Tri-Cities housing market begins the year with a double-digit sales increase

The Tri-Cities area home sales were up 16.5% in January. The average residential resale price had a 3.3% improvement.   “This is a promising walk-up to the 2020 prime buying and selling season,” said Kristi Bailey, Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR) president. “Strong consumer demand, low mortgage rates, robust pending sales, and a small inventory increase also point to another active February.”

There were 488 residential closings reported at month’s end, according to NETAR’s Trends report. Single-family and condo resales were equally strong. There were 449 single-family closings, up 14.2% from 2019, and 39 townhome/condominium closings, which were up 50%.  January’s average single-family sales price was $181,962. That is a $7,246 (4.1%) increase from last year. Last month’s average townhome/condo sales price was $124,774, down $2,927 (-2.3%).

January’s sales growth rates were largest in the Erwin/Unicoi and Elizabethton markets.  The smaller counties continued the trend of higher year-over-year sales gains.

Inventory is very tight in the $200,000 and below price range, which accounts for most local resales. The $200,000 to $399,000 range also continues to be firmly in favor of sellers. Approximately six months of inventory is considered balanced market conditions. Bristol Va. was the only major city market at that benchmark last month.

The regional inventory grew to 4.8 months in January, the best in 10 months, according to Realtor Property Resource (RRP) data. The active inventory is 3% better than it was in January of last year.  The average single-family closing was on the market for 121 days last month, while the townhome/condo resale average was 89 days.

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