December home sales lift 2019 housing market to new highs

Don Fenley 

December was a strong month for the Tri-Cities region’s housing market, and it lifted annual sales and prices to new highs.

Kristi Bailey, NETAR 2020 President, said 2019 saw several housing market milestones. For instance:

  • The average single-family resale price had the biggest annual increase since 2008.
  •  It was the ninth straight year sales have increased and the best annual increase in three years.
  • It was the fourth straight year total volume for existing home sales exceeded $1 billion.

There were 557 residential closings last month – up 26.6 percent from December last year, according to the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors’ (NETAR) December Trends Report. The average residential sales price of $179,230 was a 12.6 percent improvement from December last year, giving the average seller a $20,018 year-over-year price appreciation.

Single-family resales – the dominant component of the existing home sale market – posted a 24.4 percent gain over December last year, and the average sales price of $182,879 was up 14.4 percent. That’s an increase of $23,0431 from last year.

Townhome/condominium closings were up 54.8 percent while the average sales price of $140,539 was down 6.9 percent.

The 2019 annual residential and single-family resales were both 6.5 percent higher than in 2018.

The annual average single-family sales price was $183,741, up 6 percent from 2018, while the annual residential average sales price of $179,888 was a 5.9 percent improvement from 2018.

Townhome/condominium resales were 5.6 percent higher than in 2018, and the average sales price was up 5.1 percent.

The 11-county region had 3.8 months of inventory in December. It was the ninth straight month it has been below the 4.5 months level. That’s the two-year average for the region. Inventory in some city markets is closer to a two month supply. 

There were 9,442 new listings during 2019, according to Realtor Property Resource (RPR). That was 12 more than 2018’s total new listings.

The average December closing was on the market for 99 days, according to RPR.

RPR’s annual data shows the average area residential listing price during 2019 was $245,912, up 8.4 percent from the 2018 average.

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