Memphis-based Crye-Leike sales up $700 million over 2011 – Reporter by: the Commercial Appeal

Hundreds of agents with Memphis and Tennessee’s largest real estate firm are to gather Tuesday to celebrate Crye-Leike’s best year for sales in five years.


The company finished 2012 nearly $700 million in sales ahead of 2011, according to a Crye-Leike spokesman.


Leading the agency’s annual kickoff at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis ballroom will be co-founders Harold Crye and Dick Leike. They will update agents on market conditions, discuss market predictions and company goals for 2013, and hand out sales awards.


Crye-Leike recorded about $4.5 billion in sales in 2012 across its region that encompasses multiple states. Its agents sold a total of 28,065 units last year.


Crye-Leike’s sales, both dollar amount and number of units sold, for recent years are: 2011, $3.8 billion and 24,470 units; 2010, $3.85 billion and 24,260 units; 2009, $3.9 billion and 24,983 units; 2008, $4.2 billion and 25,281 units; 2007, $5.7 billion and 32,500 units; 2006, $6.1 billion and 35,498 units; 2005, $5.6 billion and 34,039 units, and 2004, $4.61 billion and 29,581 units.


The real estate market continues to show signs of rebounding in the wake of the Great Recession and collapse of the housing bubble.


Just last week, the Memphis Area Association of Realtors reported that sales in 2012 rose 17.2 percent, to 15,071 units, compared to 2011. Dollar sales volume for the year increased 19.8 percent to $1.94 billion with a slight in the average sale prices.


The Crye-Leike annual kickoffs are usually boisterous pep rallies, with upbeat music and a good dose of humor mixed in.


The company sells in seven states, but a year ago company leaders challenged agents to meet a 2012 goal specific to Memphis area: Increase sales there by 3 percent, to $1.08 billion.


Crye-Leike leaders also implored its agents last year to make greater use of social media for sales, and focus more on the sale of distressed homes through short sales.


Meanwhile, company officials kept their pledge to roll out a new Crye-Leike website.


Also last year, Crye-Leike agents helped the company’s 2012 United Way campaign collect $22,300.


“Our 2012 United Way campaign was another great success,” Crye said in a prepared statement. “Crye-Leike is thankful to have so many generous agents and employees who are excited to be Good Samaritans in their community helping their neighbors in need.”


Last week, the National Association of Realtors projected that 2012 will go down as a record year for the affordability of houses.


The Realtors’ “affordability index” is based on the median home price, median family income and average mortgage interest rate. It was 198.2 in November. The higher the index, the greater the household buying.


An index of 100 is considered the point where a median-income household has precisely enough income to qualify for the purchase of a median-priced existing single-family home, assuming a 20 percent down payment and 25 percent of gross income devoted to mortgage principal and interest payments.


For all of 2012, the Realtors association projects the housing affordability index to be a record high 194, up from 186 in 2011 which was the previous record.