Annual home sales for the Greater Nashville, Tenn., area reached an all-time high in 2004 with strong December sales raising the totals past 36,000 for the first time, according to the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors.

According to figures provided by GNAR, 36,469 homes were closed in 2004, representing a 14.4 percent increase from the 31,855 closings reported for 2003, previously a record year for area home sales.

There were 2,885 closings during the month of December, up 11.2 percent from the 2,593 closings reported for the same month last year.

Fourth-quarter closings totaled 8,748 for Greater Nashville, up 10.3 percent from the 7,931 closings during the fourth quarter of 2003.

“The real estate market here is very healthy and we expect it to remain that way in 2005,” said Richard Exton, 2005 president of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. “It is important to remember that we are at an entirely different level than we were five or 10 years ago. While it would be unrealistic to expect that a new record be set every year, we do expect that annual closings will exceed the 30,000 level consistently in the years ahead.”

The median residential price for a single-family home during December was $153,000, and for a condominium it was $125,000. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $143,375 and $109,524, respectively.

Inventory at the end of December was 12,258, down from 14,097 in December 2003, the association reported.

“Inventory levels are as low as they have been since the late 1990s,” Exton said. “That is due to the sustained high volume of closings along with the seasonally low inventory. In the coming months we are likely to see more homes on the market. However, even with the low inventory, there are still many attractive properties available throughout the area.”

The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 71 days, according to the association.

The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors is one of Middle Tennessee’s largest professional trade associations and serves as the primary voice for Nashville-area property owners.

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