Local home sales, prices set a blistering pace

Don Fenley 

The Tri-Cities area housing market isn’t waiting for the peak spring buying and selling season. March home sales hit a six-month high while the average price in the inventory-starved region soared 23.2 percent.

“March was another month of record-level sales and price increases,” Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR) President Kristi Bailey said. “The caveat to interpreting the sales numbers is March’s hot market is being compared to March last year when the first uncertainties of COVID-19 were beginning to have an effect.

“The surge that began during the last half of 2020 continued increasing through the first quarter of this year. The market has evolved to one where multiple offers are becoming more common, and buyer competition is increasing. The average sale was $43,230 more than it was in March last year. Homes are also selling faster than ever before, and for the first time, there were fewer than 1,000 existing homes for sale at month’s end.” 

There were 828 closings last month – 204 more than last year, according to the Home Sales Report.

The average resale price was $229,499. It was $186,269 this time last year. The median sales price of $185,000 was $20,875 more than last year. The median is the market’s center point where half of the sales were for $185,000 or more and the other half for less.

Inventory dropped to an all-time low last month. There were 991 active listings. “This time last year, we had 2,257 homes listed for sale,” Bailey said. The region had a 1.3-month supply of homes for sale last month, while half the local submarkets monitored for the quarterly market study had less than a month’s inventory. Those submarkets include Johnson City, Jonesborough, Elizabethton, Erwin, Church Hill, and Piney Flats.

Homes are also selling at the fastest-ever pace. The median time a sale that closed in March was on the market was 53 days. That means that half of the homes were sold almost a month quicker than this time last year. 

There were 905 new listings in March and 983 pending sales.  

Last month’s average listing price was $321,168, up 19.8 percent from last year, and the median listing price was $197,900, up 3.1 percent from last year.

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