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Knoxville area real estate market shows signs of cooling

A real estate expert said active real estate listings were up 25% in September, putting them between 2019 and 2020 levels.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Editor's Note: This story was updated with more information from the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors regarding the number of home sales, and more information about the median price of homes in the area. 

For several years, buyers struggled to find a home in Knoxville. With short supply and skyrocketing prices, some wondered if they would ever be able to find a home in the area.

A real estate expert said that in September 2022, some of the trends making the market hot showed signs of slowing down. For a while, the Knoxville area had less than a month's worth of houses available. As of September 2022, supply levels are at two months.

If nothing else was listed on the market, it would take around two months for the supply of homes to run out in the Knoxville area. While higher than in previous years, it's still far below normal for East Tennessee.

Suzy Trotta, who writes regularly about real estate trends in the area, said that the supply level may rise in the coming months. Usually, real estate markets are less active during winter months.

She also said the number of closed units was down by over 30% year-over-year. In September 2022, there were under 2,000 completed sales of homes — almost directly in the middle of 2020 and 2021 levels.

However, the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors said their MLS data showed that the number of closed units was down by around 9.5% year-over-year. They also said total home sales in September 2022 were down 9.5% from 2021, and 9.6% from 2020. They were up by 8.8% compared to 2019.

At the same time, prices are not climbing as much as they were in the last few months. She said the average price of a three-bedroom home in the Knoxville area was under $350,000 in September 2022. A year ago, it was just over $300,000.

The median sold price of a three-bedroom home in Knoxville was $309,000 in September 2022, up from $269,000 compared to September 2021.

She said rising interest rates were helping slow the rise of home prices. At around 7%, she said the interest rate is still not exceptionally high. However, she said it can be high for younger generations, and for anyone who was already having a hard time buying a home.

"What we are seeing isn't a nightmare market, but a market that is normalizing and shifting a tiny bit of weight back to the buyer's side," said Trotta. "I think we're going to survive."

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