JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Local realtors and housing industry experts say home availability continues to be tight, but the first four months of this year saw a slowdown in new house permits in a number of area markets compared to 2022.

Permits for new single family homes are down sharply in Johnson City for the first four months of 2023 compared to the prior year, while Kingsport and Washington County have seen very modest declines.

The data from building permits also show a 40% drop in Jonesborough, while unincorporated areas of Sullivan County saw a 15% increase.

Overall, the five areas logged a total of 314 permits from January through April — a  17% drop from the 366 permits pulled in the first four months of 2022.

Johnson City, where new home construction had already been lower than in Kingsport and Washington county, had a 54% drop, from 52 permits last year to just 24 this year.

Kingsport, meanwhile, had a 12% falloff in permits from 101 in 2022 to 90 this year, while Washington County’s total dropped by just 4%, from 91 last year to 87 this year.

Jonesborough had 30 permits this year compared to 50 in the first four months of 2022. Sullivan County had 83, up from 72 last year.

While total numbers are down, prices of newly built homes in the region continue to climb.

The average value for each permit rose by 20% in just one year. At a local level, though, appreciation varies widely.

Kingsport’s new home values — amounts which are approved by building departments — rocketed up 51%, to an average of $322,408 compared to $213,175 last year. The current figure is not far above the average cost in the fourth quarter of last year, which could suggest Kingsport’s appreciation is leveling off.

Johnson City had the second-highest increase, from an average of $298,190 last year to $384,292 this year. That included several million-dollar plus homes and represented a 29% increase.

Washington County, which had the highest average cost in early 2022 at $344,033, reported a much smaller increase of 4% to an average of $357,601.

Jonesborough, whose numbers included some townhomes, had a decrease in average cost of 10%, from $230,217 to $206,633.

Sullivan County’s average for 2022 was not yet available, but the average cost in 2023 has been $238,804.