Listing Inventory Climbing
With 2,676 residential listings currently available in our market according to the Great Smoky Mountain Association of Realtors MLS system, buyers certainly have lots of choices now to choose from. Another symptom of this growing supply is the size of our local real estate publication of record, the Homes and Land magazine. With a network of 275 magazines nationwide covering thousands of communities, our small region has the dubious distinction of having the largest magazine in the entire Homes and Land network with 300 plus pages in the past several issues. This is partially due to the excellent service and good business skills of the local publishers, Russ & Cheryl Haskins, but is also further evidence of the large and expanding supply of new construction and resale homes in our market.
Does this indicate a real estate bubble as has been discussed by so many pundits regarding many markets around the country? Probably not, at least not yet. Tourism, the engine of our local economy’s growth has continued to expand handsomely. With approximately 12 million visitors annually, Sevier County has approximately doubled the number of guests we receive annually in just the past few years! Most businesses reported a very profitable 2005 and a seat of the pants (while stuck in the ever expanding traffic) analysis leads me to believe that this current winter season is by far our best in terms of the level of economic activity during what is typically our slowest season.
Okay, we are having a good off season but does this translate into a continued good real estate market? Yes, at least in our personal case it does. After finishing our best ever January in terms of sales and pending contracts February is off to a roaring start and I haven’t even had time to post to this blog. Hopefully things will continue to improve for our community, our visitors, and our real estate owners. If you are considering purchasing a second home the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee still represent a very attractive investment opportunity in a community that so many people call their home away from home.