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Housing market still on upward trend

Hank Hayes • Mar 15, 2018 at 8:30 PM

GRAY — The Tri-Cities region’s housing market didn’t let up in February. Sales and prices were better than in February of last year, according to a report released Thursday by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR).

“Unlike buyers in some other markets, locals haven’t held back for the chance of a bigger spring inventory,” said NETAR President Aaron Taylor. “The slow, steady increase in mortgage rates is driving some of the increase. Buyers want to lock in the best rate they can before the next increase.”

Single-family closings and the average price were the best performance of any February since 2008, he added.

Taylor said higher sales absorbed the increase in February’s new listings, so the overall inventory picture has not appreciably improved.

At the same time, pending sales increased, he pointed out.

NETAR said there were 370 closings on single-family homes last month compared to 337 last year. The average sales price was $168,502, up $10,526 from last year. Both year-to-date sales and the average sales price are 9.1 percent higher than the first two months of last year.

NETAR reported that closings on townhomes and condos were not as strong, but the average price was higher. Last month’s total of 26 was down from last year, and the year-to-date total is down 10.2 percent from the first two months of last year. The average sales price was $125,208, up $2,328 from last year.

The average single-family home sales that closed in February were on the market for 145 days. The average condo-townhome was on the market for 80 days.

In Sullivan County, NETAR said there were 117 sales, up 18. The average sales price was $164,359, up $5,967.

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