NASHVILLE, Tenn.- New numbers show just how bad the situation is getting with the housing market. A double digit dip in sales highlights how buyers and sellers in the Nashville area are waiting out these tough times. The numbers haven't been this bad since 1994.
When it comes to selling one particular Brentwood home, Realtor Terri Mason has her sales pitch down and she has to.
"A couple of summers ago you could put a sign in the yard and it would sell in a week or two weeks. It was, things changed," said Terri Mason of Crye-Leike Realtors.
A hobbled housing is keeping homes hidden from buyers.
"It's something we didn't want to see. There's no candy coating it. It is what it is," said Mike Nichols, Greater Nashville Association Realtors.
Mike Nichols has the January sales numbers for home sales in the Nashville area, and the market meltdown has taken its toll.
"We're on the tail end of getting the affects of this," said Nichols.
In the eight counties that make up the Nashville real estate market, January numbers are down by 40 percent. In 2008, there were more than 1,600 sales. This year that number dropped to 974. Simple numbers that have made the real estate business difficult.
"There's fewer buyers, there are fewer sellers and you've got to find the one that have a reason to buy or sell, and I think we're all going for the same consumer," said Nichols.
"We have to work hard and smarter," said Mason.
That means marketing and pricing a home to sell. This is the first time since February of 1994 that Nashville has seen fewer than a thousand closings in one month. Experts say the market felt the affects of this meltdown way after the rest of the nation, and they hope we'll be one of the first to recover.
Many in the real estate business are counting on the new stimulus plan out of Washington to help jumpstart the industry.