As snow blankets much of the Volunteer State, icy roads, closed schools and shuttered businesses can cause a slight slowdown—or snowdown—for real-estate activity. But industry leaders say weather’s effects are barely a blip on Tennessee’s upward momentum in transactions of single-family homes and condos.
Seasonal factors notwithstanding, real estate continues to benefit from Tennessee’s economic vitality, fueled in part by attractive fundamentals such as low taxation—specifically the absence of an income tax—a competitive cost of living, a steady influx of new residents from hipsters to retirees, and a blizzard of job growth—such as the announcement that Amazon is adding 400 workers to its Chattanooga operations.
Other good signs: Unemployment remains low, and the inventory of available homes continues to be tight—declining almost 18.5 percent from January 2014 to January 2015.
Still, a few days or weeks of inclement conditions can cause a temporary dip in activities such as showings, open houses and closings.
“Call it a snowpocalypse, snowzilla or whatever you want, Realtors® know that the weather can deliver a cold blow to the real-estate industry, but only in the short term,” said Memphis broker Pat Beech, 2015 president of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS® (TAR).
“There are a lot of factors that go into real-estate transactions,” Beech said, noting that this late winter’s especially snowy weather is an anomaly. “Businesses are growing, people are starting families, and new opportunities are always right around the corner. At least we know that spring is coming soon, and Tennessee’s market is ripe with plentiful possibilities for the savvy consumer.”
Nashville-area broker Brian Copeland, 2015 Secretary/Treasurer of TAR, concedes that icy roads and cold temperatures have a way of inconveniencing sellers, buyers and agents.
“We’ve had showings scheduled on our listings prior to the snowstorms, and sellers have prepared the homes, only to have to cancel them,” he said. “Even so, we find ways to work around the weather—whatever it takes to serve our clients and help them find that perfect home.”
Meanwhile, heavy snow in Chattanooga has added to the adventure for agents serving their clients in the market.
“The deep snow we’ve experienced has made it challenging to get around town and to keep up with the many rescheduled showings and open houses,” said Chattanooga broker Randy Durham, President-Elect of TAR. “But we are taking creative steps to meet the needs of buyers and sellers. Having to overcome less-than-ideal conditions in the process just makes it all the more satisfying when we sit down to close another mutually beneficial transaction.”
In the end, a few inches of snow and ice on the ground might pose a challenge, but it could be much worse.
“Tennessee home buyers are ready to shed the heavy coat of winter and enjoy the renewal of spring,” Beech said, “but then again, at least we’re not in Boston, where it’s almost impossible to make it to a home’s front door, much less inside for a closer look.”
Learn more about the Tennessee Association of REALTORS® at www.tarnet.com.