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Looking to rent in Knox County? Few vacancies could mean problems

Data shows there are fewer vacant apartments in Knox County.
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 9:28 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Hancen Sale with the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors, said Knoxville has become a destination city. He said while trends show more people moving to the area, rent and housing prices have skyrocketed.

“We are undersupplied when it comes to housing,” said Sale.

Sale said data shows there are fewer vacant apartments in Knox County. Only 4 percent of rental property is available while in the past, there’s normally twice that number. Rental prices in the Knoxville area are up 15 percent, which is another $300 on average.

“An extra $200 or $300 is not sustainable for families, especially families with kids,” said Sale.

Knoxville rents are growing faster than the country overall.

“It will impact our ability to attract new business and talent to Tennessee. We’ve underbuilt housing for the better part of a decade and we’re really starting to see the effects of that now. Now is the time to come together and find solutions, this isn’t an unsolvable problem,” said Sale.

Sale said the city needs to plan areas for further development. While there’s no immediate fix to this problem, Sale said new construction has to be a part of the solution.

“Knox County is in the process of updating their general plan, which governs growth in the county. It’s important for elected officials to think about allowing density on the corridors and highly trafficked parts of the county and to prioritize zoning regulations allow us to have more mixed used space,” said Sale.

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