Tri-Cities foreclosures above pre-pandemic level


TRI-CITIES, Tenn. – Two years after the pandemic and the massive government intervention and mortgage industry efforts to prevent defaults, Tri-Cities foreclose starts are back to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, there were 15 more new foreclosure actions last month than there were in August 2019, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

The local situation is a little ahead of the national trend. “August foreclosure states were at 86 percent of the number of starts in August 2019, but it’s important to remember that even then foreclosure activity was relatively low compared to the historic level,” said Rich Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM.

That lines up with the local picture. The local historic foreclosure rate for both the Johnson City and Kingsport-Bristol metro areas is in the 0.5 percent range. Both metro areas are currently below that, according to CoreLogic. And the percentage of underwater mortgaged properties is also below the historical rates. Both are likely to increase as the market continues to stabilize and returns to balanced conditions.

On the state level, Tennessee was among the states that saw the greatest increase of monthly foreclosure starts. The state’s 74 percent increase was second only to Oklahoma’s 80 percent increase.

The notice of local trustee sales outnumbered the number of bank repossessions by 43 to 12 in August.

Most of the new filings were in the Kingsport-Bristol metro area. That was predictable since it’s the largest housing market. There were 38 new filings in Kingsport-Bristol last month and 17 in the Johnson City metro area.

The share of new filings to the households total in Kingsport-Bristol was 0.03 percent. Hawkins Co. was the only county in that metro area with a higher county share of new filings – 0.04 percent.

The Johnson City metro area share was 0.02 percent, and none of the three counties were above that on the individual county share.

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