Sluggish land sales market starts to pick up 

Don Fenley 

The regional vacant land sales market has been sluggish so far this year. But the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR) market tracker shows sales are picking up. 

The most current report shows 149 vacant land transactions for properties listed on the NETAR Flex listing service. That’s down 14.5% from the first four months of last year.  

Commercial vacant land transactions tracked by NETAR’s Commercial Multiple Listing Service (CMLS) dropped from four at the beginning of the year to one in April. So far this year there have been eight sales, down from 16 during the first four months of last year. 

Active listings have remained steady in mid- to lower 1,750 range since the first of the year. As of the end of April there were 1,726 active listings, down 14.7% from last year. 

Vacant land sales began the year at 128, slumped to 101 in February, then rebounded to the mid-to-upper 140 range. 

Sales in the $30,000 and below range dominate the market. So far this year there have been 156 of them. That’s 24.3% off last year’s performance.  

Price ranges that have seen increases  are $200K to $250K, up 25% and $400K-$450K, also up 15%. 

The $500K and above market sales performance is flat. As of the end of April there have been 14 sales, the same total as last year. Active inventory for that price range reflects the sluggish sales performance. It’s up 3% from last year. 

According to Landwatch, Sullivan and Green counties are in the top eight counties in the eastern region with land sale listings. The Western Central and Eastern regions of the state dominate the state in the land market performance.  

Eastern Tenn. is the leader in the vacant land market. Greene Co. is the only Appalachian Highlands County among the top counties in that category. 

Greeneville and Kingsport are at the top of the leaderboard for city markets. Sevierville currently holds the top spot followed by Crossville. Knoxville is a distant third place. Greeneville  

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