The 2021 Top States for Doing Business

Steven Kaelble, Staff Editor, for Area Development released an article: “The 2021 Top States for Doing Business Reflect Their Locational Advantages”

Below you will find snippets from the article relative to our area! 

Overall Cost of Doing Business

It would be tough to become the overall top state for doing business if your costs were out of hand, so it’s hardly surprising that our top state is also the leader in the category of overall cost of doing business. Georgia is the cost leader for the second year in a row. Tennessee and Texas are perennial top performers for their overall business costs, and they place next in the rankings, tied this time with South Carolina.

Site-Readiness Programs

We’re living in a strange time when you may have to wait and wait to obtain furniture, certain computer chips, appliances, and some new vehicles (and who can forget toilet paper shortages?). By contrast, it’s nice to find a great spot for development that is ready to go, with a head start on the necessary due diligence, infrastructure, and approvals.

Tennessee helps make this dream come true with well-regarded site-readiness initiatives, landing once again in first place in this category. What are sometimes called “shovel-ready sites” are known here as Certified Sites, and they’re all over the state, from a nearly 2,000-acre mega-site in middle Tennessee, to one more than double that size near Memphis, to smaller and mid-sized sites in every corner of Tennessee.

Available Real Estate

You can’t have site readiness if you don’t first have good available sites, so we asked our experts about this basic category, as well. Texas and Georgia tie for top honors when it comes to available real estate. Tennessee is an excellent choice for available real estate, too (and as mentioned above, much of that real estate is primed and ready to develop).

Cooperative and Responsive State Government

And then there are the factors that collectively can be seen as the “welcome mat” states place at the doorsteps of companies doing business within their borders. Some of this is reasonably measurable, such as the tax burden, and some of this is more of a subjective gut feel regarding which states are the most eager and welcoming, the best able to make helpful introductions on the local level, and the most willing to go the extra mile in tailoring incentive and training programs.

Our top five this year for most cooperative and responsive state government are the same as last year, with the order a bit shuffled. Tennessee moves up to second place, placing at or near the top of various rankings of business friendliness and positive climate.

Corporate Tax Environment

Speaking of cooperative, one of the most cooperative things a state can do is not be too burdensome with taxes. Lots of states boast about a business-friendly environment from the perspective of taxes, but our experts rank Texas as the best in this category. Rounding out the top five are Nevada and North Carolina, tied for third, and Tennessee in fifth place.

Favorable Regulatory Environment

Benjamin Franklin said nothing is certain except death and taxes, yet the previous category disproves the part about taxes, at least in some states. What about red tape? That feels like pretty much a certainty, too, but our final two categories highlight states that have found a cure for the most common hassles of location and expansion. Tennessee places sixth.

Speed of Permitting

Last but not least is the speed at which the permitting process moves. Permitting can be a nightmarish hassle, and it’s one of the things that states try to take care of in advance when they create shovel-ready locations.

Generally speaking, the Southern States are the speediest when it comes to permitting: Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina, and Louisiana.

Click here to read the entire article, with more information regarding energy availability and cost along with logistics and infrastructure information,

August 2021 Sevier County Real Estate Market Report

Check out the current market report for August!

August 2021 Sevier County Real Estate Market Report for Homes

Average price rose by over $200,000 during the month of August this year compared to last!
Average days on market decreased by 31% compared to last year.
36% more homes sold during the month of August in 2021 than in 2020, for an increase of 69 homes!




August 2021 Sevier County Real Estate Market Report for Land

The number of lots sold is up 5% in 2021!
Average Price rose by 119% from $143,961 to $65,609!



U.S. Home Prices End First Half of Year on Even Stronger Note! 

U.S. Home Prices End First Half of Year on Even Stronger Note!

“In our last release, the Radian HPI reported that home prices grew at the fastest annual rate in over a decade and a half, and that momentum has not stopped yet,” noted Steve Gaenzler, SVP of Data and Analytics.

Business Wire Reports during the ten years between 2010 – 2019, the lightest month of national listing volume (December) averaged 1.3 million listed properties while the mid-point of the year (June) averaged 1.6 million listed properties.

During the last four months listing activity has increased. While the activity during June 2021 was just over 968,000 units, more than 500,000 fewer units than the June

Across the U.S., home prices rose 11.7 percent in the second quarter, a solid increase compared to the first-quarter increase of 9.4 percent.

Demand for homes does not appear to be subsiding. June 2021 recorded the second highest number of real estate closings ever at more than 370,000 closed sales. And homes continue to close in record time. Nationally, the number of days from listing to closing dropped to 69 days, the first time the measure has been below 70 days in recorded history.

Read the full article here. 

Lumber prices are falling. What does the mean for the price of property?

In May, lumber prices reached all all time high, at $1,670.50, more than six times their pandemic low in April of 2020, but as of July prices have tumbled by nearly 60% since hitting peak in May!

Senior economist at Fastmarketsr RISI, Dustin Jalbert states it could take weeks before retail centers begin to see the effects of the rate cuts. He adds, “Prices are probably not going to fall to the levels that they were before the pandemic.”

Dale Oxley, director of NAHB West Virginia agrees, “That decline was really at the mills. The consumer really hasn’t seen that 30% to 40% because a lot of the… local suppliers haven’t burned off that high-price product.”

Will we see a direct correlation from the price of lumber and the price or property?

Not likely – yet.

Alex Barron, president of the Housing Research Center told Bankrate, “Lumber is not the main reason why homes are unaffordable. It is the lack of resale supply.”

Read the full article here and share your thoughts with us! 

June Market Report

Check out the current market report for June!

Average price rose by 58% from $353,398 to $561,284 this year!
Average days on market decreased by 29% compared to last year.
54% more homes sold during the month of June in 2021 than in 2020.




Number of lots sold is up 76% in 2021!
Average Price rose by 18%!




Vacation Home Sales Skyrocket!

The National Association of Realtors released a 2021 Vacation Home Counties Report.
“In 2020, the share of vacation home sales to total existing-home sales increased to 5.5% (5% in 2019). Vacation home sales rose by 16.4%, outpacing the overall growth in existing-home sales of 5.6%. From January to April 2021, the share of vacation home sales to total existing-home sales rose to 6.7%. Vacation home sales jumped 57.2% year-over-year compared to the 20% year-over-year growth in total existing-home sales.

“Vacation homes are a hot commodity at the moment,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “With many businesses and employers still extending an option to work remotely to workers, vacation housing and second homes will remain a popular choice among buyers.”



*Note Y/Y percent change of +14% in median sales price in a vacation home county compared to our previous market statistics that show a percent change of +86% in median sales price for homes in short term rental specific areas in Sevier County.

Click here to read more from Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of Realtors.

Asking Prices have Leveled Off

Redfin’s Tim Ellis published a Housing Market Update in which he notes the key housing market takeaways for 400+ U.S. Metro areas.

“The housing market’s temperature may be starting to drop by a degree or two. Both pending sales and asking prices began to decline or flatten in the four weeks ending May 30. It’s too soon to tell if these are early seasonal changes or the start of the post-pandemic cooldown we predicted earlier this year. The period in question includes the beginning of Memorial Day weekend, which this year marked a return to “normal” life. It may also have marked the beginning of a return to a more “normal” housing market. We should know more as we continue to track the latest data over the next few weeks.”

Indicators of last month’s history-making housing market:

  • A record-high median home sale price of $355,558, up a record 24% year over year.
  • A record high of 52% of homes sold for more than their list price, up from 26% the same period a year earlier.
  • A record-high 102.0% average sale-to-list price ratio, which measures how close homes are selling to their asking prices. This means that the average home sold for 2.0% more than its asking price. A year ago, it sold for 1.5% below asking.
  • A record low of 16 days on market for homes that sold during the period, down from 37 days from the same period in 2020.


Early indicators that the housing market may be starting to soften:

Each of the metrics highlighted in the following list set a new housing record going back at least as far as 2012, when Redfin’s data began.

  • Pending home sales fell 3% from the four-week period ending May 2, compared to a 2% increase over the same period in 2019. Compared to 2020, they are up 38%.
  • Asking prices fell $2,500 from the four-week period ending May 23 to a median of $354,975, up 11% from the same period in 2020.
  • New listings of homes for sale were down 8% from the same period in 2019, and are down 5% from the 2021 high, which was set during the four-week period ending May 2. During the same period in 2019, new listings fell 2%.
  • Active listings (the number of homes listed for sale at any point during the period) fell 37% from the same period in 2020.

Read the full article here which contains stats for home sale prices, asking prices, pending sales, and new listings among many other things. 

May Market Report

May Market Report

Check out the current market report for May!

Average days on market decreased by 20% compared to last year. Average price rose by 86% from $301,144 to $562,510 this year!




May Market Report

A Quick Snapshot of the Weekly Housing Trends:’s research team releases weekly housing trend key finding. This week they relayed, “The number of new sellers has climbed from a year ago in the last 6 weeks, yet another measure highlighting the stark change between this year and last year. Despite the influx of sellers, the number of homes actively for sale is still down and homes continue to sell quickly and for higher prices.”

A quick snap shot of the Weekly Housing Trends: 

  • Median listing prices grew at 15.5 percent 
  • New listings–a measure of sellers putting homes up for sale–were up 8 percent, making this the 6th consecutive week of increases over last year.
  • Total active inventory remains 51 percent below this time last year.
  • Time on market was 32 days faster than last year

Click here to read the entire article & see a comparison chart that compares March to May. 

Demand for Second Homes Is More Than Double Pre-Pandemic Levels

“Home prices are up 27% year over year in seasonal towns” reports Dana Adams, of Redfin.

“The number of buyers who locked in mortgage rates for second homes soared 178% year over year in April, marking the 11th straight month of 80%-plus growth. The record increase should be taken in context: It is likely exaggerated because demand for second homes dropped 24% year over year last April, the month after the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. and real estate activity in the country nearly ground to a halt.

The rise in demand for second homes is more than twice the increase for primary homes, with the number of buyers who locked in mortgage rates for primary homes rising 78% year over year in April. That’s a record jump, too, but should also be taken in context, as demand for primary homes dropped last April due to the pandemic.”

Click here to read more about price increase in both seasonal and non-seasonal towns!