Mortgages & Home

With foreclosures at record lows, housing market seen as strong and rising


By all indicators, the housing market in Tennessee is strong and growing, according to quarterly report from the MTSU Business and Economic Research Center.

Foreclosures for both the state and the nation are at historically low rates. Home prices continue to rise in all areas tracked by this report. The vacancy rates for
both homeowners and renters are decreasing, while the amount of new construction permits is increasing.

Along with increasing mortgage and real estate transfer tax collections, this illustrates a strong, growing housing market in Tennessee.

Tennessee’s multi-family permits increased 47 percent from the previous quarter and 34 percent over the same period year. Similarly, total permits increased 14 percent this quarter and 19 percent over the year.

In Tennessee, mortgages past due showed a slight uptick, increasing 0.20 percentage points to 5.14 percent this quarter. Over the year, mortgages past
due fell 0.65 percentage points. On the other hand, the state’s foreclosure rate fell 0.05 percentage points to 0.27 percent for the quarter. The current foreclosure
rate is the lowest reported in more than 17 years.

For the United States as a whole, mortgages past due fell to 4.24 percent from 4.33 percent in the first quarter of 2017. The current rate of mortgages past due is the lowest since the first quarter of 2006. The foreclosure rate for the country is comparable to Tennessee’s at 0.26 percent—also the lowest rate in over 17 years.

Those increases along with rising home prices (up 7.5 percent statewide), historically low foreclosure rates and low vacancy rates “illustrate a strong, growing housing market in Tennessee,” noted BERC Director Murat Arik.

Other report highlights include:

  • Major areas of home price increase include Nashville, up 10.3 percent; Chattanooga, up 7.9 percent; and Memphis, up 6.4 percent.
  • On the opposite end, home prices in the Clarksville and Jackson MSAs decreased from the previous quarter.
  • Closings in the Nashville area dropped 6 percent, while Knoxville and Memphis closings fluctuated less than 1 percent.

 See the full current and previous reports with detailed breakdowns and summaries by going to and clicking the appropriate links.

BERC’s report is funded by Tennessee Housing Development Agency. The quarterly report offers an overview of the state’s economy as it relates to the housing market and includes data on employment, housing construction, rental vacancy rates, real estate transactions and mortgages, home sales and prices, delinquencies and foreclosures.

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