by Flint Adam, Nolensville resident & Realtor®
(Note: all data below is for Nolensville properties within Williamson County. Excluded are Nolensville homes sold in Davidson and Rutherford counties).
I’m back from the dead! Okay, I never really left but I have been absent on the blog for a little while here. The big news in my world is that my lovely wife and I are expecting another child! This means daddy has been put to work in his free time (mommy is nesting). If you walked in my house right now you’d probably ask what real work have I done in here, but believe me – we’ve made a dent. There will be more of these cleaning/prepping days ahead.
But enough about me, you’re here for the recap and predictions! Without further adieu…
2017 will be remembered as another strong year of sales in Nolensville, but it also reminded the marketplace that rising home prices cannot go unchecked.
At times, there was frustration among sellers as many Nolensville homes sat on the market longer than expected. Late spring and early summer proved especially confusing as sellers watched many other Greater Nashville communities continue selling at a torrid pace, yet here in Nolensville we saw inventory increase and some buyers take their time pulling the trigger. Price-reductions became a common theme.
But total sales for the year were impressive, nonetheless. Not record-setting, mind you, but impressive. Here’s how it looked:
Nolensville Single Family Home Sales Breakdown…
Meanwhile, the average price of a home sold in Nolensville during 2017 was $509,784. That represents an 11.3% year-over-year increase from 2016’s average selling price of $457,885.
To break that figure down further…
New construction in 2017 sold at an average price of $558,254… up from $492,872 (+13.3%)
Resales in 2017 sold at an average price of $453,856… up from $415,028 in 2016 (+9.4%)
Bottom line, 2017 became the most expensive year ever to purchase a home in Nolensville. The marketplace griped about that, but at the end of the day plenty of sales still happened… in fact, 2017 was the second most successful year of sales in Nolensville ever.
2017 – Sales Slow Down…
I love graphs because they tell a story. I share data like this with every prospect and client I work with because it pays to be informed (literally). When pricing a home or gauging how long it may sit on market, it’s important to understand trends.
2017’s data tells an interesting tale. We began with the most wildly successful January the town has ever seen, and it carried over to a record-setting February; but March saw flat growth and April began a stretch of underachieving months that would continue until sales briefly got back on track in August. (A wave of price-reductions in June and July helped salvage end-of-summer sales numbers.)
Interestingly, May, June, September and December all underperformed not only 2016 sales figures, but 2015 as well. Meanwhile, plenty of inventory was on the market in both resales and new construction. The market was telling us something – the value proposition for our little town wasn’t quite as robust as it had been the previous couple years.
In my 2017 Nolensville Real Estate Predictions blog found here, I forecasted this slow-down… but even I underestimated how quickly it would begin. My prediction was we would see the brakes tapped the second-half of the year. In fact, the market began changing toward the end of March, and other than a few bright spots in August and November, we saw sales decrease year-over-year every subsequent month.
Home Prices, Oh Boy!
I smile as I look back at another prediction I made… that the average price of new construction in 2017 would hit $527,943. At the time I thought I may sound ridiculous with that figure… but as it turned out I undershot it by $30,000. Wow.
I don’t see anything tempering that figure right now. With the full effect of the Williamson County School Impact Fee in place, and the price of land, labor, and materials at extraordinary levels, it simply costs a lot to build a new home nowadays.
Looking ahead to 2018, there’s another wildcard I’m looking out for – the buyer relocating from out of state. Tennessee, with its low property tax, no state income tax, and laid back lifestyle, has become very attractive for buyers interested in relocating from expensive coastal states like California and New York. The new tax laws enacted in 2018 make Tennessee even more attractive for folks relocating from these states. As they arrive, they still consider our home prices a real deal, and they’ll buy up properties without flinching.
Further, our job market remains good, money is still cheap to borrow, and people are feeling confident in the economy and their ability to spend. It’s a recipe for rising prices. Get used to it.
5 Predictions for 2018 Nolensville Real Estate…
1.) More balance: I believe 2017 was the start of a minor correction in our marketplace. Yes, that sounds counterintuitive when you consider there was still a double-digit increase in average home prices… but I think we’ll see that number come down in 2018. Appreciation will still occur this year, but it will be in the single digits… think 4% for resales and maybe 7% for new construction. Those numbers are still impressive, mind you, but not absurd like they have been in the recent past.
2.) More out-of-state buyers: look for new neighbors coming from California, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, and New York, among other states. To the outsider, Nolensville remains a bargain – especially when you consider added perks like our school system, proximity to work, and quality of life.
3.) Interest rates continue rising: it’s happening now folks – as of this writing the average 30-year mortgage is at 4.14%, and industry experts believe 4.5% on up to near 5% is possible by year’s end. In historical terms, that’s still an exceptional rate, but historically we weren’t paying a half-million dollars for a home in Nolensville. This is going to add some pressure on prices in the resale market.
4.) New construction homes get smaller: okay, I totally whiffed on this prediction last year. I forecasted smaller floor plans being built in 2017, and in fact, new construction homes got even bigger… 122sf bigger than in 2016, in fact. This year, I think we’ll see that number go down. As prices keep stretching to the moon, it becomes easier to bring them back down to Earth by simply building a smaller home.
5.) More new Nolensville developments are announced, (but there’s a caveat to this one): there will also be some delays and failures. There are out of state builders and developers coming into our area thinking they can come and make a mint. Unfortunately for them, they don’t realize Nolensville should have been called Rockville. Much of the land around here that remains available is difficult (and expensive) to build on. These folks are underestimating costs to build… overestimating the prices they can fetch… and are going to be left in an unfavorable position if they don’t watch out.
Flint Adam is a Nolensville resident and lives with his wife and son in Bent Creek. He focuses his practice in town, having served almost 70 buyers and sellers in closed Nolensville real estate transactions. Flint enjoys blogging about real estate, traveling the world, photography, and drinking wine with friends and loved ones. He is passionate about serving Nolensville and keeping it one of America’s greatest small towns. His family attends The Village United Methodist Church in town.