BERC Report: ‘Promising’ mixed signals as housing ...

BERC Report: ‘Promising’ mixed signals as housing prices continue rise, while permits dip slightly

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Tennessee’s housing report for the second quarter of 2019 shows “promising” mixed signals, with construction permits down a bit year over year amid the lowest foreclosure rates in two decades and a strong job market.

That’s according to the latest statewide quarterly housing report from the MTSU Business and Economic Research Center in partnership with the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.

Dr. Murat Arik, director, Business and Economic Research Center

Dr. Murat Arik

“Economic fundamentals are strong in the second quarter,” noted BERC Director Murat Arik, author of the report. “However, construction indicators are not as strong as a year ago.”

And while housing prices continue to rise across all of the state’s metro areas, “the housing market is not as vibrant in comparison to last year. Further, Tennessee’s rental vacancy rate is at its highest since the first quarter of 2013,” Arik noted.

See the full current and previous reports with detailed breakdowns and summaries by going to and clicking the appropriate links.

Other report highlights:

  • HOME PRICES: Home prices across the state were up 6.4% from a year ago. The most significant increases are in the Kingsport-Bristol (9.5%) and Cleveland (8.7%) Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The least significant changes were in the Memphis and Morristown MSAs, increases of 5.3% each.
  • HOME SALES: Nashville and Knoxville increased closings over the year by 5.9% and 1.1%, respectively, while Memphis closings dropped 6.7%.
  • CONSTRUCTION: Total permits were down 2.4% statewide from a year ago — .6% dip for single-family while multi-family permits dropped 6.8%.
  • FORECLOSURES: The foreclosure rate of .19% is the lowest since 2000.

BERC’s report is funded by Tennessee Housing Development Agency, or THDA. The quarterly report offers an overview of the state’s economy as it relates to the housing market and includes data on employment, housing construction, rental vacancy rates, real estate transactions and mortgages, home sales and prices, delinquencies and foreclosures.

The Business and Economic Research Center operates under the Jennings A. Jones College of Business at MTSU. For more information, visit

About THDA

THDA is the state’s housing finance agency and is committed to expanding safe, sound, affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Tennesseans. This is achieved through a robust home loan program, competitive funding for local nonprofit and municipal agencies, and the administration of nine federally funded programs. THDA publishes research on affordable housing and THDA programs and beneficiaries. THDA also coordinates state planning for housing through the Consolidated Planning process, annual Action Plans, and annual Performance Reports. See for more information.

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