By Brett Cafferty

Ongoing conversations about rising home prices, the boom of new home construction, scarcity of inventory, and our own thoughts of “should I stay?” in our older home with a big yard or “should I go?” to something newer, smaller, easier to maintain (but shockingly expensive!) resulted in a quick and quite revealing Google search. Did you know…

• U-Haul ranks Tennessee as the #1 state in the U.S. for net migration for trucks coming in vs going out reports January 2022 listing prices up almost 16% since the same period last year

• The top three out-of-state buyers are coming from New York, Chicago, and LA

• In May 2021, the Knoxville Association of REALTORS (KAAR) reported 17 households per day moving to our area

• Median prices continue to rise, and in November 2021, 38% of homes sold above asking price

• Knock, a digital homeownership platform, lists Knoxville in their top 10 housing markets for Gen X and Baby Boomers

So it seems the answer is a resounding “YES” and our local Knoxville Area Association of REALTORS explained this trend further.

During the 2022 Real Estate Forecast Summit, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) ranked Knoxville as one of the Top 10 “hidden gems” of the housing market.

NAR defines a “hidden gem” as a market whose median home price-to-median family income ratio is at the lower end of 378 housing markets relative to the distribution of market fundamentals. Market fundamentals include job growth, wage growth, population growth, population to housing permits, net domestic migration to population, share of population ages 25 to 44 years old, and fraction of household with broadband services.

“With continued growth on the horizon, it’s important to underscore that housing is the backbone of sustainable economic growth and prosperity. Meeting the rising demand for affordable housing of all types – subsidized, market-rate, single-family, multifamily – is one of the foremost challenges facing the East Tennessee region right now,” said Hancen Sale, KAAR Governmental Affairs and Policy Director.

KAAR released its annual Housing Market Forecast, projecting 0-3% home sales growth and 5-8% home price growth in 2022. “While home price growth is bound to decelerate, I fully expect our housing market to remain strong in 2022,” said Sale. “Despite the likelihood of higher interest rates, I anticipate robust buyer demand will persist due to East Tennessee’s above-average net domestic migration, strong employment growth, and relatively affordable home prices. Near historic low housing inventory, which will be a chronic issue for our region moving forward, should keep home prices high and rising.”

The purpose of the Knoxville Area Association of REALTORS® is to unite and serve its members and to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business ethically, professionally, and successfully and to promote the preservation of the right to own, transfer, and use real property.