Nashville Condo Market Perks Up

Written off as comatose as little as a year ago, Nashville's condo market has shown signs of life recently, with the overhanging inventory of developer-owned (and lender-owned) units finally burning off.

Nashville—Written off as comatose as little as a year ago, Nashville’s condo market has shown signs of life recently, with the overhanging inventory of developer-owned (and lender-owned) units finally burning off. That doesn’t mean that any more properties will be developed any time soon—reluctant lenders will see to that, even if developers wanted to go ahead—but it does represent a normalization of the market.

For example, lenders took possession of 43 unsold units of Rhythm at Music Row in 2011, after only a handful of units had sold. A year later, the building is almost sold out. Sales are also up at both Fifth and Main and Belle Meade Court condo projects; three-quarters of the units at the former and 16 residences in the last two months at the latter.

At the end of 2011, Atlanta-based The Marketing Directors relaunched the sales effort for Fifth and Main, which is located in East Nashville, with a real estate auction that generated 26 condo sales. The company then leveraged the new pricing and value re-established by the auction. The residences are now priced from $115,900, with FHA financing available and, according to ACG Equities principal David Lang, averaging 20 sales a month.

At Belle Meade Court in Belle Meade, the property has seen more sales in the last two months than it had during the previous twelve months combined, though it always had its location going for it (and a heated swimming pool, fitness facility and gated garage parking). Prices there range from $289,900 to $562,900.

Condos are selling again because of the improved economy, and because the aforementioned auction, as well as other recent condo auctions, have helped put a post-bubble valuation on Nashville condos. Also important in keeping the inventory low are the conversion of units at Velocity in the Gulch and Rolling Mill Hill into apartments, rather than the original for-sale housing they stared out to be. Those conversions took about 300 condo units off the market in the city.