October gives positive signals for real estate market

Nick McBrideFeature, On the Grow

(Note: Nick McBride took office as Knox County register of deeds in late August after serving as chief deputy for eight-plus years. We asked Nick to provide KnoxTNToday.com readers with a monthly recap of real estate transfers, which he’s agreed to do. This is his first column.)


October 2018 produced 1,145 property transfers in Knox County, some 70 more than were filed in September and also surpassing the 1,087 totals from last October. Sales this year totaled just over $279 million.

Nick McBride

Mortgage lending saw a significant increase. During October, nearly $430 million was loaned against real property in Knox County – a 45 percent increase over September’s total of $296 million. The surge produced lending levels well ahead of last October’s healthy pace of $360 million.

The largest of these loan transactions was secured by a Deed of Trust in the amount of $116 million, encumbering the Cummins Terminal property at 5100 Middlebrook Pike. The most notable land transfer of the month was the sale of the Huntington Place apartments off Sutherland Avenue for just under $11.3 million.

I want each of you to know how humbled and excited I am at the opportunity to serve as your register of deeds. Thank you for giving me this honor. Also, a huge note of gratitude to my predecessor, Sherry Witt, for serving us all so well during her time as register.

September 2018 summary: There were 1,075 property transfers recorded in Knox County, down from the 1,281 filed in August but still ahead of last September’s figure by 53 sales.

The total value of property transferred in September dropped to $270.8 million, after a robust $340 million in August. The aggregate was also well below that of last September, when nearly $346 million worth of real estate changed hands.

Lending levels returned closer to 2018 norms with $296.4 million being borrowed against real property in the county. Until August, this year’s lending had lagged behind that of a year ago. Last September, mortgages and refinancing generated about $374 million.

The largest transfer of the month was the sale of multiple properties in the residential development known as Country Day Estates, located off Gleason Drive, for $24.615 million. The largest lending transaction was a Deed of Trust encumbering a cremation and mortuary facility on Cherry Street for just over $22.5 million.

August 2018 summary: There were 1,281 land transfers, virtually identical to those filed in August 2017. The difference was in dollars. This year’s sales were just short of $340 million – about $50 million more than in 2017.

The most noteworthy transfer was the sale of a hotel property known as the Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville Cumberland House, 1109 White Ave., for $15.1 million. A Deed of Trust financing the sale was also the largest lending transaction, coming in at $19.44 million.

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