Report: Q1 Housing market in Tennessee continues p...

Report: Q1 Housing market in Tennessee continues positive trend

Tennessee’s housing report data for the first quarter of 2021 show that “despite the slow economic recovery, the housing numbers … remain positive” and “that the U.S. and Tennessee economies continue to recover from the height of the COVID-19 virus.”

The MTSU Business and Economic Research Center’s statewide report for the first quarter showed positive year-over-year trends in Tennessee for permits, mortgage tax collections, home prices, homeowner vacancy rates, rental vacancy rates, real estate transfer tax collections and foreclosure rates, noted report author Murat Arik, director of the BERC at Middle Tennessee State University.

Dr. Murat Arik, assistant professor of management, Jones College of Business, and director of the MTSU Business and Economic Research Center

Dr. Murat Arik

The one exception among indicators was a slight year-over-year increase in past due mortgages (+1.2% in Tennessee, +2% in the U.S.), which “could indicate future problems as past due mortgages could become foreclosures,” Arik noted.

• Home prices across the state saw increases from the previous year. The Morristown MSA saw the highest growth at 10%. Almost all MSAs saw an increase in home prices from the previous quarter except the Jackson and Clarksville MSAs. Clarksville stayed at an 8.4% yearly growth, but the Jackson MSA decreased by .5 percentage points.

Other report highlights:

• Housing construction: For both the South and Tennessee, single-family permits fell slightly from the previous quarter (-1.5% and -.4% respectively), while up 3.5% for the U.S. But all regions saw a year-over-year rise, with the U.S., South and Tennessee up 24%, 22.6%, and 21%, respectively.

Multi-family permits for all regions were growing on a substantial level, particularly in Tennessee. Tennessee saw a yearly increase of 58%, while the South and the U.S. saw half that growth at 21% and 19%, respectively. Quarterly increases for multi-family permits were not as good for Tennessee, but each region still saw growth.BERC logo

— Overall, total-family permits increased for each region both quarterly and yearly. The United States saw the most significant quarterly growth of 9.7%, but Tennessee made up the largest yearly growth of 29%.

• Home sales: Closings for all regions increased on an annual level, but only Knoxville saw an increase in quarterly closings (15%). In comparison, Memphis and Nashville saw a decline in quarterly closings by 3.25% and 3.7%, respectively. The largest annual increase went to Knoxville (36%), while Nashville and Memphis lagged (7.6% & 6%, respectively).

View the full report, including charts, at

About the report

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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