Third quarter permits push Tri-Cities new home construction higher than last year

Third-quarter new home construction in Sullivan, Washington and Carter counties was enough to give the seven-county Tri-Cities region a 9.9% year-to-date improvement over last year.

The latest report from The Market Edge shows Q3 was the only quarter this year when the number of permits improved over the same quarter of the previous year.

Recovery here has been painfully slower than the rest of the East Tennessee’s markets. Builders content their biggest problem is regulatory lending practices that have basically capped increasing construction to meet increased new home demand. The lending issue is a result of banking reforms intended to stem abuses that lead up to the housing market bust. However, it has effectively shut builders in smaller spec home markets out of the recovery.

So far this year Washington Co. TN leads the regions new home recovery with 239 permits.

Sullivan Co. has seen 216 permits.

Greene Co. has recorded 66 permits.

Washington Co. VA has 63 permits.

Carter Co. has seen 43 permits.

Scott Co. VA. has 22 permits.

Hawkins Co. has recorded 7 permits.

New home permits totaled 656 in the region compared to 597 last year.

Sullivan County was the leader in construction of high-end homes so far this year with 15 new permits. High-end homes are those over 4,000 square feet or with a permit value of more than $400,000.

Here’s how YTD high-end permits look in the rest of the region:

–         Washington Co. VA – 14.

–         Washington Co. TN – 12.

–         Greene Co. – 1.

Total for the region is 42, the same as it was in the first nine months of last year.

The proportion of high-end homes to the total new home permits in Knoxville is 7.6%. It’s 6.4% in the Tri-Cities and 2.5% in Chattanooga.

The Knoxville region leads new home construction improvement in East Tennessee. New permits in that nine-county are 35.1% better this year. The five-county Chattanooga area is up 12.4% when compared to the first nine months of last year.



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