Some have it Worse than Others!
In my September 1st post (updated today) I published the statistics from our area's MLS database detailing Gatlinburg area residential unit sales as compared to prior months and years. After analyzing the results I thought that it would be interesting (in sort of the same way that the plague could possibly be called interesting) to look at various other parts of our real estate market to see just where we stand (or lean).

With a total of 7,992 currently active listings (all categories including residential, land, commercial, and multi-family) posted on our Great Smoky Mountain Association of Realtors board we are near, but not at, the recent high that I have witnessed. There are at least two reasons for the increase in the number of property listings. One is that our area continues to grow with many more developments than there were a few years ago and more residents as well. Additionally, sales are taking longer to occur so at any one time more properties are on the market than used to be. To put this number in perspective 2,145 sales have been closed during the past year ending August 31st, 2008. This means that we currently have a 3.73 year supply of property for sale based on our last 12 months sales pace.

This is not a good thing for sellers, as a balanced market is generally considered to be when the active inventory is equal to about 6 months or so. At 3.73 we have an inventory of real estate currently for sale that is over 7 TIMES the level that represents an ideal balanced market. It CAN however be worse and unfortunately it is for sellers who are looking to sell land. Remember that the 3.73 year supply number is for all categories of property. There are currently 4,176 residential (homes, cabins, condos, chalets, and mobile homes) compared with 1,584 sales during the last 12 months. This means that our inventory of residential properties is currently at a level of 2.64 years which though still isn't good is considerably better than the overall 3.73 year supply figure.

One might wonder what brings the combined average of inventory supply so much higher? Thanks for asking - the answer is land and lot sales. Although there are currently 3,416 land listings shown as active local area real estate agents only posted 466 sales during the past year meaning that we have a 7.33 year supply of land listings based on the current pace. Obviously based on these numbers the most challenging sales environment currently is found in land only acreage and lot transactions which are apparently very hard to come by.

As Bill Cosby says, "Never challenge worse!". The bright spot is that there are superb bargains on all sorts of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville area real estate. I will list a few in my next post that are well worth looking at.

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