May 16, 2018

Home sales increase, inventory at record lows

Buyers snapped up homes in April at a pace that is barely allowing new listings to sustain an already historic low inventory.

Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors® (NETAR) President Aaron Taylor said the 11-county region monitored by the association's Trends Report had 3.4 months of inventory at the end of April. And, only two city markets had more than a three-month supply of homes for sale. "Six months of inventory is the benchmark for normal market conditions – something we've seen only twice in the past 13 months."

"There were 928 new listings in April and 878 new accepted contracts," Taylor said. "A 2.2% listing growth rate won't appreciably improve an overall inventory already 23.8% lower than it was last year," he added. "You can get a better picture of the situation if you compare the current inventory to what it was during the same month in 2016 – a period when inventory was typical for our region." At the end of April, there were 2,500 active listings compared to 4,088 in April 2016.

There were 544 closings on single-family resales in April, up 5.4% from April last year. So far this year closings are 8.8% better than the first four months of last year. Closings on townhomes and condominium sales totaled 47, down 22 from April last year. Year-to-date there have been 158 closings, 14 fewer than the first four months of last year.

April's single-family average sales price was $165,790, down $3,764 from last year. The year-to-date price trend shows it's 6.9 percent ($10,992) better than last year. The average condo sales price was $140,168, up 3.9% from April last year but the year-to-date trend is down 5 percent.

Prices haven't dramatically increased despite the inventory shortage, so far. "Our big issue is availability, not affordability," Taylor said. One of our biggest concern is buyers – especially first-time buyers - will become frustrated with the availability of the product on the market and decide to continue renting or to wait for better inventory conditions. Simply put, we need more listings, and the market is prime for owners who have considered selling but are still on the sidelines."

Here's a capsule look at local market tends based on the year-to-date city and county single-family resales and average prices compared to the first four months of last year:


Kingsport: Sales 231, up 37. Avg. price - $173,316, up $7,149.

Johnson City: Sales, 228, down 5. Avg. price - $210,895, down $14,403.

Bristol, TN: Sales 87, down 2. Avg. price - $149,882, up $6,539.

Greeneville: Sales 65, up 9. Avg. price $134,294, up $4,924.

Bristol, VA: Sales 56, up 7. Avg. price - $115,458, up $10,177.

Erwin/Unicoi: Sales 48, up 1. Avg. price - $150,758, up $24,265.

Elizabethton: Sales 47, up 1. Avg. price - $121,614, up $9,497.


Sullivan: Sales 570, up 60. Avg. price - $166,638, up $7,826.

Washington, TN: Sales 482, up 4. Avg. price $215,364, up $13,537.

Greene: Sales 204, up 24. Avg. price $149,806, up $8,558.

Hawkins: Sales 173, up 24. Avg. price $154,511, up $16,731.

Carter: Sales 150, up 1. Avg. price $135,396 up $6,291.

Washington, VA: Sales 126, up 10. Avg. price $179,838, up $17,842.

Wise: 56, up 10. Avg. price $105,514, up $6,308.

Johnson: Sales 41, up 18. Avg. price $214,505, up $105,043.

Scott: Sales 32, down 3. Avg. price $80,051, down $31,651.

Lee: Sales 14, up 3. Avg. price $79,503, up $, 8,266.

NOTE: Johnson County's year-to-date high average sales price change and Scott County's low are both residual effects of outlier sales

NETAR counts city sales as those in high school zones. City sales and price data are included in the county totals.