Blount County leaders say housing market will be ready for influx of new jobs


For renters new construction hopes to help them out, but for homebuyers things might be a little tough.

A big boom of job growth is bringing more housing needs to Blount County.

County economic leaders expect 1,500 new jobs in the next year to 18 months.

For renters, new construction hopes to help them out, but for homebuyers things might be a little tough.

"Well over 600 building permits issued, it's at a record pace. Well beyond what we had before the housing boom in 2008,” explained Jeff Muir with the Blount Partnership when asked about meeting the housing needs of the new employees.

In addition to home building, there are at least three new apartment complexes under construction right now. A city of Alcoa spokesperson told 10News Laurel Branch will feature two and three bedroom apartments and will have 92 units.

For real estate broker Dwight Price, existing homes are his biggest concern.

"Our inventory has been the problem over the last couple of years, just not having enough houses for the number of buyers wanting to move to Blount County,” said Price.

His advice?

"When people find exactly what they're looking for they need to jump on it,” said Price.

He believes new workers will look into renting for six months to a year before settling on a home, but he expects many of them to become home owners right away.

"80 to 90 percent of those will be home buyers as opposed to renters,” said Price.

Muir believes an increase in home building will handle the demand when it gets here, and welcome hundreds to Blount County.

"There will be plenty of housing for everyone who wants to come to Blount County to secure these jobs,” said Muir.

According to Muir, over the past six years, 5,000 jobs have come to Blount County.

They've been able to handle those and he believes they're prepared for more.

Source: WBIR, by Aaron Wright                 

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit

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