Competition Drives Homes to Fastest-Ever Sales Pace

Kristi Bailey 2020 NETAR President

Homes are selling in record time. The time on market has declined every month this year, and we’re barely into the prime home buying and selling season. 

Kristi Bailey, NETAR President

The median time on market in April was 49 days, down by more than two weeks from last year, according to the Northeast Tennessee Association of REALTORS® (NETAR) Home Sales Report. That means that half of all resales were made in 49 days or less.  

The pace for contract offers is faster – much faster.  In today’s market, it’s not uncommon to see multiple offers the same day a listing goes public. And the seller’s acceptance is sometimes higher than the listing price as buyers compete for the property. 

An encouraging sign in April was more sellers decided to list their homes. That’s consistent with a national survey that found an increasing number of homeowners said now is the time to sell. There were 982 new listings here in NE Tenn. and SW Va. That’s 77 more than there were in March. Housing experts think that will continue in the coming months, but the market continues to experience intense buyer competition. Active inventory is still 55 percent below last year, and that’s driving prices higher. 

In some of the region’s submarkets, homes go from “just listed” to “sold” in what seems like a blink of an eye. Homes in some of those submarkets sold faster than the average for the region. Johnson City, Piney Flats, Erwin, Jonesborough, Gray, Bristol, and Greeneville were among that quicker sale group. All the submarket time on market totals, average sales prices, and more can be found in my earlier column “Smaller housing submarkets on top first-quarter stats” at 

The pace has picked up since then. The next submarket report will be a mid-year. 

While some continue to talk about the market being overheated and near a tipping point, the primary forward-looking housing indicators tell a different story. There were 984 new contract acceptances in April – one more than in March. Those offers will work their way through the process of home inspections, appraisals, etc., and close during the next six weeks to two months. That simply means demand in April was the same as it was in March despite the tight inventory and a 22 percent increase in the average sales price. 

The bottom line is there’s no immediate sign consumer demand is letting up as we enter what is shaping up as the most competitive home buying and selling local real estate professionals can remember. 

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee – Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,400 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Pending sales, Trends Reports, and the regional market analytics can be found on the NETAR websites at 

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NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region, representing over 1,800+ members and 100+ business partners involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Weekly market reports and information for both consumers and members are available on the NETAR website at