Vacant land sales decline

Don Fenley 

There were 2,400 vacant land sales in the Tri-Cities region last year, down 299 from the previous year. The softer market came on the heels of two years of rapid expansion. Sales in 2021 were up 41%.

At year’s end, new listings, pending sales, and active inventory were also softer.

The biggest sales declines came at the lower end of the market with sales in the $30,000 and below range seeing a 26% decline.

The best performance came in the $400,000 to $500,000 price range. Those sales were up 33%.

Year-end inventory is highest in the $300,000 and up listings The largest number of active listings in the $500,000 and more price band.

Interest in land sales as an investment began increasing during the latter part of 2022 as inflation fears and speculation about inflation this year increased. That will likely continue into the first half of this year.

Competition for developable land for lot development continues to be aggressive as the region grapples with a housing shortage. The National Home Builders outlook is for a 2023 sales drop-off, then a rebound in 2024.

Local builders expect a better showing. They think new home sales to be about the same as 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