Equity positions for most local housing markets higher than national, state levels


  • At the end of 2015 there were 24,474 area homes that were equity rich.
  • At the same time, there were 8,527 homes that were seriously under water.
  • Of the local homes in foreclosure most have equity, much more than those that are seriously underwater.

Q4 share of properties with mortgages.

THE SHARE of local equity-rich homes at the end of 2015 was  considerably  higher than state or national shares  And that equity position for the overall housing market is much stronger when you remember that close to half of all local homes don’t’ have a mortgage.

RealtyTrac’s year-end Home Equity and Underwater Report, shows there were 6.4 million homes with mortgages that were seriously under water representing 11.5% of all properties with a mortgage. Local markets included in the study were: Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties in NE Tenn.  Bristol Va. and Washington County in SW Va.

The report is based on publicly recorded mortgage and deed of trust data collected and licensed by RealtyTrac nationwide along with an industry standard automated valuation model (AVM) updated monthly on RealtyTrac’s entire database of more than 140 million U.S. properties (see full methodology below).

The report shows seriously underwater properties on the national and local level were lower at the end of Q4 than they were in Q3 and Q4 last year.

“Over the past three and a half years, the number of seriously underwater properties has been cut in half, but we continue to deal with a long tail of seriously underwater properties, and it will likely be another five years at least before most of those remaining underwater properties move into positive equity territory,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “At the other end of the spectrum, the growing number of equity-rich properties reflects a moribund move-up market and restrained leveraging of home equity by U.S. homeowners.”

The national share  of properties that were seriously underwater properties in Q4 is 11.5%. In Tennessee it’s 10.6%. Four local markets had a higher share than U.S.

As of the end of 2015 the number of equity-rich properties was higher than they were in Q3 and Q4 last year.

Locally,  all markets except Bristol VA and Washington VA had a higher share of equity-rich properties.

Sullivan County remains the county with the highest share of equity-rich properties in NE Tenn.

The national share for equity-rich properties is 22.5%. In Tennessee it’s 20.4%

Foreclosure equity share

Q4 2015

The report also shows that 49.7 percent of all homes in foreclosure had some equity, the highest percentage since RealtyTrac began tracking in Q3 2013.

The local share of foreclosures with equity was considerable higher than the national level in all but Bristol, VA. That market’s share was 50%.

The weakest performance of local markets in the equity rich category were Bristol, Va. And Washington Co. Va. Those markets also had the highest share of seriously underwater properties.


The RealtyTrac U.S. Home Equity and Underwater report provides counts of residential properties based on several categories of equity — or loan to value (LTV) — at the state, metro and county level, along with the percentage of total residential properties with a mortgage that each equity category represents. The equity/LTV calculation is derived from a combination of record-level open loan data and record-level estimated property value data, and is also matched against record-level foreclosure data to determine foreclosure status for each equity/LTV category.


Seriously underwaterLoan to value ratio of 125 percent or above, meaning the homeowner owed at least 25 percent more than the estimated market value of the property.

Equity rich: Loan to value ratio of 50 percent or lower, meaning the homeowner had at least 50 percent equity.

Foreclosures w/equityProperties in some stage of the foreclosure process (default or scheduled for auction, not including bank-owned) where the loan to value ratio was 100 percent or lower.


Kingsport-Bristol Dec. sales tax collections soar, increase at sower pace in Johnson City MSA

Kingsport-Bristol sales tax collections were again on the upswing in December.

The four-county MSA’s year-to-year change put it second to Nashville for the best state-wide December performance.

Dec y-yCollections in the three-county Johnson City MSA were a little off their November pace but in line with the more moderate growth when compared to Kingsport-Bristol. Together, they gave the Tri-Cities 5.9% growth from December last year and the ninth straight month of year-to-year gains.

According to the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations with MTSU’s Department of Economic and Finance Kingsport-Bristol seasonally adjusted collections were 6.9% better than last year.

And it wasn’t the first time the MSA’s collections chart has looked like a Dollywood roller coaster layout. Double-digit year-to-year gains were posted five times in 2015. A steep one or two-month decline followed each peak.

Sales tax collection growth has been positive for both Kingsport-Bristol and the Johnson City MSAs for nine months.

DecHere’s how the East Tennessee year-to-year collections looked for East Tennessee:

Kingsport-Bristol, up 6.9%

Chattanooga, up 4.9%

Johnson City MSA, up 3.8%

Knoxville up 1.7%

Morristown, down 0.1%.

On the month-to-month comparison, Kingsport-Bristol was the only MSA in East Tennessee with a gain. Statewide, only two MSAs had gains from their November totals.

RealtyTrac launches data site providing ‘pre-diligence’ reports on homes for consumers

Free Property Report Allows Consumers to Identify Sex Offenders, Meth Labs, Environmental and Natural Hazards along with a Detailed Property Financial History

RealtyTrac   today announced the beta launch of its new consumer focused, mobile responsive, property Pre-DiligenceTM website,www.HomeDisclosure.com, which arms real estate consumers with detailed due diligence data on 117 million U.S. homes. Home Disclosure will be available to consumers early in the process of buying, selling or renting a home.

Home Disclosure was created to empower real estate consumers with critical information they can’t find anywhere else in one place, and some of which is only disclosed to buyers at the closing table — if it’s disclosed at all. In each property report, Home Disclosure provides more than 40 categories of real estate data, along with hyperlocal neighborhood and environmental data impacting the health, safety and financial security of the homeowner or renter.

“There is no other property report — let alone property listing website — that will identify nearby registered sex offenders and drug labs, while also giving potential home buyers comprehensive loan history and financial details such as the current equity position on each property,” said Rob Barber, CEO of RealtyTrac. “We’re able to provide this unique combination of property due-diligence data to consumers thanks to RealtyTrac’s nationwide footprint of publicly recorded real estate data along with the neighborhood and environmental data we gather through our subsidiary Homefacts.

“We’re willing to provide this data to consumers because our business model is not dependent on whether someone buys, sells or rents a home,” Barber added. “We are agnostic when it comes to whether or not a real estate transaction occurs, which frees us up to provide a property report with transparency as its highest objective.”

The report also provides hyperlocal neighborhood data on natural hazard risk (including flood, earthquake, tornado, wildfire, and hurricane risk), environmental hazard risk (including superfunds sites, brownfields, polluters and storage tanks and spills), crime level, school quality, median income and much more.

“When buying a home or investment property, it’s extremely important to completely investigate not only the property but also the neighborhood.” said Mike Sawtell, executive vice president and general manager of consumer solutions at RealtyTrac. “The Home Disclosure report will let you do exactly that. It’s extremely powerful data that will not only help home buyers decide on which property and neighborhood may be right for them, but give them critical data to help them negotiate much more effectively.

“Most real estate websites provide consumers with the basic information they need to search for homes — bedrooms, bathrooms and list price — but they don’t offer deeper data that will make buyers aware of potential risks in the neighborhood,” Sawtell continued. “It’s interesting that in today’s world, consumers will perform more pre-diligence on a $30,000 automobile (by purchasing a Carfax report) than they will on a $300,000 home. This is   because until now there was not a simple method to access the necessary information. Home Disclosure changes that. For no cost, a consumer can have access to a comprehensive, yet easy-to-use report that is built for smart phones and tablets. Home Disclosure provides important elements of big data necessary for thorough home pre diligence while making the report extremely accessible for all.”

RealtyTrac built Home Disclosure from the ground up using public record real estate data (sales deed, mortgage, tax and foreclosure data), along with neighborhood characteristics and risks data, and packaging that data in a user interface designed carefully for a very specific real estate consumer: one performing pro-active, pre-diligence on a home — whether they are looking at that home for purchase or rental, or whether they already own or rent the home.



Study shows inflation adjusted median incomes in all but two NE Tenn. counties drop more than 10%

In more than one-third of the nation’s counties, the inflation-adjusted median income has dropped by 10% or more since 2000, according to a Stateline analysis. In many of them, the drop in income can be traced to the disappearance of manufacturing jobs.

There’s a script error in the interactive may but after some poking around I found the data for NE Tenn. Counties and ranked them by order of the largest losses: Sullivan down 18.7%; Greene down14.1%; Carter down 12.5%; Unicoi down 12%; Hawkins down 11.9%; Washington down 7.8%; Johnson down 4.9%.



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