Johnson City’s housing market showed “encouraging” signs in the third quarter of 2011, according to a trend report from the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors.
Home sales rose 19.5 percent compared to 2010’s third quarter sales, and the average price of $236,986 was 20 percent higher than the same period one year ago.
NETAR’s president, Gwen Lilley, said the Johnson City and regional market’s third quarter price and sales gains are “encouraging.”
“Record-low mortgage rates combined with other market conditions are creating some of the best housing affordability conditions in a generation and many area buyers are not passing up the bargains,” Lilley said. “Much of the progress can be linked to the region’s strong job growth during the first half of the year.”
The Tri-Cities added more than 6,500 jobs in 2011’s second quarter, and more than 3,800 in the first quarter, according to labor market reports authored by local economist Steb Hipple.
Another encouraging sign, Lilley said, is that foreclosure sales are beginning to decrease.
In September, the five foreclosure sales in Johnson City represented 11.4 percent of the existing home sales for the month, which is lower than the 11.8 percent they accounted for in August, NETAR’s trends report said. In the 11-county region monitored by the Trends Report, foreclosure sales accounted for 14 percent of September’s existing home sales; in August, that number was 17.5 percent.
“Distressed sales, which include those forced by foreclosures, have been a drag on prices and a sustained regional housing recovery,” Lilley said. “Currently the region is seeing the number of foreclosure filings and mortgage delinquencies trending lower. The discounts for foreclosure sales are also trending lower this year. If that trend is sustained and the market continues working its way through the foreclosure inventory, the downward pressure on prices should continue easing.”
NETAR defines Johnson City homes sales as those made in the Science Hill School zone.