MARKET PULSE – Mobile home sales brisk in local affordability market

Don Fenley 

Mobile homes continued a brisk sales rate last month as affordability conscious buyers sought relief from higher prices in the detached single-family, townhome and condo markets.

Thirty-six manufactured homes sold last month. The median price was $218,200. Buyers in almost half of those deals (42%) were able to get price reductions. Twenty sales – 42% – had a median price discount of $7,500 before the deals were closed.

The median listing price last month was $225,500 and 20 of the properties that sold were discounted from before there was an accepted contract. The median price reduction from the original listing price was $7,750.

 Sullivan and Greene counties were the sales hot spots with eight sales each.

At month’s end there were 30 mobile homes listing in the Tri-Cities region.

Mobile homes have long been popular for individuals who put affordability at the top of their housing cost pyramid. In today’s environment of the growing desire for more cost-efficient living, they are an increasingly affricative option.

Affordability – as measured by the percentage of income buyers are spending on housing – increased in all but two of the region’s counties monitored by the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank’s Home Housing Affordability Tracker in the current count.

Spending 30% of an individual’s or families income on housing is the recommended level. Carter Co. is the only example of new owners having that level in the current count. All other counties were higher, and only two had a larger share from the previous month.

The least affordable county in the region is Greene Co., which is also a top growth area among the six counties monitored by the Atlanta Bank’s tracker.

Although 30% is the recommended share of income for housing buyers who are slightly more willing to take more risk and live with less disposable income are taking a so-called traditional approach to home budgeting and spending up to 40% of their income on housing.

Here’s the latest accounting of what buyers are spending:

Carter – 29.7%

Unicoi – 34.6%

Washington – 33.1%

Greene – 42.6%

Hawkins – 32.5%

Sullivan – 34%

Half of the Kingsport-Bristol metro area (Scott and Washington counties in SW VA) is not monitored by the tracker since they are in the area monitored by the Richmond Federal Reserve.  

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