Local cash sales at 10-year low, still higher than U.S. share

Don Fenley 

The current national Attom Data Solutions report on cash sales is good example of how local market conditions don’t always follow the U.S. model. 

U.S. cash sales accounted for 30.3% – the highest level since 2015 – of single-family house and condo sales in 2021.  

Locally, cash sales dropped to a decade low in the Tri-Cities’ two metro areas. But that 10-year low is a better market share than the current U.S. high mark.  

Since this comparison is based on the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA), Greene and Johnson counties are not included. 

The Johnson City MSA (Carter, Washington, and Unicoi counties) ended 2021 with 31.5% cash sales. That’s and down 8% from 2015. 

Cash sales accounted for 32% of sales in the Kingsport-Bristol MSA (Hawkins and Sullivan counties in NE Tenn.  and Scott and Washington counties in SW Va.) That’s 6.3% less than what it was in 2015. 

Almost half of all Tri-cities single-family and condo sales were cash deals in 2011. At that time, there was still an inventory surplus. The difference is in 2011 the local market had 14 months of inventory. Last month it had 1.1 months of inventory. A decade ago there were a little over 5,000 listings, and only 2,342 were for $200,000 or more. 

Today’s inventory is a pale example of what it was in 2011. So are prices.  

Last month there were 139 cash sales in the two local metro areas. The Johnson City MSA had 69 – 12.2% of all sales – while Kingsport-Bristol had 70 – 12.3% of all sales. 

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 https://netar.us