Housing, rental markets booming in East Tennessee

Experts say buying, selling and renting homes is on the rise.
Published: Jun. 19, 2020 at 1:24 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Experts say buying, selling and renting homes is currently on the rise.

“I project as a young professional, I don’t expect to buy a house until I am more financially stable and really able to commit to where I am for at least three or four years,” said Max Neveau.

“I have a dog. So I’ve been in apartments all of college and was really excited about having a back yard, having a big area that’s really just to ourselves,” said Melanie Buziak.

Max Neveau and Melanie Buziak are first time home renters. They and two of their friends moved into a Knoxville home just days ago.

“Renting with people I knew was the cheapest and most fun option, honestly,” said Neveau.

Victor Jernigan has been a real estate investor in East Tennessee for 50 years.

“It’s an extremely active market for rental,” Jernigan said. “Beautiful apartment neighborhoods are going to be seeing still strong demand. But to be in control of your own front door, that’s going to be where the strongest demand is for sure, over the next 24 months.”

The group, who are all University of Tenessee graduate students, want to be close to campus.

“We had looked at stuff farther out that was more space and nicer homes but it was just not worth the cost of having to drive 20 to 25 minutes to get here,” said Neveau.

The group found the rental house online and not long after discovered the rental housing market is strong.

“We just wanted it. So I think we had a lease signed in a very short time from applying,” said Buziak.

“Rental housing is going to be in enormous demand over the next three to five years. The flexibility that being in control of your own front door is really important to a lot of people,” said Jernigan.

For people looking to buy a house right now, Jernigan said you must be prepared.

“You have to know what you can do and you have to respond immediately,” said Jernigan.

Since many employers are looking to hire again, job growth means more people looking for homes. The rural areas seem to be thriving too.

“The most popular is Jefferson. There’s enormous demand on the corner of East Knoxville going into Jefferson County because of all the jobs that are being created in Jefferson County and Hamblen County up in Morristown,” explained Jernigan.

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