Studies show Knoxville continues to grow as national rates are lowest on record

Knoxville’s housing market continues to skyrocket and the pandemic has only contributed to the area’s growth. But the question still remains, why are people moving to Knoxville?

Though home prices in Knoxville have gone up, Hancen Sale with the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors says, rates in the Knoxville area are still below the national median.

“We have one of the most affordable housing markets in the United States.”

Only one in 12 Americans moved in 2021, the lowest percentage on record, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, studies show Knoxville ranked high in the number of people moving to our area.

Doug Lawyer, The Vice President Of Economic Development with the Knoxville Chamber said, “even in the midst of a pandemic, we have had tremendous growth from the business sector. We continue to see existing businesses that are expanding their operations throughout Knoxville.”

Realtor calls Knoxville housing market “wild, wild west”

A report released by the National Association of Realtors found that nearly 10,000 people moved to the Knoxville area during 2020 — which amounts to more than 25 people per day.

“Nashville, Atlanta, Chicago, we’ve seen a huge growth in the number of people from California but we’ve also seen growth from the East Tennessee regions,” Sale said.

Both Sale and Lawyer said that Tennessee not having a state income tax is a big draw for businesses, retirees and remote workers.

“I know that we’re seeing a lot on the retiree side in certain parts of the region coming to the area,” Lawyer said. “Where we’re really wanting to see the growth is that millennials, young professionals. That’s a demographic that as a community we’ve kind of struggled with.”

People are also moving to Knoxville because of its proximity to the national park and easy access to other parts of the country.

Lawyer adds, “all of this outdoor recreation is literally at our doorstep. It makes it very attractive.”

Hancen Sale added that in 2020 millennials were the fastest-growing segment of the housing market.

Source: WATE, by Kristen Gallant

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit


Published February 10, 2022