Local housing market rebounds from soft January

Hank Hayes • Mar 14, 2019 at 5:30 PM

GRAY — The Tri-Cities area housing market snapped back from a 2019 soft opening with resales that outperformed both the February state and East Tennessee markets, according to a report released Thursday by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR).

Single-family resales in the 11 counties monitored by NETAR were up 14.1 percent compared to February of last year while condominium/townhome resales were up 38.5 percent.

Tennessee single-family sales were up 1.8 percent while East Tennessee sales declined 3.8 percent, according to Tennessee Realtors.

“While last month’s sales were up, price appreciation continues to be softer than it was last year,” NETAR President Karen Randolph said. “At the same time, inventory continues to frustrate both buyers and real estate professionals as the market struggles to pace strong demand.”

NETAR’s February Trends Report shows there were 422 single-family and 36 condo/townhome closings last month. The average single-family sales price was $172,906 (up 2.6 percent), and the condo/townhome average was $157,683 (up 25.9 percent).

During the first two months of this year, 815 single-family (up 6.7 percent) and 62 condo/townhome (up 17 percent) resales have closed.

There were 605 new residential listings last month compared to 671 in January.

“We had 4.9 months of inventory in February,” Randolph noted.

Last year at this time, there was a six-month supply of homes for sale, and during February 2017 there were seven months of inventory.

“That shows how demand and outpaced inventory in our market.”

Six months of inventory is considered normal market conditions. Anything less shifts the advantage to sellers.

The average time on market for a February single-family closing was 136 days and 126 days for a condo/townhome. Realtor Property Resource (RPR) data show February median days on the market ranged from 75 in Unicoi County to 191 in Wise County.

RPR data also show the percentage of inventory sold in February was 20 percent. That percentage is the same as it was in January. The peak months last year were July and September when 26 percent of inventory was sold.

City and county market share, year-over-year and year-to-date closings and average sales prices can be found on the NETAR website’s market analytics page at https://netar.us/market-analytics.