Feb 10, 2022 - Real Estate

Nashville "can't build homes fast enough"

Illustration of a pattern of houses, most of them cut out with emptiness behind them.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Nashville's housing market remains red-hot, but one critical complication is throwing a wrench in the system:

  • Supply is not keeping up with demand.
  • "We can't build homes fast enough," Greater Nashville Realtors president Steve Jolly tells Axios.

Why it matters: A housing inventory crunch is pushing home prices higher and putting mounting pressure on buyers.

  • "It's incredibly frustrating as a buyer right now in this market," Jolly says.

By the numbers: There were 3,510 houses, condos and lots available to buy in the greater Nashville area at the end of January, according to Greater Nashville Realtors data.

  • That's a sharp decrease from January 2021, when the inventory sat at 5,381.
  • The supply slowdown is reflected in closings, which dropped about 3.5% when comparing January 2021 to January 2022.

Prices skyrocketed in the same timeframe. The median price for a single-family home jumped from $344,920 to $425,000 in a year.

Between the lines: The lopsided supply and demand is driven by several factors.

  • Large companies like Amazon are luring high-earners to Tennessee from bigger markets in California and New York. Jolly predicts Oracle's impending arrival will only intensify that trend.
  • The ongoing labor shortage and supply chain issues are holding back major projects. Jolly says transformers, essential for larger developments and subdivisions, are particularly hard to come by right now.
  • Rising rental rates during the pandemic have encouraged more Nashville residents to "get on the train" and explore home ownership, broker LaTonya Martin tells Axios.

Be smart: Prospective buyers should prepare ahead of time so they can spot new properties and make offers quickly.

  • Martin says buyers should consider pursuing mortgage pre-approval and thinking ahead on their offer limits.
  • "You need to act fast," Jolly says. "If you wait three or four days, it's already too late."
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