REAL ESTATE: Lots selling fast around county


REAL ESTATE: Lots selling fast around county

By KERRI BARTLETT

Williamson County home sales aren’t the only segment of the real estate market that’s hot right now. There’s a lot of momentum when it comes to lot sales as well.

Williamson County home sales aren’t the only segment of the real estate market that’s hot right now. There’s a lot of momentum when it comes to lot sales as well.

That fact owes, in large measure, to the scarcity of land available for development.

 “In my experience working with builders, lots are getting scarce, and many are scrambling to buy them,” Realtor McClain Franks of Battle Ground Realty said.

McClain added that especially for developers, few options are available for new construction in the county. They are buying scattered lots within existing subdivisions as they wait for building to commence in new developments and for bank financing.

The positive thing is that lot prices are steady and going for asking price, McClain said. She also commented that this, in turn, could affect the price of homes by adding value to the total property, thus contributing to an increase in the value of homes.

Franks’ husband is builder and developer Chris Franks of Legacy Homes and Tennessee Valley Homes.  

“We’ve seen home prices come very close to stabilizing within the past six months,” Chris Franks said.

According to reports from Williamson County Realtor Association, YTD Statistics on Farms/ Land/Lots are as follows:

January-July 2012 YTD: 179 properties sold

$159,707- Average Median Sales Price

January-July 2011 YTD: 163 properties sold

$120,000- Average Median Sales Price

January-July 2010 YTD: 96 properties sold

$143,571- Average Median Sales Price

(Some reports showed that expensive properties sold during this time period that might have skewed the average median sales price.)

He shared that although some land is still available, it is going quickly and many builders do not know where they will be building in six, eight or 10 months. Also, some land considered less desirable four or five years ago due to such reasons as topography, is now becoming more desirable because it is what’s left.

In her monthly report on county home sales, Tiffany Cheuvront, executive vice president, Williamson County Association of Realtors, noted that a shortage in available home lots.

 “An interesting segment of the market that we are seeing in Williamson County is the movement of farms, land and lots. This is one area that has been slower over the past several years and now we are seeing an increase in these types of transactions with a slight decrease in the number of days these types of properties are staying on the market,” she noted. “One thing is for sure, this is a very active market we are in right now.”

“Developers and builders are forced to be more creative with the scattered lots that are available to bide time before banks allow us to develop larger plots of land for developments,” Chris Franks said.

Due to the economy’s crash in 2008, banks seem to be hesitant in financing larger developments even though the real estate market seems to be picking up.

“People who make a big investment are still concerned about the short-term future. The downturn about five years ago taught us a good lesson, but sometimes it’s hard to contain yourself with a pro-growth attitude when houses are selling more quickly.” Chris added, “In our experience over the past 12-18 months, our customers are better able to secure loans to finance their homes, which is encouraging.”

Although scattered plots seem to be the way to go for builders and developers, new growth continues to move forward when the opportunity arises, and only time will tell the true strength of the economy in Williamson County and the country.

About The Author

Kelly Gilfillan is the owner-publisher of Home Page Media Group which has been publishing hyperlocal news since 2009.

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