Investors having larger impact on Tri-Cities home sales

Don Fenley 

GRAY, Tenn. – Institutional investor activity in the Tri-Cities housing market has picked up to the point where there are enough sales to register on the quarterly ATTOM Data Solutions reports.  

An institutional investor sale is one made to non-lending entities that purchased at least 10 properties in a calendar year. For a small metro market like the Tri-Cities, that’s a high benchmark.  

 Activity began increasing last year when demand for rental units grew as flippers and investors moved to cash in on unmet housing demand. Kingsport-Bristol saw more activity than the Johnson City metro area because it had a larger stock of lower-priced homes that attracted investors and wholesalers. 

 ATTOM’s current report shows there were 54 institutional investor sales in Kingsport-Bristol. That accounted for 4.7% of all the Q3 sales in the four-county metro area. It’s up from 3.3% of sales in the previous quarter. It was also higher than the annual 2021 4.1% share.  

There were not enough third-quarter institutional investor sales in the Johnson City metro area to make the report. The 2021 annual share was 3.6% of existing single-family and condo sales. 

There are currently 62,361 single-family and condo rentals in the Tri-Cities. The occupancy rate is 97.4%, and rents have increased.  

Rentals have and continue to be a popular mom-and-pop real estate investment.  

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