The Investigators: Fewer homes, higher prices in the Memphis market

The Investigators: Fewer homes, higher prices in the Memphis market

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis is a seller’s market right now. Fewer properties are up for sale, and those that are cost more for buyers like Mary-Clayton Garavelli.

“We’re being a little picky, and there’s just not a lot out there to choose from,” said Garavelli.

"Sales being down is completely, in my opinion, is COVID-related,” said Kathryn Garland, MAAR president.

Kathryn Garland is president of MAAR - the Memphis Area Association of Realtors.

“As to unemployment and the difficult situation that a lot of people are finding themselves in,” said Garland.

Garland also says some potential sellers aren't listing their home, wanting to wait out the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

“We've already been in a trimmed down market it's even more with the pandemic,” said Garland.

The WMC Action News 5 Investigators analyzed data released by MAAR and found in May, just over 3,200 homes were on the market in the Memphis area. That’s nearly 1,000 fewer homes for sale than in May 2019.

“At the same time, prices are holding steady and strong over last year. It's definitely still a great market,” said Garland.

A great market for sellers, who can demand more money because supply is low.

Shelby County home prices have increased by more than 11-percent so far this year, compared to the same time period last year.

The average sale price in Shelby County is just over $138,000, while some neighborhoods have seen prices really *soar.

For example, Garavelli and her husband have been shopping in East Memphis.

“It's close to work for me, where I teach,” said Garavelli.

East Memphis has seen one of the biggest jumps in average sales price.

The average home there now costs over $220,000.

Last year, the average sales price was $191,000.

“We're also looking in the Germantown area,” said Garavelli.

Germantown is one of the only neighborhoods in Shelby County that saw increased home sales from January to May -- 314 homes were sold in Germantown compared to 304 sales in the same time period last year.

According to MAAR data, South Memphis, Parkway Village/Oakhaven and Lakeland were the only other Shelby County neighborhoods that have had more homes sell so far this year compared to last.

The remaining fourteen neighborhoods that MAAR tracks showed sales were down while home prices in *every neighborhood, are up.

When asked if she thinks this trend is going to continue, Garland said yes.

“I do think it's going to continue. But, from what the chief economist says, they're not expecting this to last longer than the pandemic.”

The Frayser neighborhood has seen the biggest drop in home sales. But the average sales price for homes in Frayser increased by more than $6,000. The biggest price increase was in the Lakeland neighborhood where the average home sold for over $359,000, an increase of more than $50,000 from 2019.

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