Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!

While many, if not most agents are glad to see 2008 end it wasn't that bad a year for us. With 52 closed sales totaling over $10 million in volume in 2008 I did manage to feed the family and pay the bills (though I have had better years). Sadly, many Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville area real estate agents were forced to leave the business in 2008 and I strongly suspect that more will exit in 2009 as our market continues to be challenging.

On a somewhat happier note the preliminary numbers are in for December 2008 sales and for the first time since May there was a significant month-to-month increase in overall units sold by the members of the Great Smoky Mountains Association of Realtors. The 500 or so area agents combined for a total of 84 residential unit sales in December. While still sharply below the other 10 months of this year the results were superior to November's heartbreaking 65 total home sales. Also, there will likely be a few more sales reported in the next week or so as agents get around to posting the final tallies for 2008. My estimate is that our board will, when all the sales are counted, finish with about 90 December sales give or take a few. This is still sharply below Decembers of previous years but at least better than November's results.

If my estimate ends up being accurate, total residential sales for 2008 will end up being nearly 1400 total units which is a depressing 38% below our area's total number of sales closed in 2007. The tally for 2007 was in turn 18% below 2006's results which came in just 8% under the record unit sales (2970) recorded in 2005. For a table and graph of all of these numbers please follow this link.

My Gatlinburg area real estate forecast for 2009 is that sales will continue to be slow but hopefully will continue the uptick that we experienced in December. Foreclosures remain a large part of the equation and will continue to be a significant factor in 2009 and possibly beyond. It is still a great time to be a buyer of Smoky Mountain real estate and a difficult situation if one has to sell.
Stay tuned for big news coming soon to this blog space...

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