BERC Q3 report: Strong economy boosts permits, hom...

BERC Q3 report: Strong economy boosts permits, home prices across state

Tennessee’s third quarter housing market maintained its positive trends with increased permits, higher sales prices and historically low foreclosure rates, according to the latest statewide quarterly report from the MTSU Business and Economic Research Center.

Multi-family permits for Tennessee rose 31 percent from the previous quarter and were up 65 percent over the third quarter of 2016. Single-family permits and total permits were up by 5 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Dr. Murat Arik

Dr. Murat Arik

Housing prices were up 7.9 percent statewide, 1.6 percentage points higher than for the nation, noted BERC Director Murat Arik, adding that the state’s strong economy and low unemployment bolster the housing market.

Areas showing the most growth in housing prices were the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area (10.4 percent), the Chattanooga MSA (7.7 percent), and the Memphis MSA (7.3 percent). Other areas worth noting are the Jackson and Clarksville MSAs, “both reporting much stronger growth than in the previous quarter,” Arik noted.

Other report highlights include:

  • Foreclosure rates were the lowest in 17 years.
  • For the first time in many years, inventories were up slightly in all three geographies: Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville.
  • The homeowner vacancy rate fell to 1 percent vacancy, the lowest rate in over a decade.
  • The rental vacancy rate continued its steep decline, dropping to 6.9 percent, the lowest quarterly rate in two years. 

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

BERC’s report is funded by Tennessee Housing Development Agency. 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

THDA publishes research on affordable housing, its programs and beneficiaries. THDA also coordinates state planning for housing through the Consolidated Planning process, annual Action Plans, and annual Performance Reports. Click here for more information.

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