Tri-Cities single female v. single male home buyers; how many, what home value?

You have to hand it to the folks at Attom Data Solutions. They’re very creative and quick to use housing data in unique ways.

Today – Valentine’s Day – is a good example.

If you read much of the mass media reporting on housing you’ve come across stories about young, single women being a rising force in homeownership. It makes sense.

Woman outnumber men as college graduates, they’re slowly but surely chipping away at pay inequity and the glass ceiling. They also waiting longer to get married and starting a family. It stands to reason that educated, motivated women would adopt homeownership and start building equity. The rising tide for women makes it easy to understand why real estate professionals are interested in knowing more about them. When you look past current sales to existing ownership it’s estimated that women own one in five homes nationwide. But that’s another story.

Attom pulled a gender status analysis for a Valentine’s Day Infographic that’s interesting, and a drill down on the data expands some local interesting context about the status of gender home ownership.

Among the Tennessee metro areas in the study the average sales share of housing by single people is 0.8%, and although single women hold a slight edge, the share of total sales is split almost evenly among men and women.

Here in the Tri-Cities’ two metro areas, the study lists 297 single male homeowner sales and 258 single female owner sales. The stand-out difference in the comparison is women in the three-county Johnson City metro area have an $11,538 estimated home value edge on their male counterparts.

Here’s how the numbers break down, by metro area, ownership, and estimated single-family or condo value:


Single male owners – 147, estimated value of $134,635. They own – or are buying – 0.2% of the MSA’s total housing.

Single female owners – 124, estimated value of $146,173. Single female owners account for 0.1% of the metro area’s total housing.


Single male owners – 150, estimated value of $122,731.

Single female owners – 134, estimated value $118,822

Single men and women owners accounted for 0.1% each of the four-county metro area’s total housing.

Statewide single male and female homeowners in the Nashville-Davidson metro area had the highest estimated value at $246,270 for the 3,566 male owners and $243,411 for the 3,764 single female owners.

Clarksville had the highest share of total housing by single-person owners – 1.7%. Men owners had a 0.9% share while women had a 0.7% share.

The study is an interesting look at some data that typically doesn’t get much public exposure so here’s a tip of the hat to the folks at Attom for their Valentine Day’s info.




Tri-Cities housing demand higher than U.S. average; inventory moving slower

Supply continues to be the strongest headwind the Tri-Cities housing market is bucking as demand increases and marketing conditions are heating up from what they were last year.

January’s Market Hotness Index shows listing in both of the region’s two metro areas signal a higher demand factor than the national average. That’s muted by a tight inventory that has put the brakes on the rate inventory is moving.

According to, the Index exposes how local areas are experiencing fast-moving supply and rising demand. Using proprietary insights on buyer activity and data on active inventory, the analysis breaks down demand and supply dynamics to rank metro areas, counties and zip codes relative to the rest of the country. examines listing views by market as an indicator of demand and median days on market as an indicator of supply.


The three-county Johnson City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was ranked 106 out of the 300 metros in January’s report. The area is rated as a slightly hot market that is cooling down from last month and heating up from what it was last year. Single-family sales in the area were up 4.3% last year, according to the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR) Trends Report. That was an improvement over the 1.6% annual growth in 2017. The two softer sales years followed a 17.5% annual increase in 2016 and a 12.6% increase in 2015. Sales prices increased 3.4% in 2018 and 5.6% in 2017.

Median days on the market is currently 97.25 and inventory is moving 1% slower than last year and 10.25 days slower than the U.S. overall.

The high point of last month’s Johnson City index is the demand factor. “Properties in the area receive an average number of views 1.7 times higher than the U.S. average,” according to


The four-county Kingsport-Bristol MSA ranked 203 out of 300 metro areas in January. It’s rated as a slightly cool market that is cooling down from last month and heating up from what it was last year. Single-family resales were up 8.6% last year according to NETAR following a 3.7% annual increase in 2017 and 13.5% increase for 2016. Sale prices increased by 7.4% in 2018 and 2.9% in 2016. Last year’s annual sales price performance was the best the area has seen since the 8.8% annual increase in 2012.

Median days on the market is 121 and inventory is currently moving 5% slower than last year and 34 days slower than the U.S. overall.

While Kingsport-Bristol properties are not getting as many views as they are in the Johnson City MSA, they were looked at 1.2 times higher than the U.S. average.

The region’s inventory issue began two and a half years ago when sales took off. Before then it was normal to have 10 to 11 months of inventory. During the first year of the region’s record sales pace inventory dropped to a six-month supply and then to four months at mid-year in 2018. Six months of inventory used to be the rule of thumb for normal real estate market conditions. Some now suggest that the new normal is four months.




Tri-Cities seriously underwater properties increase, equity rich properties decline

Equity-rich is a sweet spot for mortgage holders and there were almost 20,000 of them in the Tri-Cities during the last three months of 2018. And when combined with mortgaged properties that are seriously underwater it’s a snapshot of how the housing market is performing. During Q4 last year there a little more than 15,000 gasping for financial breath.

From a regional trends perspective, the separation between the two metrics is the closest they have been in five years. The share of equity-rich properties has declined while the number of those that are seriously underwater has increased.

Both indicators are part of Attom Data Solution’s Year-End Equity, Underwater Report. The analysis set the national benchmark for equity-rich properties at 25.6% and 8.8% for those that are seriously underwater. Equity-rich is defined as properties with a loan to value ratio of 50 percent or lower, meaning the owner had at least 50% equity. Seriously underwater is defined as a property with a loan to value ratio of 125 percent or above, meaning the owner owned at least 25 % more than the estimated market value of the property.

Only Johnson County can now claim a share of equity-rich properties greater than the national average. That’s a big departure from the equity status of in several local counties.

For example, Sullivan County used to consistently have the highest share of equity-rich properties in the Tri-Cities region. But that share has declined from 38% in early 2014 to 23.3% in Q4. Much of the decline can be seen in existing home resales and the uptick in remodeling trends. Sullivan County the hottest housing markets in the region last year. County single-family resales were up 28.5% last year while the average sales price increased 8.2%. The county’s market share of resales was higher than its 2017 annual share every month last year and much of that growth can be attributed to owners tapping their equity.

Here’s how the equity-rich situation looked in Q4 compared to each county’s high-point during the last five years.

Carter – 19.1%, down from 30%.

Greene – 19.7%, down from 29%.

Hawkins – 19.8%, down from 29%.

Johnson – 27%, down from 36%.

Sullivan – 23.3%, down from 38%.

Unicoi – 20.9%, down from 29%.

Washington TN – 18.3%, down from 25%.

Washington VA – 18.7%, down from 25.%.

The national average in Q4 was 25.6%

“With homeowners staying put longer, homeownership equity will most likely continue to strengthen. Those that are seriously underwater may find themselves coming up for air as they continue to pay off excessive legacy mortgages or sell,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions.

On average, American homeowners stay in a home eight-and-a-half years before selling.

The share of Tri-Cities mortgaged properties that were seriously under was in the double digits for the second straight quarter during the last here months of 2018 – five of the eight local counties included in Attom’s analysis had a rate better than twice the national 8.8% benchmark.

An increase in underwater properties combined with increased new foreclosure filings are stress signals for the local economy.

Here’s how the local counties underwater share looked in Q4 compared to its low point in the past five years.

Carter – 19.1%, up from 7%.

Greene – 20.5%, up from 10%.

Hawkins – 19.1%, up from 8%.

Johnson – 23.7%, up from 10%.

Sullivan – 12.7%, up from 5%.

Unicoi – 15.7%, up from 7%.

Washington TN – 14.3%, up from 8%.

Washington VA – 16.9%, which is the low point for this county since Q1 2013.


Kingsport-Bristol finishes 2018 with best retail sales tax collections performance in NE Tenn.

With the exception of the Morristown Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) NE Tenn. metro areas lagged the state performance in December sales tax collections. But that was only part of the story.

Kingsport-Bristol edged out Knoxville for the best annual year-over-year performance in the region. But a soft third quarter spoiled Kingsport-Bristol’s eight-straight months market share performance bringing 2018’s total to the same place it was in 2017.

The situation for the three-county Johnson City MSA was not as good. Its year-over-year collections were up but it trailed the other local metro areas. That brought its annual market share below what it was in 2017.

Statewide collections were up 5.5% according to MTSU’s Department of Economic and Finance and the state Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations December report on seasonally adjusted collections.

Here’s how NE Tennessee’s metro areas stacked up:

  • Morristown MSA, up 5.5%
  • Knoxville MSA, up 2.9%
  • Kingsport-Bristol, up 1.4%
  • Johnson City MSA, down 0.1%

Performance of local metro areas was even worse on the month-over-month metric.

  • Statewide collections were up 0.6%.
  • Morristown, up 1.4%
  • Johnson City MSA, down 1.5%
  • Kingsport-Bristol down 3.7%
  • Knoxville, down 3%

Annual and monthly NE Tenn. market share of seasonally adjusted sales tax collections.


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