Tri-Cities housing market begins 2020 with a double-digit sales increase

Hank Hayes • Feb 20, 2020 at 8:30 AM

GRAY — Tri-Cities area home sales were up 16.5% in January, according to a report recently released by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors.

The average residential resale price had a 3.3% improvement.

“This is a promising walk-up to the 2020 prime buying and selling season,” said Kristi Bailey, NETAR president. “Strong consumer demand, low mortgage rates, robust pending sales, and a small inventory increase also point to another active February.”

There were 488 residential closings reported at month’s end, according to NETAR’s report. Single-family and condo resales were equally strong. There were 449 single-family closings, up 14.2% from 2019, and 39 townhome/condominium closings, which were up 50%. January’s average single-family sales price was $181,962. That is a $7,246 (4.1%) increase from last year. Last month’s average townhome/condo sales price was $124,774, down $2,927 (-2.3%).

January’s sales growth rates were largest in the Erwin/Unicoi and Elizabethton markets. The smaller counties continued the trend of higher year-over-year sales gains.

Inventory is very tight in the $200,000 and below price range, which accounts for most local resales. The $200,000 to $399,000 range also continues to be firmly in favor of sellers. Approximately six months of inventory is considered balanced market conditions. Bristol, Virginia, was the only major city market at that benchmark last month.

The regional inventory grew to 4.8 months in January, the best in 10 months, according to Realtor Property Resource data. The active inventory is 3% better than it was in January of last year. The average single-family closing was on the market for 121 days last month, while the townhome/condo resale average was 89 days.

NETAR’s report reflects housing market conditions in Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties in Northeast Tennessee and Scott, Lee, Wise, and Washington counties in Southwest Virginia. It also includes market data from the region’s primary city markets. City and county market share, year-over-year and year-to-date closings and average sales prices are available on the NETAR website’s market analytics page at https://netar.us/market-analytics.