Big drop in 3-bedroom home rents puts Washington, Sullivan counties on equal footing



A double-digit drop in Q1 rents on three-bedroom homes in Washington County gave Sullivan County a razor-thin edge as the better market for those looking to buy single-family rental properties. At the same time, it put the counties on equal footing in the rental market for those properties.

The broader picture is although rents are trending lower from their 2013 highs across most zip codes in the Johnson City metro area almost all Tri-Cities areas have a positive buy position.


Yeat-over-year Q1 change in average rent for three-bedroom homes

According to a RealtyTrac Single Family Rental Report, the Q1 year-to-year rents on three-bedroom homes in Washington County dropped 13.8% from last year while they increased 0.4% in Sullivan County. The current average is $917 a month in Washington County and $914 in Sullivan County.

The report also shows the Washington County annual gross rental yield was down 2.1 points from last year to 8.5%. In Sullivan County, it down 1.2 points to 11.5%.  The national benchmark is 9.4% in counties with the highest single-family returns.

The analysis also shows rents in Sullivan and Washington counties are not growing faster than home prices.

It also shows Sullivan County lost 7.4% of its Millennial population in the 2008-2013 study period while Washington County’s share of that age group grew by 1.4%.

Overall, rents increased in 12 area zip codes and dropped in eight. Increases ranged from a low of $5 a month in Kingsport’s 37664 area to $85 a month in Jonesborough. Most increases were in the range of $10 to $20 a month. Hawkins County zip codes recorded the larger increases in the Kingsport- Bristol area.

The big rent drops came in the 37615 area in Johnson City, Limestone, Telford, Carter and Unicoi counties and in Piney Flats. The largest drop was $205 a month in Johnson City. The rest were in the $100 to $170 a month range. Last year rents on a three-bedroom home was a little above $1,000 a month in the 37604 and 37615 Johnson City zip codes and in Piney Flats. This year none of the area zip codes recorded a four-digit average monthly rent.

The 2016 annual gross rental yield in all but six local zip codes was better than the 9.4% national benchmark.

The highest monthly average rent in the Johnson City metro is currently $945 a month in Jonesborough and the lowest is $750 a month in Carter County and Limestone.

Kingsport-Bristol’s high is $930 a month in the 37617 zip code. The low is $860 in the broad area of the 37660, 37664 in Kingsport and 37642 and 37857 in Hawkins County.




  1. […] The full story on the rents, gross yields from those rents and more of the data deep dive can be found by CLICKING HERE […]

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