Living large in Tri-Cities area housing market on the upswing

Don Fenley 

Million dollar-plus sales lag last year’s total, but the top-end of the existing residential market isn’t suffering. The same goes for the $500K and up luxury market, which has picked up during the latter part of the year.

Despite a slowdown in the median-priced existing home sales, the luxury market is seeing more inventory, and more sales.

Last month’s three million-dollar-plus sales brought this year’s total to 48. Last year’s annual total was 65.

A $1.2 million sale in Mountain City led two slightly over $1 million Greeneville sales. And there’s plenty more listings like that in the region.  

In late Nov., there were 87 top-end listings. A $7 million Greeneville tops the list. It, like some of the other multi-million-dollar listings, has the value-added effect of land – 508 acres.

The number of county listings with a beginning asking price of $1 million included:

Washington Co. TN – 24

Sullivan Co. -18

Johnson Co. – 10

Greene Co. – 9

Hawkins Co. – 9

Carter Co. – 8

Washington Co. Va. – 6

Unicoi Co. – 3

So far this year, the top sale was a $3.6 million cash deal in Piney Flats. And while it was the top deal, it wasn’t the only cash sales. So far this year, 29 (60.4%) of the 48 sales were cash deals. That’s an uncommon occurrence, according to national reports.

June was also the best month for million-dollar closings (13).

During the first 10 months of this year, the median sales price at the top of the luxury market was $1.3 million. The average was $1.5 million.

Unless there is a phenomenal number of high-end sales in the next two months, this year’s million dollar plus deals won’t challenge last year’s 65 closings. Something to watch is some lenders say they are seeing a record number increase in the number of million-dollar construction loans.

There were three October sales in the $900K and up price range that just missed the being in the top of the top-end market. And at the end of October, new listings in the $500K and up existing home listings were 85% higher than they were during the first 10 months of last year.

October’s $500K and up active inventory (365) was 13% higher than last year. Sales (85) were up 42% and pending sales (84) were up 100%.

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