Foreclosures on the upswing in the Tri-Cities

As expected, the number of Tri-Cities properties with foreclosure filing saw a big increase during the first half of this year. It’s a fact that they are slowly creeping back toward pre-pandemic levels. But the odds of hitting a jackpot at the Bristol Casino are better than cashing in on a hot local foreclosure market in the near future.

New filings are up because the federal moratorium on mortgage foreclosures and the extensions have ended. So, the mid-year filings are being compared to almost no new filings during the first half of last year. Another factor is that even owners with money problems have some financial buffer thanks to above-normal equity growth during the pandemic. At the same time, many lenders would rather refinance or work out other arrangements rather than go to foreclosure.

At mid-year, there were 64 Johnson City metro area properties with new filings, up 178.3% from last year. In Kingsport-Bristol, there were 114 new filings. That’s a 115.1% increase, according to Attom Data Solutions.

The local mid-year foreclosure trend peaked in 2016 then arched downward. The trend bottomed out last year. They currently account for 0.7% of the housing units in the three-county Johnson City metro area and 0.08% of the housing units in the four-county Kingsport-Bristol metro area.

“Foreclosure activity across the United States continued its slow, steady climb back to pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2022,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at Attom. “While overall foreclosure activity is still running significantly below historic averages, the dramatic increase in foreclosure starts suggests that we may be back to normal levels by sometime in early 2023.”

Foreclosure activity is below pre-recession averages in 177 of the 223 (79%) of the U.S. metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000. They were above pre-recession levels in Honolulu, Richmond, Virginia-Beach, Albany, and Montgomery.

Here’s how the new filing situation looks at the county level, compared to the number of new filings last year:


Carter – 20, up from 14.

Unicoi – 5, up from 1.

Washington – 39, up from 8.


Hawkins – 26, up from 13.

Sullivan – 66, up from 29

Bristol Va. – 6, up from 0.

Scott – 3, up from 2.

Washington, Va. – 13, up from 9.



Categories: REAL ESTATE