There’s less than a month’s townhome, condo inventory for sale

Don Fenley 

January’s Tri-Cities condo market was a lot like the existing homes sector with the inventory situation on steroids. 

Last month the 37 closings were down from 50 last year while the lack of inventory pushed prices higher. The average sales price was $155,262, up 14.4%, while the typical – or median – sales price was $159,650. The median sales price was a 25.5% improvement over last year.  

The average condo deal that closed last month was on the market for 10 days. The month ended with 30 new listings, 0.2 months of inventory, and a 471% absorption rate. That’s the highlights for the region monitored by NETAR. That region includes Greene and Johnson counties. They are not part of the region’s two federal Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA). 

Breaking the  condo market into a comparison of its two federal MSAs shows the Jonson City area accounted for a higher typical sales price. It had a year-to-year increase almost double the Kingsport-Bristol increase and a slight advantage in new listings. At the same time, Kingsport-Bristol had slightly more inventory – a 0.4-month supply compared to Johnson City’s 0.3-month supply. 

Comparing last month’s typical sales prices to the market price range for townhome permits pulled in Kingsport and Johnson City show a wide variance. 

Johnson City’s market price range for the new permits was $240,000, while the permits pulling in Kingsport were in the $169,000 range. 

Condo and townhome developments lag the single-family detached market, but there has been an interest and market shift toward townhomes. Some of that is driven by their built-to-rent popularity. The rental market is as tight – if not tighter – than the for-sale market in some communities. At the last count, there were a little more than 60,000 single-family and condo investor-owned rentals in the Tri-Cities, and the overall occupancy rate was about 95%. 

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 1,600+ 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