Published January 27, 2021
Tennessee ranked #1 on U-Haul’s list of relocation destinations for the first time in 2020 after a 12% jump that reportedly accounted for 50.6% of all one-way truck trips scheduled.
Texas and Florida were close behind but never caught up and according to the company.
U-Haul recorded a mass exodus in big cities following the National Emergency declaration in March. Knoxville alone had a 23% spike in new arrivals.
“The best thing about Tennessee is the southern hospitality,” said Clay McQuade, president of U-Haul Company of Knoxville. “The government is still not so oppressive on zoning and regulation, so people are able to build, and cities are friendly to business.”
Data has now revealed that those from out-of-state have now surpassed the number of locals looking for new homes in Tennessee. More than half of homes sold in Nashville last year were to people moving from out of state.
The impact on local economy hasn’t been slight. Homebuyers moving to the area boasted an average budget nearly 50% larger than the existing area resident. This is the widest gap of any city examined yet. They set their home search budget around $720,000, while locals are spending around $480,000.
Low inventory and high demand is pushing home prices up in Tennessee each quarter.
Even with a significantly higher budget than locals, 63% of home buyers bought sight-unseen in Tennessee in 2020. They put in an offer without ever stepping inside the home.
With all these new sales in mind, one area of concern is mortgages past due. Mortgage rates are at a historical low in Tennessee with a significant level of mortgage refinancing taking place, but the number of missed payments is still rising.
These have jumped substantially by 7.35% in Tennessee in the last quarter based on a survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association.
This represents a 3% jump from the last quarter. Rates of missed payments this high have not been seen in Tennessee since 2014.
However, at this time, foreclosure rates have decreased with the implementation of pandemic policies. This is anticipated to be temporary.
Chattanooga housing prices have jumped more than 16% in the past year. Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors president Brandi Pearl Thompson said,
“People are looking at space and they’re evaluating life choices when you experience something that’s life altering their perception changes so we’re seeing a lot of peoples perceptions of weight I can work from home I don’t have to be maybe I don’t want to urban core setting maybe I do want suburbia,”
Although growth in housing activity eased during the first week of November as attention turned to the elections, buyer interest remains high and home inventory remains low. Buyer competition is showing continued strength, thus in turn, sellers have new leverage.
While a seasonal reprieve in such sales is expected over the next couple of months, since the pandemic started, prospective home buyers have maintained this increase.
Many headlines may find ways to paint the Volunteer State poorly for pandemic response, but the opinion of the people seems clear.