With the month having recently ended, it is likely that a few additional transactions will be reported during the next week. For this reason we don’t have the final tally but what we do have is enough data to draw a very ugly picture indeed. As of this evening only 106 residential units were reported as being sold in the MLS during the month of August, which represents a staggering 50% decline from August 2007’s (which at the time seemed slow) total of 146 homes sold. For a sense of just how far our market has shrunk consider that the monthly record for home sales was set in August of 2005 when area real estate agencies sold a remarkable 322 units. Sadly it has been downhill since then and although there have been a couple of exceptions each month has generally been lower than the previous year’s and the trend is undoubtedly toward even lower volumes.
Looking forward, I believe that the best area of our market to invest in is this residential (not vacation rental) side of the market. While nobody has a crystal ball my belief is that the smaller 3 bedroom 2 bath residences will continue to hold their value very well. Why? Because of our robust lease type rental market for these homes. If a home can be leased for $800 per month it is no problem to quickly sell the property for $100,000 assuming that the condition is reasonably good. In fact, it is difficult to find any suitable 3/2 or larger home in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, or Gatlinburg for much less than about $120,000 and the supply of these homes remains very limited. The best way to purchase one of these homes is sometimes via a foreclosure listing which often provides the most attractive prices. As specialists in these foreclosure properties we can help. Just contact us for details and a list of all of the foreclosure properties in our area. Our listings and other firms are both included and this list is updated several times each week so the data is fresh.