The Vanishing Upper Bracket Residential Property Sale

After recently reviewing the market for two potential new listing clients who own upper bracket homes, I found a somewhat discouraging fact. While there have been 841 residential sales reported during 2009 in our Great Smoky Mountain Association of Realtors MLS by area agents, there has been a very noticeable near absence of upper bracket homes sold. Maybe a more accurate way of putting this is that very few homes have sold at what we used to consider an upper bracket price level. Even very nice properties are selling at more affordable prices but there just aren't many $500k+ sales occurring:


Sales Price 2009

$500,000 - $599,999 = 9

$600,000 - $699,999 = 7

$700,000 - $799,999 = 3

$800,000+ = 2

Total of sales $500,000+ = 21

What do all of these numbers indicate? The picture becomes somewhat more meaningful when you consider there are currently 352 unsold homes for sale in our Gatlinburg area priced above $500,000. My belief is that in a challenging economy not many buyers are willing to invest very large sums of money into even attractively priced Smoky Mountain residential real estate. If you attempt to forecast full year sales for all of 2009 it is really just a guess but during the past 12 months our board reported sales of only 37 half million dollar and up Gatlinburg area (actually the entire MLS) residential properties. This means that we have nearly a 10 year supply of these Smoky Mountain luxury homes. If you have one of these fantastic homes for sale you will need to be very patient unless you are willing to accept a fire-sale type price. I have advised owners of homes in this price range who don't have to sell to wait for a more seller-friendly market rather than sell at prices that feel pretty much like they are giving their homes away. Of course, if you have to sell (or are a bank) you will have to take what the current very difficult market environment gives. There are some fantastic bargains out there for buyers and all of the sales reported this year have been just that - Very aggressively priced properties that sold for well under the value they would have brought a couple of years ago. To search all of the sales reported by our Great Smoky Mountain Association of Realtors MLS database during the past 12 months, please visit our site sold property search via this link.


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