Morbid Curiosity

Have you ever driven by a very tragic automobile accident site and although you don't really want to look there is something that almost requires you to peer into the mangled automobile as you drive by? There is a very strong, almost unconquerable urge to see if one can view some blood or maybe even an errant limb. I believe it's often human nature to look at something even when we know what we will see might be grotesque or frightening.

My feelings about our April 2008 residential real estate market here in Sevier County are very similar to the misgivings one might have about staring into a recently and seriously wrecked automobile lying along the roadway. Although I know I won't like at all what I'm going to see I have a morbid curiosity about what lies within last month's residential units sold statistics. After taking a brief peak at the April residential sale stats for our market I have definitely seen a site just as financially grotesque as any dangling limb of a crash victim could be.

While each month's sales stats have been lower beginning in September of last year the drop became even more precipitous in April. As of this evening, there were only 88 residential units reported being sold in our market by local Realtors. Sadder still there were only 61 residential units reported as sold within Sevier County, the balance being sold in adjoining Jefferson, Knox, Blount, and Cocke counties. The results are very bleak indeed compared to past year's April sales as can clearly be seen in the chart below:
There are two caveats that need to be mentioned regarding April's paltry reported residential sales. First and foremost, one cannot get a complete tally of sales until a week or more into the new month so there will certainly be some additional sales reported. Based on past experience it is likely that we will add another 6-8 units to the total that simply haven't been reported yet. For an updated view of the stats and an additional chart please click here.

Secondly, there is a pickup in activity levels with more inquiries from buyers viewing our website. This important uptrend began a couple of months ago and will likely show up in an increased number of sales in the near future. In fact, I now have 6 pending sales set for May and will hopefully add a couple of more as the month progresses.

It remains, however, that Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge unit sales are not sufficient to support the current number of Realtors in our Great Smoky Mountain Association. While we have already dropped 100 agents from the all time high agent count set last year there are still far too many real estate agents in our market and some more will likely fall by the wayside.

Foreclosures are some of the only properties that are briskly selling in this environment and we have several new foreclosure homes that we will be bringing on the market during May. Please keep watching this blog as we are going to start publishing homes on this page as they are priced by the banks that are listing their properties with us. If you are interested in purchasing a Smoky Mountain property at a great value please contact us.


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