Sullivan, Washington housing up, so is vacancy rate; fewer single-family, condo investment properties, vacancy rates up

Attom Data Solutions Q3 Zombie Foreclosure Report shows a negligible number of zombies in Sullivan and Washington counties, but a data drill-down points illustrates the bite new multi-family complexes are have taken out of the local single-family and condo investment properties landscape.

For instance: there are fewer single-family and condo investment properties this year and the vacancy rates are higher. That highlights the increased competition in the rental housing market. It seems the amenities and price competition offered by the increased number of multi-family communities is putting more pressure on townhome landlords to keep their tenants. Simply put, for the same rent or close to it some renters are opting for the fitness centers, pools and other amenities of apartment communities. At the same time, the number of new apartment communities has upped move-in incentive packages on the table and owners of some of the older properties have put their properties on the market – an indication that they can no longer command yesteryear’s profit margins.

A zombie home has nothing to do with Halloween. It’s defined as a property title that has stayed with the owner after the lender has begun foreclosure proceeding. A listing of zombies by zip code shows four locals: one in Unicoi, one in 37601 in Johnson City, one in Jonesborough and one in Bristol Va. There were two in Q3 last year: One in Church Hill, and another in Fall Branch

Nationwide there were 10,291 zombie foreclosures representing 3.38% of all homes actively in foreclosure at the end of Q3. That’s down from 14,312 last year.


During the 12 months from Q3 this year to the same period last year the number of single-family and condos in Sullivan and Washington counties increased by 2,211 and more of them were vacant. Locally the vacancy rates were higher than the national norm.

There were 2,679 vacant single-family homes and condos representing 2.01% of the Sullivan and Washington counties housing stock at the end of Q3. Last year the vacancy rate was 1.8%.

Sullivan Co. had the largest number of vacancies – 1,687 for a 2.18% vacancy rate. Last year there were 1,482 vacancies and the country had a 1.94% vacancy rate.

Washington Co. had 992 vacancies for a 1.77% vacancy rate. Last year there were 912 vacancies in that county and the vacancy rate was 1.66%

Nationwide, the report found there were 1.5 million vacant U.S. single-family homes and condos at the end of Q3. That represents 1.52% of all homes nationwide.


The total number of homes with a pre-foreclosure status was 69 – 40 in Sullivan Co. and 29 in Washington Co. At the end of Q3 last year there were 38 pre-foreclosure properties – 20 in Sullivan and 18 in Washington Co.


Attom’s report shows there were 2,136 fewer investment properties in the two counties this year. An investment property is defined as a non-owner-occupied residence. The two-county total at the end of Q3 this year was 50,666 compared to 52,802 last year.

A drill-down shows investment 29,987 properties this year in Sullivan compared to 31,507 last year. Washington County’s total this year was 20,679 compared to 21,295 last year.


Although there were fewer investment properties this year the vacancy rates were higher in both counties.

Sullivan County had 1,409 vacant investment properties this year compared to 1,269 last year for a 4.7% vacancy rate compared to 4.03% last year.

Washington Co. had 821 vacancies compared to 771 last year for a 3.97% vacancy rate compared to 3.62% last year.

Attom’s report also found Tennessee had the highest share of vacant homes in the nation (2.47%).

Attom analyzed county tax assessor data at the address level for more than 95 million single-family homes and condos for vacancy, broken down by foreclosure status and, owner-occupancy status. Only metropolitan statistical areas with at least 100,000 single family homes and condos and counties with at least 50,000 single family homes and condos were included in the analysis.



Leave a Reply