WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Homeownership Month arrives in Tennessee with a wealth of positive economic news about the state’s housing market.
As is tradition, Governor Bill Haslam declared June to be “Homeownership Month” at the request of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency. Part of THDA’s mission is to make homeownership affordable to a wider range of Tennesseans through responsible financing options and the availability of down payment assistance.
This year, Tennessee has much to celebrate. Construction of new single-family homes in the Volunteer State is rising faster here than in the rest of the South and the nation. Statewide, construction was up 17 percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago, versus eight-percent growth in the region and 12 percent nationally.
“Every time you see a home under construction, that’s an investment being made in the local community. Dollars and jobs are being brought to town,” said Ralph M. Perrey, executive director of THDA. “Residential construction is both a gauge of economic growth and one of its most important drivers.”
In addition, foreclosure rates in Tennessee are at their lowest level since the year 2000. The percentage of mortgages past due in Tennessee is also at a 16-year low.
“Homeownership has traditionally been one of the best tools to build up a family’s wealth and financial security,” said Perrey. “Plus, research has shown that homeowners are more involved in their communities, they put down deeper roots, and their children do better in school.”
For the first time, the housing price index in Tennessee significantly exceeds the pre-recession values in 2007. Over the past year, house prices have risen slightly faster in Tennessee than the national average, up 5.8 percent compared to 5.4 percent.
THDA works with a network of approved private lenders to provide fixed interest rate home loans and down payment assistance to more than 2,000 homebuyers of middle/moderate income in Tennessee every year. Information on THDA’s down payment assistance program can be found at GreatChoiceTN.com.
Housing market economic data is compiled from Middle Tennessee State University’s Tennessee Housing Market Report for the First Quarter of 2016. The complete report can be found here.