Sullivan, Washington housing least vulnerable to decline


TRI-CITIES, TN – Sullivan and Washington counties’ housing markets ranked among those least vulnerable in the nation to declines, according to ATTOM’s Special Housing Impact Report.  ATTOM is a leading curator of land, property, and real estate data.

The analysis of 574 counties rated them at risk based on the percentage of homes facing possible foreclosure, the portion with mortgages that exceed estimated property values, the percentages of wages required to pay for home ownership based on median-price single-family homes and local unemployment rates. Counties with high rankings are those least vulnerable, while those with low ranks are most vulnerable

Sullivan ranked as the second least vulnerable in East TN with a rank of 473. Washington Co.’s rank was 450. Despite its rating, Washington Co. was also the most vulnerable in East TN. The least vulnerable East TN counties were Blount and Knox. The least vulnerable in the state were Rutherford, Davidson, and Blount.

There were only two of the 13 state counties ranked in the bottom half of the risk analysis. Shelby Co. had a ranking of 252 while Montgomery Co. had the state’s most vulnerable rank at 159.

The report shows that New Jersey and Illinois have the highest concentrations of most-at-risk markets in the country. “We continue to see pockets of the U.S. housing market where the foundation is a bit shakier – or more solid – than others, based on important quarterly metrics,” said Rob Barber, CEO at ATTOM. “As with earlier reports, it doesn’t mean any one area or cluster of areas is about to crash. The overall market and the economy remain way too strong for imminent warnings to be sounded. But there are weak spots that are still popping up as areas to watch, especially if the market turns back downward.”

Those weak spots don’t include any Tennessee counties.

Affordability is a key part of the analysis, and the two local counties were among the state’s most affordable markets. The analysis’ conclusion was based on the percentage of income to buy a median-priced home. Kingsport-Bristol is the second most affordable at 21.4% while it was 33.2% in Washington Co. But that’s only one affordability metric. The Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta’s Homeownership Affordability Tracker’s latest report puts the percentage of income Washington Co. residents who have bought since the first of the year at 40.2% of their gross income. The Sullivan Co. expenditure is 37.2%. The FED’s metric includes principle, insurance, taxes and private mortgage insurance.

Based on the percentage of income to buy, the analysis shows Williamson Co. is the state’s least affordable. It’s costing buyers 55.9% of their income to buy.

Sullivan and Washington ranked in the middle of state counties in the percentage of underwater properties. Both counties have a 4.3% underwater rate. Washington Co. has 1,231 mortgaged properties where the mortgage is for more than the home’s estimated value. Sullivan Co. had 1,282.

Shelby Co. led the state in the number of underwater properties – 13,182 – and the market share of those properties – 7.3%.

Local counties ranked in the middle to higher end of the analysis in the number and percentage of properties with foreclosure filings.

There were 29 filings in Sullivan (0.04%) and 20 in Washington Co. (4.3%).

Shelby had 195 filings (0.05%) led the state.

Categories: REAL ESTATE