March 3, 2019

The most reliable real estate market information is local, local, local


At one time or another, I suspect everyone has heard the adage that figuring out the local economy and housing market is simple. All you have to do is watch the events on the national level and wait six months.  If that were true, we could all sit back and take notes from the Wall Street Journal in June and wait for the same thing to happen here in January.

2019 NETAR President

File that assumption as “maybe, maybe not.” This pattern may get you in the ball park, but do not expect a home run. Here is an example:

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported in June the existing-home sales fell for the third straight month. They were down 2.2 percent from the previous year. At the same time, the $276,900 median price was up 5.3 percent. It was an all-time high and the 76th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

If the six-month rule were working, January’s Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors® (NETAR) Trends report would have reported a weakening sales picture and big price increases.  Sales were down by two closings in the 11-county market NETAR monitors– one single-family and one townhome - compared to January last year. It was the second-best January for existing home sales since 2008 in a market still seeing strong demand and sales. The local sales price was up by 2.6 percent. It is not quite in nosebleed territory seen nationally, but local prices improved.

Do not put a lot of faith in the “we trail the nation by six months” theory. The truth of the matter is local housing markets sometimes line up national patterns, but even when they do, there are a lot of variations.

You can take this truism about the local housing market information to the bank:  The most reliable real estate news and market information are local, local, local.

Real estate and market conditions are called hyper-local. They can vary widely from neighborhood to neighborhood and community to community.  Almost all of what you read about in newspapers or watch on TV is based on state-wide or national information. It is simply not the quality of information home buyers and sellers need to make the best decisions.

The Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors® is the largest trade organization in the Tri-Cities and the primary source for localized real estate information for Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties in Northeast Tennessee. NETAR also monitors the markets in Lee, Scott, Washington and Wise counties in SW Virginia. The associations’ monthly trends report, pending sales report and market analytics can be found at .

NAR’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Research, Lawrence Yun, is fond of saying anyone who needs a local real estate market expert should “contact a local Realtor®.”  They are the real experts because they keep their fingers on the pulse of the constantly changing local market conditions. They monitor the market so they can offer first-class advice and service to their clients. It is who they are and what they do to live up to the prestige of being a Realtor®.

Real estate transactions are often the single largest financial transactions many people will ever make. It stands to reason anything that important should be based on the most reliable information available.  “While the national market is not too pedantic to hold our interest, it is obvious the local market affects us more” Randolph stated.  For your added peace of mind, whether buying or selling, contact a Realtor®.