One-in-three 2020 Tri-Cities home sales were all-cash deals

Local existing home sales prices are increasing at a double-digit pace. However, cash is still king in the Tri-Cities area housing market. Cash sales had a market share of one-in-three home sales in the Kingsport-Bristol Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) last year, down from 33.9% in 2019. They were slightly higher in the Johnson City MSA – 36.2%, up from 35.8% in 2019.

Nationwide, all-cash sales accounted for 23.5% of single-family home and condo sales last year. The latest figure was down from 25.2% in 2019 and 27% in 2018, according to ATTOM Data Solution’s 2020 year-end Home Sales Report.


The Tennessee average was 34.8% last year, up from 33.8% in 2019.

ATTOM’s 2014 report showed cash purchases in Kingsport-Bristol at 41.1% and 40.7% in the Johnson City MSA.

Cash sales declined in the wake of the region’s record-low inventory and rock-bottom mortgage rates pushing prices higher. Affordability has also suffered from the price-inventory trend.

Since the local market’s current recovery from the Great Recession in 2014, sales have increased by 70.9%, from 5,234 resales to 8,944. The average sales price has increased from $156,780 in 2014 to $210,197 last year – a 34.1% increase.

The migration of new residents last year helped keep all-cash deals on a one-in-three sales pace. Some of the residents who relocated here didn’t hesitate using cash from the sale of homes in the higher-priced market for cash deals. The migration has also benefited the local, new home sector, which has finally begun to recover from a decade of low productivity.

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