Tri-Cities area home sales raise the bar again in 2021

Don Fenley 

There were 9,523 closings on existing home sales in 2021. That’s a 10.6% improvement over the 2020 total.  It’s also the second straight year the annual growth rate has been in double digits.

The annual churn as homes were sold and bought has seen the year-over-year increase in all but one year – 2019. The best year-over-year sales performance was 15.3% last year, followed by 14.1% in 2016. That’s when the annual sales volume finally recovered to the 2006 level – the previous peak year. 

Moving forward, market outlooks call for sales to moderate and slowly move to more balanced conditions. Driving that outlook is the big increase in sales and prices during the past two years. During that time, mortgage rates dropped to record lows giving consumers more buying power than many used to upgrade to newer or larger homes.  

The last time the local market had balanced market conditions was 2018. That’s when there was a little better than five months of inventory of existing homes for sale. Given current conditions getting back to balanced market conditions is expected to take at least four years.  

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