National New Home Sales Rate Plunges

Sales of new homes plunged by 8.5% to a 17-year low in March, the United States Commerce Department estimated today. The decline in new-home sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 526,000 was much weaker than the 577,000 pace expected by economists surveyed by the MarketWatch organization.

In Sevier County, March sales of residential properties fell to the lowest level in many years with only 66 units being reported by the Great Smoky Mountain Association of Realtors (GSMAR). An additional 40 units in neighboring counties were sold by member Realtors during the month but the total of 106 units was sharply lower than March a year ago when a total of 244 residential units were sold by the members of GSMAR.

Of additional concern, the month of April has been very slow so far as reported by members of our MLS. I'm estimating that total sales of residential units by GSMAR members will fall well below 100 units setting a new recent year low for monthly sales. As of this writing only 61 homes and condos have been reported as sold during the month of April for our entire GSMAR Board. There are however at least three reasons why the final tally of April residential units sold should be considerably higher:
  • Obviously one week remains in the month of April
  • There are generally more sales in the final week of any month than in other weeks
  • Agents frequently lag a little in their reporting so we won't have a true number until around May 7th

In spite of the slow state of the market I have actually had a good start to 2008 and already have four pending residential sales for May. Not all that bad, especially given the current real estate market conditions in Sevier County. If you would like to sell your Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Kodak, Cosby, or Seymour property please contact me.

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