November 24, 2019

Housing market will see another holiday crunch this year


2019 NETAR President

From a market perspective, it is all downhill from here. The ebb and flow of seasonal patterns indicates home sales will soften for the next two months while prices will see a November bump then settle down. That pattern has played out in years past, but if nothing else, the last two years have proven that today’s market is not a yesteryear’s clone.

There were over 1,000 approved contracts awaiting closing at the end of October, according to Realtor Property Resource (RPR) in the 11 counties monitored by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors® (NETAR) Trends Report. This increase is up 17 percent from October last year, and you can take it to the bank that there will be more in November. It is also a given that sellers, buyers, and their agents will be pushing for a closing before the end of the year.

So, even if things do slow down a bit, this holiday season will equal last year for the real estate market’s holiday crunch.

Our market is on track for another record sales and price appreciation year. Third-party analysis in recent weeks labeled our area as a standout. The first was the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHFA) Home Price Index. It showed the Kingsport-Bristol Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the best second quarter price appreciation of all MSAs in Tennessee. A couple weeks later, Attom Data Solutions’ Home Sales Report showed Kingsport-Bristol homeowners who sold during the third quarter had an average return of 34.5 percent when compared to the home’s original purchase price. Only sellers in Nashville outperformed us in Tennessee.

The Johnson City MSA market was not at the same heights as Kingsport-Bristol in those reports, but it wasn’t far behind. In fact, although Kingsport-Bristol sellers in the Attom report had a higher percentage return on their sales, Johnson City homeowners pocketed more cash, an average $6,500 per sale.

This information is not about a Kingsport-Bristol vs. Johnson City MSA competition. Both markets have done well, and that lifts the Tri-Cities region’s housing market credits.

In the next couple weeks, expect the projections for 2020 to begin.

Despite the moaning of some pundits about another housing market crash and recession, more practiced analysts and economists are expecting much of the same for mortgage rates, consumer demand, and tight inventories. Plus, they indicate no recession in 2020.

Locally, there is an uptick in new home developments. Flippers are busy as beavers plying their trade of buying, renovating, and putting more inventory on the market. One of the strongest headwinds is inventory because it looks like more Boomers are looking to age in place instead of scale down or relocate to one of the new senior housing developments. This decision means their homes will not go on the market.

Whatever 2020 brings, the one thing buyers, sellers, and investors can depend on is NETAR will continue to be the best institutional source for what is happening on the regional, county, and city housing market scene. The next important resource is the cadre of local professional Realtors®. These are the folks on the market’s front lines and have their fingers on market’s pulse to help their clients find and capture the best possible opportunities.

Yes, the market would be better with more inventory. However, good deals present themselves regardless of market conditions. The trick for successful sellers and buyers is to have the best, most current local information, and a local professional on their team.

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It’s the largest trade association in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,300 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 .