August 11, 2019

Where are the local hot markets? It's a question with multiple answers


When was the last time you heard some hushed conversation about the local housing market hot spots? The only thing that generates as much chatter is an aggressively priced home in a prime neighborhood that is getting ready to hit the market.

But are there hot spots?

2019 NETAR President

You bet. There are hot spots for city markets and county markets. They are hot spots for total sales, price growth, days on the market yada, yada, yada.

Here is the big picture.

Our entire region is a hot spot. The local housing market has evolved into a billion dollar a year market – and that’s just the volume. Factor in economic multipliers and real estate is a major player in the local and regional economy.

During the first half of this year, residential resales were up 2.2 percent. The average single-family sales price was up 3.7 percent. In terms of sales growth rate, the 11-counties monitored by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors® (NETAR) is one of the state’s top performers.

There are local submarkets performing better than last year and others look like they are now a new normal plateau.  You don’t have to number wonk to keep up with the market’s ebb and flow. NETAR’s data analyst takes care of that chore.

Each month there is a listing of the city and county markets year-to-year, year-to-date sales. average prices, and a market share listing. It can be found on the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors® web site on the Market Analytics page

If you define a hot spot as the best current month's year-to-year sales, Bristol VA had June’s best growth rate. If your interest is long-term, Elizabethton resales have the best growth rate so far this year.

Price appreciation?

Compared to June last year Elizabethton is at the top of the leaderboard, but Greene, Hawkins and Washington VA are not far behind. The best year-to-date price appreciation is in Johnson County.

June year-to-data data from Market Analytics page

If market share is the defining factor, the pattern is similar but with a few exceptions. Market share is a good metric because it shows what portion of the pie each market is getting benchmarked to last year’s annual market share. At mid-year, Erwin and Elizabethton are the power couple. It is true that Johnson City and Kingsport have the most sales, but neither of those markets are keeping up with what they did last year. Here is the indication of the slowing sales growth rate you have been hearing about.

A similar pattern can be found in county market share.  Kingsport and Bristol are not keeping up with last year, but county resales outside those cities have kept Sullivan County in the top spot.

Although it's not part of NETAR's monthly Trends Report, the same variety of sales and price examples cited for the city markets can be made for neighborhoods within a city market. That neighborhood data is an illustration of the hyper-local reality of real estate. It is also why buyers and sellers should not put too much faith in national media reports about home sales and prices.

The best thing buyers and sellers can do when they are studying local markets and really want to know what’s happening is to consult a professional. That professional is their Realtor®. He or she has the experience, access to public and private data bases and the local street smarts to come up with answers that precisely and accurately fit both the market and what their clients are looking for.

Remember the old real estate axiom that the three most important things in real estate are location, location, and location?

It true, but the three most important things in real estate market information are local, local, and local.

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It’s the largest trade association in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,200 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Pending sales, monthly Trends Reports, and the regional market analytics can be found on the NETAR websites at .