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Home Sales Drop 17% in Memphis

Shelby County, which consists of several Tennessee cities including Memphis, experienced a drop in home sales in May compared to the same month last year and also from April. This data was compiled by the real estate information company called Chandler Reports, which also showed that Shelby County recorded 1,242 home sales in May, down 14 percent from 1,446 homes sold in May 2013, and the 1,242 homes sold in May were down 8.4 percent from the 1,356 homes sold in April. Year to date, overall home sales are down 5 percent but average sales prices are up 10 percent compared to the first five months of 2013. 23 ZIP codes in the county showed prices up 10 percent or more.

So what is causing the slack in sales? According to local experts, problems like low bank sales, low consumer confidence, low likelihood of full time employment and tougher lending rules have caused a stall in sales for a large amount of prospective buyers. Buying a home and moving to Memphis is still feasible for many, but a tightening of inventory levels is causing the prices to rise in the Shelby County area.

Memphis Vacancy Rate Hits Lowest Point Since 2000

When it comes to real estate in the Memphis area, industrial vacancies are becoming hard to come by. Current vacancy in the Memphis real estate industrial market fell to 10.8 percent, the lowest point since early 2000. Class B spaces of 20,000 to 110,000 square feet are seeing strong activity due to expansions and new companies coming to Memphis. As far as industrial absorption, the CBRE Memphis reports it is at 897,829 square feet, a large portion of which is attributed to the construction of a 541,980-square-foot, build-to-suit, flagship distribution center for Home Décor and Jimco Lamps at 699 Research Drive. According to these findings, searching for industrial space and commercial warehouse areas in Memphis is becoming an increasingly difficult task for companies in the area looking to switch up office space, or outside companies looking to come to the region.

And for the office absorption? There are 54,989 square feet, making this past quarter the third straight one for positive absorption. Memphis vacancy rate for offices fell to 13.8 percent, marking the first time in 10 years that it has fallen below 14 percent. If you are looking to lease office space in Memphis, it is better to act sooner than later, as available space is quickly depleting from the available inventory on the local market.

Investors Can Look to the Memphis Real Estate Market

As the market still struggles to regain stability after the housing crash in 2008, some markets are still geared towards investors due to the large amount of homes priced affordably for flipping and selling or for retaining as rental properties. The Memphis real estate market is one of these strong markets, according to Realty Biz News, which shares that the area still boasts inventory priced well below the national average, and the market has remained relatively stable thanks to a strong local job market. As of recent years, FedEx, AutoZone, and International Paper, along with other Fortune 1000 companies that utilize the central location of Memphis that benefits from railroads, highways, the Mississippi River, and the international airport.

In addition, Memphis is a large banking center, and it is also home to major science and technology businesses. Many investors from outside the state and from foreign countries are making the move to invest in Memphis while this real estate market is still very attractive. The money is coming from everywhere but is most notably from California and New York. Among the reasons is that Memphis is 19th largest city in the United States and the 3rd largest in the Southeast. With its diverse and strong economy, it continues to attract new people to the city and suburbs. Of course, that means more renters for investors.

Buying a home in Memphis is a smart move, as recent reports have shown that trends over the past few years have helped Memphis see property value appreciation to the level that Memphis is the top market for growth from 2011 to today, and future increases are predicted at 18.8 percent over the next few years.

Memphis in May Festival Seeks to Fill 40+ Jobs

While it is not a permanent solution for unemployment, it is certainly a temporary one. Memphis in May International Festivals is looking to fill more than 40 seasonal positions this spring. The jobs, which will run from the end of April through May, are for support staff for events that include Beale Street Music Festival, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and the AutoZone Sunset Symphony, among others. The economy here in Memphis is expected to improve throughout the year.

The unemployment rate in Shelby County remained at 8.4 percent in March, unchanged from February but down 1.3 points from the same month in 2013. State data showed that 35,190 people were unemployed in Shelby County in March.

Part of the stress of relocating to a new place, such as moving to Memphis, is finding a job. While these might not be jobs to stay at forever, they can be helpful in giving you steady work for a few months as you get settled. The events organized by Memphis in May International Festivals had an economic impact of more than $70 million in 2012, according to a release. Good luck in your application!

Memphis Air Fares Drop with Delta out of the Picture

Memphis International Airport has lost its status as a Delta hub, but it’s gaining a new reputation for lower air fares—which is much more appealing in the eyes of tourists and airport officials who are hoping for a boost in traffic. The airport’s average domestic fares fell to $434 in the fourth quarter of 2013 from $487 in the same quarter of 2012, according to a new U.S. Department of Transportation report. That’s a drop of about $50 per ticket on average. Moving to Memphis? You might want to consider flying over (at a now discounted rate!) to check out the city, find a place to live, and visit some of the local hot spots.

Compared to the other top 100 airports in the U.S., Memphis had the 14th highest fares – down from No. 7 in the fourth quarter of 2012. The lower ticket prices are apparently bumping up traffic originating from and coming to Memphis, the release said. Origin and destination traffic is up nearly 65,000 passengers in fiscal year 2014 over the same period of fiscal year 2013.

Memphis Sees Decline in Construction Jobs

The number of construction, mining and logging jobs in the Memphis area fell 3 percent to 19,400 in March from 19,900 in March 2013, the Associated General Contractors of America reported. Memphis was not the only Tennessee market to lose jobs—Chattanooga was the only other metro to report a drop in employment – a 3 percent decline, giving it the same rank nationally as Memphis. As far as actual jobs, the 3 percent gap equates to about 500 jobs, bringing the Memphis number of construction, logging, and mining jobs to 19,400.

Memphis’ job loss rate was the 289th worst of 339 U.S. metros – an improvement in the rankings from January. The rest of the state saw an average construction employment increase of 4 percent. Thinking of moving to Memphis and working in the construction industry? Now might be a tricky time to move and search for a job, but if you have work lined up it might be worth the relocation.

Commercial Real Estate Up 6 Percent in Memphis

Commercial real estate sales had a strong month this past March, supporting the trend of a successful quarter for commercial sales as well for 2014. The 208 sales in the first quarter were up 6.l percent from 196 sales in the first quarter of 2013. Commercial sales volume for the quarter was $319.6 million and the average sales price for a commercial property was $1.53 million, with an average price per square foot of $38.34. That compares to sales volume of $254.9 million and an average sales price of $1.3 million in the first quarter of 2013. Commercial real estate in Shelby County is still riding a wave of momentum from the tail end of 2013 that is still going strong into 2014.

Shelby County recorded 99 commercial sales in January, which was up 10 percent from 90 in January 2013. Commercial sales were up 12 percent in February, with 48 sales recorded compared to 43 recorded in February 2013. Shelby County recorded 61 commercial sales in March with a total sales volume of $115.1 million and an average sales price of $1.88 million, down 3 percent from 63 sales in March 2013. Shelby County recorded 829 commercial sales in 2013, the most commercial sales recorded since 2008. That number is predicted to be eclipsed by 2014, as long as the supply, demand, and momentum all remain intact.

New Construction Permits Slow in Shelby County

This winter was a tough one, and for many real estate insiders, the weather was also the cause of a slowed down real estate market in Memphis and beyond. Shelby County homebuilders filed 67 permits in February, down from 73 permits in February 2013 but up slightly from 64 permits filed in January, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports. Suburban locations in Shelby County continued to lead the way in homebuilding activity.

The Kensington subdivision in Arlington saw the most new home permits filed in February, with six averaging 2,858 square feet and $191,836. The Crisscross Village subdivision in Collierville came in second with five permits averaging 3,554 square feet and $249,900. The Porter Farms subdivision in Collierville recorded five permits, averaging 2,786 square feet and $245,200. Shelby County homebuilders filed 64 permits in January, up from 57 permits filed in January 2013 and 53 permits in December 2013.

The spring season is generally a strong time for the real estate market, so the next few weeks will be important in determining the year’s success overall for Memphis real estate.

Unemployment Drops in Memphis

While the struggle for a steady economy has been a rough toad, the Greater Memphis area unemployment rate fell in January at a faster rate than in Tennessee or the U.S., according to a new report by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Metro Memphis’ unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent in January from 10 percent in January 2013, with 49,860 people looking for jobs out of a labor force of 590,720. The report has been a positive take on the local economy and shows continued growth in Memphis.

Thinking of moving to Memphis? The growing stability of the employment sector should make you feel more confident in making the relocation a reality. See you in Memphis!

Memphis Ranks #5 Best City to Start a Business

Social media site has released a list of the best places financially for new business owners to set up shop. Based on a unique set of 14 criteria, Memphis was able to come out towards the top for a variety of reasons. While the city ranks toward the bottom of the pack in terms of recent entrepreneurial activity, the 5-year survival rate of local businesses, and the share of the workforce with at least a bachelor’s degree, it also has the 27th most industrial variety, the 12th deepest employee pool, and the 9th lowest cost of living. In other words, things aren’t great there yet but a great deal of opportunity exists for new companies that enter the market moving forward.

Thinking of moving to Memphis and opening a company? The turmoil the Memphis economy has endured throughout the Great Recession and the painstaking recovery that has ensued is, interestingly enough, one of the primary dynamics underpinning its position among the best cities in the country to start a business.