Tri-Cities home listings get mixed February report, region sees small increase – some markets down


Existing home sale listings increased 1.4% in the Tri-Cities during February when compared to January listing.

Individual city and county markets are a different story. Almost half of the drill-down count shows a month-to-month decrease in the number of home listed for sale.

The largest portion comes in the smallest markets.

Here’s what the m-o-m status looks like in city and county markets.

Carter Co. – up 1.7%.

Greene Co. – down 1.2%.

Hawkins Co. – up 2.4%.

Sullivan Co. – up 3%.

Washington Co. TN – up 5.8%.

Washington Co. VA – down 1.7%.

Unicoi/Erwin – down 5.3%.

Bristol TN – down 1.9%.

Bristol VA – down 0.7%.

Elizabethton – down 0.9.

Greeneville – up 1.6%.

Johnson City – up 1.2%.

Kingsport – up 1.3%.


Home flips in Sullivan, Washington, Greene counties higher than U.S. Q4 portion


The portion of home flips to all home sales were more prevalent in Washington, Sullivan and Greene counties during the fourth quarter than there were on the national  level. Sullivan and Washington counties also had a higher average return on investment than the national average when compared to Q4 a year ago.

According to RealtyTrac’s Q4 and U.S. Home Flipping Report, which shows that 136,269 U.S. single family homes were flipped in 2014, 5.4 percent of all single family home sales during the year. A  total of 32,578 U.S. single family homes were flipped in the fourth quarter, representing 5.3% of all single family home sales during the quarter. Up 11% from Q3 down 12% a year ago

Here what the Tri-Cities number look like:

Greene County –  14 flips, 6% of Q4 sales, down 14% from Q3, up 28% from last year

Sullivan County – 42 flips, 7% of Q4 sales, up 48% from Q3, up 49% from last year.

Washington County – 27 flips, 6.1% of Q4 sales, up 54% from Q3, up 85% from last year.

The average gross profit — the difference between the purchase price and flipped price — for completed flips of single family homes in the fourth quarter was $65,993, representing a 37.1 percent gross return. That was up from an average gross profit of $65,285 representing a 36.5 percent gross return in the third quarter, and an average gross profit of $63,017 representing a 36.4 percent gross return in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Here’s how those local comparisons look:

Greene County – Q4 avg. gross profit $29,950, 36.9% ROI ; $6,355, 9.6% ROI Q4 last year

Sullivan County – Q4 avg. gross profit $45,560, 57% ROI; a year ago it was $39,458, 53.2%.

Washington County – Q4 avg.  gross profit $18,389, 17%, ROI;  a year ago it was $30,629, 42.5%.

“Investors have picked much of the low-hanging fruit when it comes to home flipping over the past three years since home prices bottomed out in the first quarter of 2012,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “As home price appreciation slows to single digits in most markets, flippers need to be more selective and creative about the properties and neighborhoods they target.

“In many cases the best neighborhoods for profitable flipping in a slower-appreciating market are those that come with a higher risk because of location and condition of properties, but also have a bigger upside if investors are able to correctly predict the path of progress in the region,” Blomquist added. “It appears that most investors completing flips in the fourth quarter were able to do just that. Even though the share of flips was down from a year ago during the quarter, the average gross return per flip increased.”

RelatyTrac’s full report and charts can be found at





Johnson City MSA new home sales, avg. price down


New home sales in the Johnson City MSA were down in November when compared to the same month the previous year. So was the average price and average mortgage.

According to report from Builder Magazine and Metrostudy, new home closings totaled 67 in the 12 months ending in November, down from 80 in the October-October period. That was a 3% market share of all sales compared to a 6% share in November 2013. Regular resales had a 78% share in November compared to 64% a year earlier.

The average new home sales price dropped to $180,552 from $244,760 and the average mortgage was $196,144, down $12,273.

New home price per square foot was $86 unchanged from November 2013.

The full report can be found at


 Kingsport-Bristol new home sales flat, cost per sq. ft. only increasing metric

In the next decade 1/3 of jobs will be lost to automation

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that experts are beginning to wonder if automation technology is nearing a tipping point, when machines finally master traits that have kept human workers irreplaceable.

Computers do legal research, write stock reports and news stories, as well as translate conversations; at car dealers, they generate online advertising; and, at banks, they churn out government-required documents to flag potential money laundering—all jobs done by human workers a short time ago.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates , speaking in Washington last year, said automation threatens all manner of workers, from drivers to waiters to nurses. “I don’t think people have that in their mental model,” he said.

Gartner Inc., the technology research firm, has predicted a third of all jobs will be lost to automation within a decade. And within two decades, economists at Oxford University forecast nearly half of the current jobs will be performed with machine technology.

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