Nashville Housing Market Q&A
Studio’s Jeff Tucker is a veteran of the mortgage loan business. Last year, he served as president of the Tennessee Mortgage Bankers Association. We asked him to provide his perspective on the housing market in Middle Tennessee.
Q: How does Nashville’s housing market compare to other major cities in the United States?
Jeff: One of the cities we’re frequently compared to is Austin. They’re a few years ahead of us in growth, but we’re catching up quickly. Austin currently has average home values of about $520,000. Meanwhile, Nashville still has relatively low home values, averaging about $330,000. Austin’s average surpassed that number in 2017.
Q: Is it realistic to expect local home prices to continue to rise?
Jeff: Obviously, no one can know for sure, but a lot of economists are expecting the housing market to continue to steadily climb. US real estate is very popular for investors and international buyers, and Nashville remains very attractive, especially when compared to cities of comparable sizes, such as Austin, Oklahoma City, and Seattle.
Q: How are interest rates effecting home buyers and home owners?
Jeff: Since the start of this year, the rates have ticked up a few fractions of a percent, but they’re still generally much better than those of previous decades. The low rates have been enabling buyers to get “more house” for the same payments and owners to take advantage of refinance benefits. We close refis daily, and have often seen families save money while either getting cash out or reducing their payments.
Q: What options exist for low to moderate income households in this housing market?
Jeff: There are great programs for these households. A lot of people are scared off by thinking that they have to have at least 20% for a down payment, but that simply isn’t the case in a lot of situations. FHA, USDA, and HUD insured mortgages can often close with 0-3% down. And community programs such as our Down Payment Assistance Program exist to help qualifying buyers get homes. For anyone who feels that their situation may not be ideal, I’d strongly suggest talking with a member of our team. You’ll likely be surprised at what’s possible.More