Year-to-date commercial real estate transactions up 54%

Don Fenley 

GRAY, Tenn. – Tri-Cities commercial real estate (CRE) transactions continued a steady growth pattern in August. So far this year, 393 transactions have been finalized for a 54.7 percent improvement over the first eight months of last year. And they’re 120 percent above the local pre-pandemic level. 

The only sector lagging the first eight months of last year is Industrial. It’s down 15 transactions and is more of an inventory than a demand issue. Office continues as the strongest sector performer compared to the first eight months of last year. It’s closely followed by Multi-Family, which hasn’t seen the annual volume improvement of other sectors but has better than tripled the number of sales. That activity is being driven by the local housing shortage, which has put additional upward price pressure on rents. 

 Total transactions since the first of the year are: 

  • Office – 80 
  • Retail-Commercial – 66 
  • Vacant Land – 32 
  • Industrial – 26 
  • Shopping Center – 22 
  • Multi-Family – 15 
  • Special Purpose – 3 
  • Farm/Ranch – 1 
  • Hospitality – 1 

The sales and lease volume this year has taken a toll on inventory. It’s down 18 percent from August last year.  

New listings have increased every month so far this year, but not by enough to overcome the overall inventory absorption rate and add to active listings. Region-wide the biggest inventory decline has been in Industrial listings.

The biggest inventory declines since the first of the year in the Johnson City metro area are in the Office sector – down 44 percent – and Shopping Center, down 68 percent. 

Kingsport-Bristol Industrial listings are down 50 percent from the first of the year. Retail-Commercial listings are down 13%, while all other sectors’ inventory is at or slightly above the first January level.  

Web traffic to the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR) Commercial Multiple Listing Service (CMLS) was down 14 percent from last year. Since CMLS is the primary local and regional commercial listing service, most of that traffic is from Tennessee. Views from Virginia have the second highest volume, followed by Georgia, New York, then Florida.  

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