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Costs of Memphis-area homes are going up, up, up

The Memphis Area Association of Realtors reports at 13% increase in price of homes in its August report.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — The cost of homes in the Memphis-area is going up as the Memphis Area Association of Realtors reports, despite a pandemic, it's a booming market.

According to the most recent report by MAAR, the prices of homes have gone up double digit percentage points.

In the August report, the median sales price was up 13.5% from the year before.

"Surprisingly, it has been completely bananas, for a lack of better terms, I’m kind of speechless sometimes with how insane the housing market is," MAAR President Kathyrn Garland said. "The pandemic has only fueled what we had an issue with was inventory.”

Garland said the low inventory of homes up for sale is what is driving up prices. She said it's making for a very competitive market for home buyers.

“[Houses] selling within 24-48 hours, sometimes hours," she said.

That quick turn around in selling, isn't making it the most easiest buying experience for those in the market for a new home.

“The inventory we were seeing was very few and far between and if you didn’t go look at it the day it came out, you missed out," Steven Shelton said.

Shelton closed on a new home in late August. He and his wife had been in the market to buy a new home prior to the pandemic. It took months of searching, dozens of open houses and some dashed hopes at times.

“We made offers on three of those houses and all three of those houses we made above asking and full closing offers so good offers we thought and all three turned out to be bidding wars," he said.

Like Shelton, people are putting down offers thousands over the listing prices.

Because of that, the median sales price for homes sold in August was $185,000, up from $163,000 the year before.

"Everybody tends to say it’s a seller market because of the competitiveness that is going on right now, which is true, but I’ll also look at its also a buyers market too because of the interest rates," Garland said.

Garland said record low interest rates are also helping to drive the market.

“It was not the most ideal time to buy a house but with rates as low as they are, it kind of countered that," Shelton said.

Her advice to buyers looking in a competitive market is to be flexible with their bottom lines and to manage their expectations. They may not be able to check every box on the list but they can find a home that checks most, she said.