July 21, 2019

Deep dive on June’s housing data shows eye-popping results


2019 NETAR President

There were some eye-popping firsts in June’s Housing Market Report from the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR). At the same time, the data has some subtle and not-so-subtle things to say about local market conditions and trends.

The average price for a single-family resale was $188,957. That average is an all-time high for the 11 counties monitored by NETAR. The average listing price was $286,155, equating to a 16 percent increase from June last year. While the average listing price is a good description of how listings are performing, the median listing price offers better definitions of a couple of important trends.

June’s median listing price was $209,900, up 19.3% from June last year. Since half of the listings are above the median and half are below, it benchmarks not only a market where prices are increasing, it makes a stark statement about inventory and a subtle statement about affordability. To get a better grip on those statements, slightly more than seven out of every 10 homes sold in our market goes for less than $200,000.

So, if the June median listing price is almost $210,000 and over 70 percent of sales are under $200,000 that means more than half of the homes on the market are outside the market’s Goldilocks price range.

To illustrate the inventory situation, let’s look at some listing numbers from last month compared to June 2010. There were 530 listings in the Johnson City region for homes at $200,000 or below last month. In June 2010 were 1,376 in that price range. There were 408 listings for properties at $200,000 or below last month in the Kingsport region and 1,018 in June 2010.

The Tri-Cities region is fortunate to have a housing market were the average wage owner can still afford a median-priced home. Not the case in 75 percent of the markets across the nation, according to Attom Data Solutions’ Q2 Housing Affordability Report. However, it’s not much comfort to have a better-than-average affordability rating if the number of affordable homes on the market have dwindled to the point where accessibility is a bigger challenge than affordability.

The good news on the affordability front is June’s local median sales price was $162,000, according to Realtor Property Resource (RPR). Even though the inventory is squeaky tight, at least half of the homes sold last month were in the affordable range. June’s median price was 12 percent higher than it was June last year, so the trending is pushing the affordability limit.

But what were some of the other eye-popping first in the June Trends Report?

  • Average listing prices were up across the region. Johnson City has the highest average at $333,888 followed by Greeneville at $283,811; then Kingsport and Bristol TN at $260,235. The average in Bristol VA was $242,546 and $215,878 in Elizabethton.
  • There were more single-family resales last month than any other June since 2008.
  • June was second to May last year for the single highest number of single-family resales.
  • Last month’s average single-family resale price was 18.2 percent higher than it was in June 2008 – the year before the Great Recession hit the local housing market. That’s an increase of $29,075.
  • The average single-family resale that closed in June was on the market for 105 days. This time is the least days on market for single-family home sales 2008, and the average for the region so the time on market is less when you drill down to county markets. For instance, according to RPR the median time on market in Sullivan County was 56 days; 59 days in Hawkins County; 66 days in Washington County; 58 days in Carter County; and 69 days in Greene County.

The long-term trend does show some slight slowing of the existing home sales growth rate, but the opposite is the evident for prices. Since mortgage rates seem to be plateaued and consumer confidence is strong, those conditions will likely last for the rest of the year.

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It’s the largest trade association in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,200 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Pending sales, monthly Trends Reports, and the regional market analytics can be found on the NETAR websites at .