Homeownership fosters vibrant communities in Middle TN


If you had a hard time reaching your Realtor on Oct. 14, it’s likely because he or she was attending the Middle Tennessee Realtors Convention held at the Music City Center. This annual event, hosted by the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, offers education, networking and a trade show for real estate professionals across the region.

This year’s keynote speaker was Jonathan Smoke, Realtor.com’s chief economist. Smoke shared statistics and trends from both the national and local housing markets. The information he shared confirmed what we already knew about how active our market is, and he also gave encouragement about market stability going forward.

September was a particularly active month for the Nashville area. Of the hottest markets in the country, we came in at 19. Davidson County as a whole performed well, landing as one of the top 50 counties in the country. And Donelson’s 37214 was the 15th hottest ZIP code out of 33,000!

The Nashville area has two big factors for housing growth working in its favor: low mortgage rates and a strong economy. Smoke shared that Tennessee’s mortgage rates are lower than almost all of the rates in the country. Low mortgage rates not only entice buyers into the market, they also keep affordability within reach for many buyers despite increases in median price.

Economically speaking, Middle Tennessee is in a good place. Our unemployment rate is low, at around 3 percent. As companies continue to move here and existing businesses expand, consumer confidence grows.

All of these things are expected to continue into next year, but there is another factor that will make a greater positive impact on the market. Smoke says we should prepare for what he calls an “oh shift!” moment.

Generally speaking, first-time homebuyers have declined in market share over the past several years. However, job stability, a healthy economy and the desire to invest in a home is propelling this group back into the market. In fact, in September, first-time buyers made up 52 percent of buyers nationally.

One of the most compelling bits of information Smoke shared, and possibly my favorite, is that our region has a 67 percent homeownership rate, which is higher than most of the United States. The value of homeownership remains strong in Middle Tennessee. This creates a robust housing market and fosters vibrant communities where citizens take pride in putting down roots and contributing to the stability of their neighborhoods. I’ll take that pulse all day long.

Denise Creswell is president of the Greater Nashville Association of RealtorsA Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors who subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Contact her at 615-473-1663 or denise@denisecreswell.com.


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