MURFREESBORO — Tennessee’s housing market got off to a strong start in the first quarter of the year, with year-over-year growth in housing permits and home prices, according to the latest statewide housing report from the MTSU Business and Economic Research Center.
“With the lowest unemployment rate in more than a decade and state vacancy rates at pre-recession levels, market conditions are very favorable,” said BERC Director Murat Arik.
Report highlights include:
• One of strongest points for the first quarter was the rise in Tennessee’s housing prices, the report states. For the first time in a few years, Tennessee’s housing price growth (6 percent) surpassed the national rate (5.4 percent). The increase was particularly strong in the Nashville MSA, where housing prices rose nearly 9 percent over the year.
• Housing construction permits for single-family homes dropped slightly (down 3 percent) from the fourth quarter of 2015, but remained significantly higher year over year (up 17 percent). Total permits were up 2 percent from the previous quarter and 44 percent year over year.
• Inventory fell and home sales rose in the top three metro areas of Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville.
• Foreclosure rates stayed at 0.37 percent and mortgages past due dropped 0.8 percentage points to 5.5 percent, both 16-year lows.
The report is funded by Tennessee Housing Development Agency to provide regular metrics on the state’s housing market. See the full report with detailed breakdowns and summaries at http://mtsu.edu/berc/housing.php.