Average single-family Tri-Cities home price tops $200K for first time

Hank Hayes • Sep 18, 2019 at 10:00 PM

GRAY — August was another record month for the Tri-Cities area housing market, according to a report released by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR).

For the first time, NETAR reported the average single-family resale price was above $200,000.

All primary city markets — except Johnson City — and all but two counties in the region also recorded strong year-over-year price increases. Closings on residential sales were flat on the heels of back-to-back monthly highs in June and July.

“We are moving into the fall market with strong price and sales performance,” NETAR President Karen Randolph said. “Inventory continues to be the biggest challenge, especially for first-time buyers. Last month, we had 3.4 months of inventory — a 13-month low.

“Mortgage rates are at record lows and are forecasted to stay low for the rest of the year. With a good job market and high consumer confidence, we are looking for all things real estate to stay busy,” she added.

NETAR said there were 724 residential closings last month, down 14 (1.9 percent) from August last year. There were 663 single-family sales closing, down 22 (3.2 percent) from last year.

Townhome and condominium closings totaled 61, up eight (28.1 percent).

The average residential sales price was $196,453, up 13.9 percent from last year while the average single-family resale price hit a record high of $201,590, up 14.6 percent from last year. Townhome prices also increased by double digits. The August average was $140,620, up 10.7 percent.

Year-to-date trend lines show the short-term resale growth rate is increasing, just not as fast as prices. Residential and single-family closings are up 2.6 percent from the first eight months of last year. The average residential sales price is up 5.9 percent, while the single-family average is up 6 percent. The townhome average price is up 3.8 percent, and sales are 2.3 percent higher than they were during the first seven months of last year.

“Last month, the sales index was 100.9. That’s the lowest it has been since 2015 when local sales recovered from the recession,” said NETAR Data Analyst Don Fenley. An index of more than 100 shows the growth rate is up 0.9 percent. Less than 100 means sales are contracting. “It has been slowing since October last year,” he added.

The median time on the market for an August closing was 73 days, according to Realtor Property Resource (RPR). In July it was 72 days. The counties with the lowest time on market in August were Sullivan and Greene (60 days). The county market with the longest time on market was Wise (137 days).

NETAR’s Trends Report capsules 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-data closings and average sales prices can be found on the NETAR website’s market analytics page at https://netar.us/market-analytics.