Realtors, economists suggest buying homes now when interest rates are low due to COVID-19


GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) Pending sales are a good indicator of housing activity, based on signed contracts for existing homes in the area, according to the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors trends report.

While some buyers are backing off because of the economic downturn, others are shopping and finding there is not enough inventory.

Since interest rates have dropped to near zero percent, Greene County realtors and economics experts said, it is a good time to start looking at homes.

“What we’re experiencing here in Greene County, we have actually held steady. It’s been very good. The challenge that they’re starting to run into- the realtors are here locally- has to do with inventory,” Greene County Partnership Chamber of Commerce CEO and president Jeff Taylor said. “We’ve got a shortage of inventory which we think is being caused by the concern of COVID, so we do think it’s going to slow for that reason at this point.”

Taylor said we are in prime real estate season and interest rates being so low as they are is the driving force.

Out-of-state buyers have their eyes on Greene County and there is not enough property for sale told Taylor told Kassahun.

“They are selling and still showing. We still have several folks moving in. In fact, in talking to several of the realtors here locally, a large percentage of the homesales have been from Florida, Texas, New York. Folks looking to relocate,” Taylor said. “We’re still dealing with an unknown. We could see a lull and a drag, due to people watching to see.”

Greeneville Real Estate and Auction Team Realtor, Becky Rideout, is helping locals take advantage too.

“The home median price was only up 16% from last year, so you’re not seeing a huge increase in home pricing,” Rideout said. “But the median home sales price was also up 12.7%.”

She said families who have been quarantined are now looking for a larger home.

“You see families who are quarantined, and they’re looking at the same four walls, day in and day out. Week after week. You’ve got children who are in the same spaces, you’ve got pets you are trying to take care of. You’re seeing, now you’re working from home. Your office just became a place in your house that you had to dedicate it too. You space becomes kind of invaded. So now, what I’m seeing are these folks who are kind of wanting to take their home life and transition it to an office life,” Rideout said.

“We are actually hoping to put it on the market within the next week or two, and just finding something bigger that our family can fit into. If we want to expand later on and, office space and more space outside too, to be able to enjoy that time,” homeowner Amanda Mcamis said.

As for home sellers, Rideout suggests those who are still quarantined to use this time to spruce up their homes.

“We’ve got to get those folks out there who are making home projects, doing things right now, while they’re in quarantine, spring clean-ups, organizing, doing those projects around the house they’ve been putting off. I think we are going to see a lot of folks who are going to be ready to sell. We just need to find those folks a place to transition to, when they sell their homes,” Rideout said.

In order to keep Tri-Cities home buyers informed, Ridout’s son, Nick and her have started a podcast called “Rideout Rundown“. They hope to create a video bi-monthly.

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