New comers: Who are they, where are they from, how many?

The burning question among many NE Tenn. residents these days is, “who are all these people moving here, and where do they come from?

Unfortunately, there’s no quick, easy answer. A check of cross-marketing demand shows that almost half of Realtor.com’s home for sale listings are viewed by people outside Tenn. Check out the numbers at the end of this report.

We do know they’re buying homes – everything from McMansions to double-wides. We just don’t know precisely how many and where they’re settling. They are also snapping up vacant land and renting while biding their time for lower construction costs.

We know some were hired by local businesses like Ballad, Eastman, or other local firms. Others are among the ranks of the work-from-anywhere folks. And then there are the retirees. They are also a force in changing the local demographic. Typically that change reflects a higher education level and larger household income.

Compliments of Move To Kingsport Click on the map for a larger version.

But the only hard tracking data that I know of is done by Move To Kingsport. They monitor water connects for a partial count. Census data also offers some answers. But you have to wait. The information lags what’s happening now by about a year.

The folks at U-Haul, Pods, and other servicers to the moving industry tell us Tennessee is a hot spot. But those stories only whet the appetite for more information.

Past Census data shows most of those relocating here come from close-by communities. It’s the within 35-mile churn.  The following largest number is from other parts of Tennessee, then the rest of the South – especially Florida. Here’s a previous report on the topic: Most Tri-Cities area residents are native Tennesseans, but the balance is shifting.

The cross-market demand data from realtor.com shows the volume of web traffic to local listings expressed as a percentage of all listing traffic.

Here’s the most current update for the Tri-Cities’ two metro areas:

Johnson City MSA

Carter, Washington, and Unicoi counties.

Almost half of all the traffic (49.2%) is from out of state.

Here’s where those folks who are looking at homes for sale are from:

– Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell – 5.9%

– Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia – 4.8%

– Asheville – 4.1%

– Chicago-Naperville-Elgin – 3.9%

– New York-Newark-Jersey City – 3.6%

– Washington-Arlington-Alexandria – 3.5%

– Tampa-St. Petersburg, Clearwater – 2.3%

– Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach – 2.3%

– Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington – 2.1%

Twenty-five percent of the total listing traffic comes from within Tennessee:

– Kingsport-Bristol – 46.3%

– Nashville Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin – 27%

– Knoxville – 9.9%

– Greeneville – 5.4%

– Chattanooga – 2.3%

The remaining 25% is local traffic.

Kingsport-Bristol MSA

Hawkins, Sullivan, Scott and Washington Co. VA

Out-of-state traffic accounts for 48.2% of the traffic.

– Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell – 5.6%

– Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia – 4.5%

– Washington-Arlington-Alexandria – 3.8%

– New York-Newark-Jersey City – 3.8%

– Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin – 3.5%

– Chicago-Naperville-Elgin – 3.2%

–  Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington – 2.3%

– Louisville-Jefferson County – 2%

– Birmingham-Hoover – 2%

Twenty-two and a half percent come from within Tennessee.

Johnson City – 35.1%

Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin – 26.4%

Knoxville – 10.1%

Morristown – 4.5%

Greeneville – 3%

Local listing traffic accounts for 28.9% of all web views.

©donfenley.com All rights reserved



Categories: BLOG, TRENDS

3 replies

  1. Hi Don,
    My wife works for the TN Dept of Environment & Conservation (TDEC).
    One of her responsibilities is handling incoming calls and she says the the number of out of state callers requesting septic permits has risen considerably in the past year. This goes along with your report of out of state buyers “snapping up vacant land.” Just more proof of the migration of folks flocking to our area.

    • Thanks Larry: I’ve talked to builders and association officials who say they’ve been swamped with out-of-state calls. There seems to be extra interest in the rural areas of Johnson, Carter and Unicoi counties. It will be interesting to see how these reports shake out when had data comes in.

  2. I’m a terrible person for this but I hate it. I hate this growth. Folks are like but money the economy etc. And I’m over here thinking no you’re wrong they’re runaways. Runaways from where they’ve lived. Our cheap taxes and cost of living makes retirement of an out of stater more affordable. While here in tn , now we can’t afford to retire bc of the increase cost. People from out of state are paying at least 20% more on values properties and offering to buy people straight out of their homes bc they got the money. And average income here is what 25k to 30k a yr? Maybe not even that??!!?? So people who have lived here their whole life can’t afford housing, and that goes for rent. Supply and demand over here is not working in the favor of the tn people. Maybe for the government,tax generation and people out of state, but for us tn born and bread, were feeling awfully shit on.

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