Local foreclosures double, still below pre-pandemic level


Tri-Cities, Tenn – Foreclosures almost doubled in 2022. It was to be expected, and in a way, it’s good news.

It’s also one of the housing market exceptions where the local market’s performance is closely aligned with the U.S. market. Here’s how one of the nation’s top foreclosure markets experts explains it in ATTOM Data Solutions year-end foreclosure report.

“Eighteen months after the end of the government’s foreclosure moratorium, and with less than 5% percent of the 8.4 million borrowers who entered the CARES Act forbearance program remaining, foreclosure activity remains significantly lower than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM. “It seems clear that government and mortgage industry efforts during the pandemic, coupled with a strong economy, have helped prevent millions of unnecessary foreclosures.”

Default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions were reported on 365 Tri-Cities properties last year. The year before the economy was turned upside down by the pandemic (2019) was 619.

Foreclosures were down from the pre-pandemic benchmark in every county in the region’s two metro areas, with one exception. Scott Co. VA had 11 filings last year compared to 9 in 2019.

Most of the filings predictably are in the region’s two largest housing markets.

Here’s what the number of filings looked like in the region’s counties.

Sullivan – 130

Washington Co. TN – 84

Carter Co. – 42

Washington Co. VA – 23

Bristol VA – 14

Scott Co. – 11

Unicoi Co. – 9

Most local homeowners are in good financial condition due to the big equity increases they’ve gained during the recent go-go market. But some will inevitably fall on economic hardships that result in foreclosure.

The local housing economy is in a FED-induced mini-recession. Still, the labor market has held up well so far, so the local economy is not red-lining.

According to CoreLogic, the mortgage delinquency rates in both local metro areas are up from last year.

The rate in the Johnson City metro area is 2.5%, up from 1.9%.

Kingsport-Bristol’s rate is 3.5%, up from 2.3%

The most pressing housing issues are inventory and affordability.

The most pressing labor market issues are the labor shortage and the region’s sub-par labor force participation rates.

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Categories: REAL ESTATE