County housing market still booming

Several homes are being constructed in the Harper Village subdivision off U.S. Highway 321.

A seller’s market driven by high demand and a shortage of inventory has resulted in a jump in Loudon County housing prices, data from the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors shows.

According to information from KAAR Government Affairs and Policy Director Hancen Sale, the county experienced a 22.4% decrease in the number of single-family home sales in September compared to a year ago.

However, the median sales price increased by 12.2% to $350,000.

Local single-family homes sales were down 7.7% in the first nine months of the year when compared to 2020, while the median sales price increased by 22.9%.

Jim Doyel, principal broker and owner of Village Realty in Tellico Village, said the housing market is “crazy.”

“I’m 73 years old and I’ve been in the real estate business nearly 40 years,” Doyel said. “I’ve never seen people pay more than the listing price for a home, but they’re doing it now. I’ve never seen a market where houses sold within 24-48 hours of being put on the market and it happens all the time now.”

“It’s a full-blown seller’s market,” Karen Packett, Lake Homes Realty listing and selling broker, added.

Packett and her team cover Tellico Lake, lower Fort Loudoun Lake and Watts Bar Lake.

“This is the most energetic market I have ever seen in my career,” Packett said, also noting that numerous homes are selling for asking price or above. “It’s easily been going on for the past year, but the seller’s market has been going on for a little over two years.”

Loudon was the only area county to experience a decrease in single-family home sales during 2021.

“In Loudon County, it’s definitely still a seller’s market,” Carla Housley Wiggins, Keller Williams in Lenoir City Realtor, said. “They’re selling for about 23% more now than they did a year ago, which is crazy. It’s just so hard to believe.”

Real estate agents said there is an influx of people coming to East Tennessee from California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, York, Oregon, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Washington.

“A large majority of people that are coming here are coming here because they love the area, they love the way the people are and they love the communities and they are trying to escape the way things are in their states,” Packett said.

Wiggins agreed, noting some homebuyers are bringing cash and paying above the listing price.

“I think there is just generally across-the-board resistance to liberal politics and high taxes (in other states),” Doyel said. “A lot of people are not going to continue living in an environment of liberal politics and high taxes.”

Demand is far greater than available inventory.

“That makes the prices go up,” Packett said. “Houses are selling in less than a week now. If a house goes up for sale and it’s priced correctly, it normally sells in less than a week.”

Wiggins said the typical result in a seller’s market is that prices inch higher and homes sell faster.

“There’s more buyers than there is inventory,” she said. “We’re having a hard time finding houses for all the folks wanting to buy.”

Doyel said prices have “absolutely” increased.

“I’m talking about in a matter of months,” he said, citing examples of homes increasing in value by $100,000.

Under normal conditions in Tellico Village, someone looking for a home would find 200 on the market. Currently there are 10, and half of those are under construction, Doyel said.