the ground running:

  • Complete your business profile by ensuring all information is filled out, including your bio, profile photos and website URL. Verify your business presence on Pinterest by following their steps, which involve the addition of a small line of code into your website. Nothing will change on your site, this just lets Pinterest and all “pinners” know you are who you say you are and lends more credibility to your presence. (Get help verifying your business on Pinterest.)
  • Find your friends through a quick name search or by connecting your account with Facebook, and follow a few good resources for content. This could be DIY masters, home improvement businesses, furniture companies, interior designers — there are plenty to choose from. This will give you a steady stream of pins coming into your home dashboard. When you see something you like from someone you follow, you simply “repin” it to one of your boards by clicking the “pin it” button and selecting which board and description you’d like to use.
  • Add the “Pin It” plug in to your browser’s toolbar. This will allow you to pin to one of your boards at the click of a button when you visit a site or blog with an image and topic you’d like to add to your pinboards. (Here is some information to help you get started.)
  • Populate your profile with a minimum of five boards to start, with five or more pins per board. Make it your goal to pin 10 or more pins (original or repins) per week to keep a steady stream of new content, all the while building up your boards. Starting at least one or two new boards per month will help you build your presence without overwhelming you as you gain confidence on the platform.
  • ·         Board ideas: Featured Listings, Home Equity on a Budget, Painting, Living Room Inspiration, Easy Bathroom Makeovers, Landscape on a Budget, Garage or Closet Organization, Local Area Photo Board, Buyer Tips & Tricks, Seller Tips & Tricks
  • Get the word out by letting your current social media following know they can find you on Pinterest, and provide a link to your profile. Now this part is key: After telling them where they can find you, ask them how you can find them. Tell your followers you want to follow them, and ask them to put their Pinterest handle or URL in the comments below the post or as a reply to your original statement. Then, actually follow through, and connect with them on Pinterest. This benefits both sides, as opposed to just you.
  • As with any platform, it’s important to reciprocate through connections and outreach instead of just hoping people will find you. That means “loving” or commenting on the pins of others or asking questions, repinning useful content found through your dashboard or search, finding other area businesses and people to follow and interact with, and continuing to occasionally follow pinners who put out great content that you appreciate. Spending a few minutes doing this every time you log in is a great habit to get into, and could build you a strong network of pinners, potential clients and business associates!
  • Have very little time to dedicate to another social presence? If you need a scheduling tool to streamline your time spent on this new platform, try Tailwind. Tailwind is extremely affordable and can help you organize, schedule and automate your pin publication.

As a relatively lesser-known platform, Pinterest can prove to be an extremely helpful resource within your field: driving traffic to your site, increasing your brand exposure, and connecting you with those who might need your services or find your advice and activity useful. Take a little time to explore the platform if you’re not familiar, and take advantage of the help center if you have any questions. In very little time, you can create a valuable pathway to connect with people who might need something from you someday.