Tri-Cities new home permits outpace other E. TN regions; high-end permits more than doubled


The Market Edge just gave us look at the Tri-Cities new home industry from a slightly different perspective.  It shows NE TN doing better than the Knoxville and Chattanooga regions during Q1. It also shows a healthy increase in local high-end home construction with Sullivan Co. and Kingsport not participating.

Last week I used Census report on new residential permits, which is good (Tri-Cities new home industry heating up )  But the Market Edge numbers are the gold standard. They’re better because the Census Bureau depends on local government to report permit data – something not all agencies do. The Market Edge sends people to the offices in the areas they cover to manually gather the information.

There are some subtle differences.  The Market Edge doesn’t include data from Unicoi Co. so there’s a slight gap in the reporting if you need to look at data by the MSA, but that’s not a big deal. Its Tri-Cities report is for Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Sullivan and Washington counties in NE TN and Washington and Scott counties in SW VA.

The Q1 report shows new residential permits up 1.8% in the Tri-Cities. It was the only region in East TN positive when compared to Q1 data from the Knoxville and Chattanooga regions.

Permit volume increased by 1.8% in the Tri-Cities, but it wasn’t up in all counties.

How the counties stacked up

Here’s what the Q1 numbers looked like compared to the same period last year:

–        Carter – 11 permits, down 15.4%

–        Greene – 17 permits, up 41.7%

–        Hawkins – 2 permits, down 33.3%

–        Sullivan – 46 permits, down 22%

–        Washington, TN – 70 permits, up 4.5%

–        Scott  – 5 permits, up 25%

–        Washington,  VA – 19 permits up 111.1%

The Knoxville region was 11.2 below its permit performance Q1 last year.

Chattanooga was down 2.2%.

The report’s tally of high-end homes show that permit category more than doubled when compared to last year. During the first three months of this year 16 of those permits were issued compared to seven during Q1 last year.  Market Edge defines high-end homes as those over 4,000 sq. feet of with a permit value over $400,000.

Ten of the permits were issued in Washington Co. TN, up from two in  Q1 last year.

Five were pulling in Washington Co. VA, up from two last year.

One high-ender was issued in Greene Co.

Kingsport has been active in this category in the past, but not in Q1 this year.

Top of the high-end permits from Johnson City

Seven of the high-end permits were in Johnson City. Here’s a sample of what those high-enders looked like there from Johnson City permits:

–        The permit with the highest permit value was for $633,270. It was 6,665 sq. ft. finished with a 1,200 unfinished basement and a 1,545 sq. ft. garage.

–        The permit with the second highest value was for $535,000. The unit was 3,450 sq. ft. finished with a 7646 sq. ft. garage.

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