Never Underestimate Mother Nature

The U.S. real estate market in recent months has closely tracked our country’s weather patterns.  An exceptionally cold winter with ample precipitation tends to discourage leaving a warm house.  The past winter was a classic example of how humanity is still at the mercy of the forces of nature.  The federal government in Washington DC even shut down as some tenacious “Northeasters” dumped heavy snow on the nation’s capital.  All this cold weather and precipitation ranging from; flooding, monsoon-style rains, to freezing varieties like record snow fall has gripped most of our nation, off and on for the past several months.  The consequence of these challenging weather patterns has been a slow down in shopping for real estate.  The extreme weather has impacted recent trends in the Homebuilder Sentiment Index for March.  Even my realty news sources at the National Association of Realtors echo this same idea.  

NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun addresses the issue of an abnormally severe and pro-longed winter on real estate shopping across the U.S. in his March 4th, 2010 report.  Yun explains that abnormal activity must be anticipated in all markets. However, the real estate arena still has pent-up demand from buyers looking to utilize the homebuyer tax credit.  With the weather improving, buyers are expected to use the tax stimulus and the first half of 2010 should be strong. 

Here in the Smokies, my team and I are seeing a growing number of buyers coming to look for property.  Old man winter is slowly releasing his icy grip on the weather.  Each weekend seems to build with additional people coming into the area.  Spring bulbs are popping up everywhere and in warm locations the daffodils are starting their bloom.  It will be a little bit before the trees flower, but it is coming.  If you are thinking about buying property in the Smokies in 2010, contact us on the web or by phone- 865-436-2121. We want to give each client the time they need and weekends sometimes can get busy.  Help us pre-plan for your arrival.  There are many ways to facilitate this process; you can pre-screen properties on our website and meet with your lenders to become pre-approved for financing. Our website allows you to create a screening filter set from your own personal wants and needs in selecting a property.  Contact us at the Jason White Team to get started today on finding your property in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Here are a Couple of My Latest Listings:

Easy Access and Great for Large Groups
Three level chalet with big rooms and cathedral ceilings to accomodate that large group or family reunion. Bring the mountain views and outdoors in with all the glass windows. Fun awaits you with a gameroom and 3 levels of decks with hot tub.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $259,900
Get more information >
Fantastic Views of Mt LeConte!!
Enjoy the fantastic views of Mt LeConte and the tram from the spacious decking of this nicely decorated cabin. Each bedroom has in suite baths as well. This is a must see!
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $249,900
Get more information >

Data From the Great Smoky Mountains Association of Realtors Reveals Our Current Rebound

The primary function of my blogs and newsletters is to help educate my readers on real estate market conditions. I like my readership to be savvy to current real estate trends. When a good opportunity appears, readers can then move with confidence to acquire or sell their property. I utilize many sources to track the realty markets, but today we will review information from GSMAR. This local Great Smoky Mountain Association of Realtors tool gives us a focused look at all facets of Smokies real estate.

Today’s look compares Smokies residential sales for February 2010 vs February of 2009. In total residences sold, 2010 has 107 with 2009 at 74. The current year’s February, leads 2009 with 33 more residences sold (a  45% increase).

Quantity of homes sold   

Dollar volume sold for February 2010 is $20,591,043 vs February 2009 at $12,444,120. This is a 2010 increase of $8,146,923 or a 65% improvement over February 2009.

 Dollar volume sold

 In comparing the average residential sale for February 2010 to February 2009, our current year wins out 2010 is $192,440 vs 2009 at $168,164. 2010’s average sale is 14% higher or $24,276 larger than 2009.

 Average sale price

 Comparing the category of active listings February of 2010 is again superior. February 2010 has 3,779 listings, with February 2009 at 3,260. This shows an improvement of 16% or 519 more active listings for our current year’s February over the last.

 Quantity of active homes

Clearly there is robust improvement in this year’s residential sales for February, compared to the same time period in 2009. Units sold are up, sold dollar volume increased, average residence price sold increased, and active listings are higher. This data is certainly worth celebrating. However, I would advise my readers to be cautious. Some of this recovery is government driven, courtesy of the homebuyer stimulus tax credits. With that being said, there are still many factors that make this a favorable time to purchase or sell real estate in the Smokies. First, the tax credit for new homebuyers and repeat buyers is good through April 30th, 2010, and the purchase must be finalized by June 30th 2010 to qualify. Second, mortgage interest rates for qualified buyers are very low. Third, prices are stabilizing in many areas. It could be a time to lock in lower prices before they climb. In addition there are a lot of active listings, for a good selection of properties. Today’s data indicates that higher priced residences may be selling, with the average residence price increasing over February of 2009.

The uncertainties in the worlds stock markets, world currencies, and other investments, could make real estate a good asset in your personal portfolio. To get started on the path of Smokies real estate, contact the professionals on the Jason White Team today! You can reach us online or by phone to commence your property quest within a time frame that meets your personal requirements.

Here are a Couple of My Current Listings:

Heritage Log Home w/ Views of Mt LeConte
This beautifully built Heritage Log Home in prestigious Chalet Village has great views of Mt. LeConte. Private yet close to downtown shopping and dining. Three master suites for privacy and on a open lot with level parking.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $379,900
Get more information >
Short Sale’ Great Location!!
This conveniently located home is within walking distance of Community Center, Mills Park, schools, and Gatlinburg shopping and dining. Lovely wooded setting and nice furnishings.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $179,900
Get more information >
  Call us today for more information or to view these properties! Call Jason or Stephanie at 865-436-2121.
 

Late Winter Real Estate Mirrors our Smoky Mountain Bears

Data just arrived for January 2010 home sales, provided by the Great Smoky Mountains Association of Realtors. The results remind me of our Appalachian black bears. Normally our East Tennessee bears are peacefully denned-up, sleeping soundly with their activity increasing with the arrival of spring.  They emerge from dens as nature once again commences growing its banquet of food. Following this timing, the bears increase their activity on a quest for calories  to carry them through these cold lean months of winter. There can always be exceptions to behavior in the animal kingdom or in real estate.  However, it was not unexpected that January 2010 residential sales are acting much like our well-known black bears.  Homesales are backing off, taking a break, before picking up their usual spring-induced activity just like our Smoky Mountain bears.

As we interpret January data from 2009 vs 2010 the strong influence of foreclosures and first-time homebuyers is evident. The total residences sold is up 3% in January 2010, with 77 sold, opposed to 75 sold in 2009.

Quantity of homes sold Jan 2009 vs 2010

Total dollar volume sold in January 2010 is off 8%, or $1,117,240.00 down from 2009’s $14,584,387 figure.

Dollar volume sold Jan 2009 vs 2010

The average sale in January 2010 is down 10% or $19,560.00 from 2009’s $194,458.00 average.

 Average sale price Jan 2009 vs 2010

In active listings, 2010 leads 2009 by 15% or 512 more, with 2010 leading at 3,866 listings.

Quantity of active homes Jan 2009 vs 2010

From previous blogs and newsletters, my readers were aware that new homebuyers and foreclosures dominated 2009’s home market. With the extended stimulus package in place through early 2010, these 2 aspects will more than likely continue for at least the early portion of 2010 as well.

If you are considering 2010 as a time to buy or sell property in the Smokies, the current environment is still favorable. Qualified buyers can obtain historically low interest rates on mortgages. Potential weakness in the dollar could make hard assets like real estate a good investment for the future. There are good opportunities to find your ideal property with the current inventory of active listings.

For sellers, well-priced properties at the lower end of the market are selling briskly. This allows one to sell less expensive homes and upgrade into more desireable residences. In either case of buying or selling real estate in the Smokies, contact a leader with a proven track record. Contact us today at The  Jason White Team , online or by phone, to get started on your property goals for 2010.

                           Here are a Couple of My Latest Listings:

1.3 acre w/ Spectacular Mountain Views
Quiet living on 1.3 acres with phenomenal MT Leconte and Smoky Mountain views and lots of level parking. 5 Private suites, with loft and game room located on cul-de-sac. Plus two huge decks to enjoy the incredible views of the mountains.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $449,000
Get more information >
Exquisite Lofty Mountain Retreat!!
Detail and excellent craftsmanship throughout this lofty mountain home will please even the most discriminating buyer. Complete with an outdoor living space with fireplace that overlooks Mt. LeConte views.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $575,000
Get more information >

Results from 2009 are in and your support placed the Jason White Team among the elite of the Smokies’ Area Real Estate

 Thank You!

This week’s blog is an open letter of appreciation and gratitude to all our clients from the past and present, extending to future clients as well. It is your trust and belief in us that makes this all possible. Because of your client support, the following results occured last year. Our parent company, Century 21 Four Seasons was ranked #1 in real estate sales for Sevier County. The Jason White Team was in the top 5 or top 1% of the Great Smoky Mountains Association of Realtors.  It is an honor to achieve this status, especially with the challenging economic environment that has impacted almost every part of today’s world. Once again, thank you for selecting the Jason White Team to represent you in buying or selling your real estate in the Smokies.

As we move into 2010, let me assure you that my team is already working to make this year more successful than last, for our clients and ourselves. The people on my team are continually upgrading their training and education. Our website, www.smokymountainlifestyle.com/ continues to receive the latest tools and upgrades to assist you in selling or buying your property. The intended goal is to make our website as user friendly, as possible.  Time is often an overlooked commodity. If we can allow you to search for and pre-screen properties before a visit to the area, you can focus on the top choices.  This allows you time to enjoy East Tennessee’s ammenities.  The process permits us to better serve you, both as a buyer or seller.

In viewing 2010, as a good year to either buy or sell real estate, there are several factors to consider. Prices in most phases of real estate are off their highs. The current state of East Tennessee property shows that values seem to be stabilizing.  Inventoryof homes for sale is declining, but there is still a great selection of properties available. Mortgage interest rates are still historically low, and there are some tax incentives available from the government through early 2010. With uncertainty on the future value of the dollar, this could be a good time to anchor the value of a portion of your savings, in a hard asset like real estate.  The Jason White Team has the knowledge and experience to assist you in selling or in buying your property in the Smokies. Call us today!

Here are a Couple of My Latest Listings:

Outstanding Mtn Views, family retreat!!
This classic mountain chalet has spectacular mountian views and used previously as a private family retreat. High ceilings, lots of glass and 2 beautiful mountain stone fireplaces, plus lots of level parking and walking distance to community club house.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $269,900
Get more information >
Fully Furnished Log Home w/Covered Deck
This fully furnished log home has a spacious covered spa tub porch, floor to ceiling glass, privacy and level parking.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $139,500
Get more information >

  

 

Pending Home Sales Slows, But Remains Above 2008 Levels

My blog readers may recall this expected market action from earlier news reports out of the National Association of Realtors in Washington, D.C., NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun reaffirmed that the drop in the Pending Home Sales Index was anticipated. Home buyers scrambling to beat the initial deadline for the tax credit caused a wave of activity that crested with the origional deadline for the tax credit. Many analysts at the NAR predicted that the rise in the PHSI would halt as the old tax credit ended and its’ new expanded replacement builds momentum. Yun is optimistic that another surge of new home buyers will enter the market this spring. Although Pending Home Sales backed off its streak of consecutive increases, the Index remains above last year’s levels. NAR’s chief economist thinks the U.S. home market is building momentum on its own, but expects another 900,000 first-time home buyers to utilize the extended tax credit along with 1.5 million repeat buyers. Yun feels that low mortgage rates and increases in job growth will help the real estate market. Excess housing inventory will continue to decrease. All this should help in stabilizing home prices in 2010.
                                                   Pending Home Sales Index

The Pending Home Sales Index fell in all 4 regions of the country. Home sales in the West fell the least. Next in line is in the South, where the Index fell 15.0% to a reading of 97.8, but stayed 14.7% above 2008’s levels. An index level of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity on homes in 2001. This was the first year the index was used.

If you are considering a real estate purchase in the Smokies, now is a great time. Mortgage interest rates are at historically low levels and will probably increase. Inventory of properties for sale is up, so selection is good. The tax credit is in effect through April 30th and it could put $6,500-$8,000 in your pocket, if you qualify. So if you are seriously thinking about buying or selling  Smokies real estate in 2010, contact the Jason White Team. Our expertise and knowledge of the area has made us a leader in helping people buy or sell property in the Great Smoky Mountains. Contact us online or by phone to get started today.

                      Here are a Couple of My Latest Listings:

Incredible Smoky Mountain/Valley Views!
This home is truly Above and Beyond. Even has an elevator! The mountain and valley views are worth viewing this home! Incredible log details throughout.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Wears Valley
Price: $699,900
Get more information >
Lots of Windows to Enjoy Mountain View!
Beautiful views from this contemporary home. Lots of windows bring the outside in. If you need storage this home is for you with plenty of closet space and even a separate living space in the lower level with it’s own entrance. Great in-law quarter!
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $135,000
Get more information >

Year-To-Date Figures Continue to Show Improvement in the U.S. Real Estate Market

As we approach the end of the calender year, a better picture emerges in the direction of the country’s real estate market. The overall view of the nation’s home prices continues to show improvement toward stabilization. My news sources out of New York released their story on November 24th, 2009. The data was based on findings from the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. This model from S&P/Case-Shiller is widely used in the housing industry to measure U.S. home prices. They utilize three views in the indices. There is a U.S. National, a 10-city, and a 20-city composite version in their analysis of data. The decline in the indices was dropping as we proceeded through the year.

 Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

Chairman of the S&P Index Committee, David M. Blitzer reports broad improvement in home prices for most of the past six months. Recent gains have been more modest than typically strong summer months. Previous concerns were focused on the drop due to an end to the first-time homebuyer tax credit. Housing starts did back off in October, but the government extended and expanded the tax credit for first-time homebuyers. This extension should bring in additional homebuyers that have been uncommitted at this point.

With home prices approaching stabilization, now could be the right time to purchase your property in the Smokies. Housing affordability is good. The inventory of active listings for sale is high. Mortgage rates are historically quite low. Surf our website for possible purchases. With the homebuyer tax credit recently extended, check with your legal and financial advisors to see if you qualify. In any case, the year-end holiday season is a fun time in the Smokies. If real estate is on your holiday wish list, contact The Jason White Team. We have the knowledge and expertise to fill your holiday property wish.

                                   Here are a couple of my current listings 

Stunning 4 Levels w/ Great Mtn View!!
Four level log cabin style overlooks nearby ridges and valley with great night views and lights. Large suites with whirlpools, large great room and media room with projection theater style TV and lots of windows to enjoy the Smoky Mountain views.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $549,500
Get more information >
Gatlinburg Home with River !!
Get lost in the sounds of the flowing river just outside the door of this 1BD/1BA cottage offering all the amenities plus a soothing hot tub designed for perfect placement on the private stone patio.Within walking distance to attractions of Downtown!
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg,Tennessee
Price: $339,900
Get more information >

 

Call me today for more information on these properties!  865-436-2121

New Historical Record-Nine Consecutive Monthly Gains for Pending Home Sales

This is a unique event in the history of the Pending Home Sales Index. This index for measuring the strength of U.S. home sales was first utilized in 2001. The National Association of Realtors in Washington, DC meticulously tracks this data to predict trends in the country’s real estate. For new blog readers, the Pending Home Sales Index is a future-oriented indicator based on home contracts signed, but not officially closed. Generally, these contracts officially close in 1-2 months after signing. The Index utilizes a large sample (approx. 20% of the nation) of existing home sales. Monthly comparisons often are not as accurate as comparing months of 2 different years or cumulative results year to year.  An index reading of 100 equals the average level of contract activity that occurred in 2001. This was the first year it was used and coincidentally was the first of 5 consecutive record years in existing home sales. The index reading for October 2009 was 114.1 or 3.7% above the September ’09 index of 110. This is 31.8% above October of 2008’s index at 86.6. This rise from October ’08 is the largest increase recorded and the current October level is closing in on an all time high.  March 2006 holds the record so far at an index level of 115.2 and current readings are as follows:Chart

Let us carefully look into this good news and analyze it in more detail. Lawrence Yun, the NAR chief economist gives us some perspective. Yun feels that real estate in 2008 under performed. Typical activity based on the population growth lagged the market. He feels that the current tax credit for new home buyers is helping qualified renters to purchase new homes.  However, Yun thinks home sales could drop in the future, as  the demand for new homes backs off due to the end of economic stimulus in real estate. Current market activity is helping high home inventories to decline. This favors price stabilization for real estate across the country.

If you are considering real estate in the Great Smoky Mountains Area, several factors are favorable.  First, the inventory for various properties from; homes to rental chalets, and cabins is up, giving buyers a great selection.  Another favorable condition is the low mortgage interest rates available for qualified buyers. Locking in a low rate could be a bonus, if inflation drives rates higher in the future. Real estate can be a hard asset that retains it’s value in times of inflation, protecting some of your life savings from getting inflated away.  As leaders in Smokies area real estate, the Jason White Team has years of professional expertise and in- depth knowledge of the region to find you the property, that fits your needs. Call or contact us online to  get started helping you today. Click here to view my featured listings. Click here to select all local listings.

                        Here are a couple of my listings  

 

 

Extra Large Private Lot w/Great View
This updated, immaculately maintained home is a must see! The spacious decking overlooks the beautiful mountain views as well as the extra large lot that is well manicured. The community pool and club house amenities are a bonus.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $199,900
Get more information >
Gatlinburg Home is Close to Town!!
This home has room for everyone! With the fantastic views and outdoor spa it is perfect for families and large groups.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $379,900
Get more information >