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,

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! 

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.

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! 

S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller US Home Price Index & Business Wire

US home prices jumped the most in 7 years in December as the housing-market boom charged into the new year, Case-Shiller says.

“The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller US National Home Price Index posted a 10.4% annualized increase in December, according to a Tuesday press release. The gain follows a 9.4% annualized climb in November and marks the biggest single-month leap in seven years seen by the index, a leading national dataset.”

“Still, the US housing market will likely thrive through 2021 as more forthcoming stimulus bolsters homebuying activity, Fitch analysts led by Suzanne Mistretta said in a February 16 note. The firm said it expects prices and mortgage volume to continue growing in 2021 due to consistently low borrowing costs and lasting supply constraints”

Read the full article here.


“From December 2020 to January 2021 the one-month appreciation, an annualized 7.5 percent rate, was the slowest recorded since August 2020. Historically, home prices have come under pressure during periods of economic stress as foreclosure sales and other distressed transactions add discounted properties into the inventory. During the Great Recession, monthly volume of sold properties that were considered distressed peaked at nearly 82,500 units (March 2011) and represented more than 43 percent of all sales that month. In contrast, January 2021 recorded the lowest ever number of distressed sales transactions, at 11,212 units. The tally represented just 4.9 percent of total sales for the month. This lack of distressed supply is a marked difference from prior periods of economic stress.”

Read the full Business Wire article here.

Top 5 U.S. Housing Market Predictions for 2021

Each year the Home Buying Institute analyzes current real estate market trends and conditions across the United States to offer a forecast for the upcoming year. This year there are lots of things to consider.

Below are the top five predictions for the 2021 real estate market.

1. Home prices will continue rising in most U.S. cities.
2. Housing market inventory will remain tight in 2021.
3. Home sales will remain steady going into next year.
4. Mortgage rates will hover around 3% next year.
5. It will be another good year for refinancing.

Click here to read the full article.

National Housing Market

Will rising prices create a slow down?

Home prices propelled up in December, according to the S&P CoreLogic/Case-Shiller Indices.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index’s 10-City Composite, which is an average of 10 metros (Boston, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.), rose 6 percent year-over-year, mirroring November, which posted the same.

The 20-City Composite—which is an average of the 10 metros in the 10-City Composite, plus Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle and Tampa—rose 6.3 percent year-over-year, a decline from 6.4 percent in November.  Month-over-month, both the 10-City Composite and the 20-City Composite rose, each 0.2 percent.

According to S&P Chairman of the Index Committee and Managing Director David M. Blitzer, housing and inflation are on similar trajectories, but home prices are in the lead—vastly.

“The rise in home prices should be causing the same nervous wonder aimed at the stock market after its recent bout of volatility,” says Blitzer.  “Across the 20 cities covered by S&P Corelogic Case Shiller Home Price Indices, the average increase from the financial crisis low is 62 percent; over the same period, inflation was 12.4 percent.  None of the cities covered in this release saw real, inflation-adjusted prices fall in 2017.”

Blitzer is eyeing factors, however, that point to a slowdown.

“Within the last few months, there are beginning to be some signs that gains in housing may be leveling off,” Blitzer says.  “Sales of existing homes fell in December and January after seasonal adjustment and are now as low as any month in 2017.  Pending sales of existing homes are roughly flat over the last several months.  New-home sales appear to be following the same trend as existing-home sales. While the price increases do not suggest any weakening of demand, mortgage rates rose from 4 percent to 4.4 percent since the start of the year. It is too early to tell if the housing recovery is slowing. If it is, some moderation in price gains could be seen later this year.”

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), existing-home sales fell 3.6 percent in December and 3.2 percent in January—the latter the lowest in more than three years. New-home sales thudded 7.8 percent in January, the Commerce Department recently reported. December pending sales eked out an 0.5 percent gain, data from NAR show.

Crippling growth is the inventory shortage, which continues to constrain sales as buyers face a lean pool of supply.

The complete data for the 20 markets measured by S&P Dow Jones:

Atlanta, Ga.
Month-Over-Month (MoM): 0.3%
Year-Over-Year (YoY): 5.4%

Boston, Mass.
MoM: -0.2%
YoY: 5.5%

Charlotte, N.C.
MoM: 0.1%
YoY: 5.9%

Chicago, Ill.
MoM: -0.6%
YoY: 2.6%

Cleveland, Ohio
MoM: -0.3%
YoY: 3.5%

Dallas, Texas
MoM: 0.1%
YoY: 6.9%

Denver, Colo.
MoM: 0.6%
YoY: 7.4%

Detroit, Mich.
MoM: 0%
YoY: 7.1%

Las Vegas, Nev.
MoM: 0.8%
YoY: 11.1%

Los Angeles, Calif.
MoM: 0.7%
YoY: 7.5%

Miami, Fla.
MoM: 0.1%
YoY: 3.6%

Minneapolis, Minn.
MoM: -0.4%
YoY: 5.2%

New York, N.Y.
MoM: 0%
YoY: 5.4%

Phoenix, Ariz.
MoM: 0.2%
YoY: 5.6%

Portland, Ore.
MoM: 0.2%
YoY: 6.8%

San Diego, Calif.
MoM: 0.2%
YoY: 7.4%

San Francisco, Calif.
MoM: 0.5%
YoY: 9.2%

Seattle, Wash.
MoM: 0.6%
YoY: 12.7%

Tampa, Fla.
MoM: 0.3%
YoY: 6.2%

Washington, D.C.
MoM: 0.2%
YoY: 2.8%

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National Real Estate Market

Prices are up, homes selling faster, new listings slightly up

Autumn began in September, but activity in the housing market remained at summer-like levels through October, according to’s latest data preview. Prices in October were 10 percent higher than those one year ago, with the national median at $275,000 and the national median age of inventory at 73 days.

“This month we aren’t just experiencing still-summery weather—we’re also seeing a sizzlingly competitive housing market at a time when things are usually cooling off for the fall,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist at “With not enough homes on the market to meet the high demand, homes are selling 8 percent more quickly than a year ago even though prices are as high as they’ve ever been.

“For potential buyers who waited until fall hoping to score a bargain, the pickings are disappointingly slim,” Hale says, “but one potential bright spot for market-fatigued buyers is that new listings are up slightly from one year ago. While new listings declined in the first four months of the year, they have increased on a year-over-year basis in five of the last six months.”

Five Trends to Watch in Real Estate Nationally in 2016

Housing Recovery


As we head towards 2016 and the coming New Year, there are five real estate trends to watch for on a national level, as we approach the new year, according to a recent article on The first trend is that coming off this year (2015), which saw the best year in housing nationwide since 2007, the housing market is expected to return to a more normal type of market, with healthy growth in sales and home prices, leading to a more balanced market nationally in both categories. Second, younger generations have now entered the real estate market as of this year, and are projected to continue getting into the market as potential buyers and sellers in 2016, as well, with improving economic conditions nationally. Third, home builders will focusing more on affordable home points, in order to capitalize on the potential growth in new home sales and single-family construction expected in 2016. Fourth, rising mortgage rates, which have been expected for some time, will affect higher cost markets the most initially, but is largely expected to balance itself out on the whole. Finally, it is expected that it will be better to buy, rather than rent, a home in the coming year, as well. Very interesting trends nationally, to be sure, and we will have to wait and see what it could all mean in the New Year for both the local and national housing markets.



With mortgage rates still at historically low levels nationwide, now is a great time to see what the Great Smoky Mountains can do for you and your home ownership dreams today. Please feel free to browse our many great Featured Properties, and learn more about how The Jason White Team can help you realize your home ownership dreams today!



Our Featured Properties for Thursday, December 17, 2015: 




A4-300x201Private, Cozy, 3 BD/2 BA Cottage-Style Home Located in Chalet Village, & Only Mins. to Dwtn. Gatlinburg. Ideal as a permanent or 2nd home, or as an overnight rental. Very well-built & maintained home, both inside & out. Includes an outside, covered wraparound deck, along w/a Large Living Rm, Master BD w/Adj. Master BA, two BD’s upstairs (one currently used as a Rec Rm), lots of extra storage & closet space, & more. Only mins. to dwtn. Gatlinburg, the Nat’l Park, & the attractions. A great, privately located home w/lots of potential – come see it today! Type: Single-Family Home Location: Gatlinburg, TN Price: $136,900  For more information >






APrivate, 2 BD/2 BA, Contemporary-Style Chalet Located Only Mins. to Dwtn. Gatlinburg. Has made over $21K in rental income in each of the last 2 years alone; has great rental potential. Home includes a Living Rm w/high, vaulted ceilings & a Beautiful Mtn. Stone F/P, along with each BD being a Suite-style BD w/Private BA, an outdoor Gazebo area w/a Hot Tub, a spacious deck area to enjoy the views of the Smokies, & much more. Only mins. to dwtn. Gatlinburg, the Nat’l Park, & the attractions. A great, private home & location – come see it today! Type: Single-Family Home Location: Gatlinburg, TN Price: $189,900  For more information >






20150908154205507062000000-oUniquely-Designed, Cozy, 3 BD/2 BA Chalet Located in Chalet Village. Ideal as a permanent or 2nd home, or as an overnight rental. This uniquely-built home includes a Living Rm, Open Kitchen, an upstairs Loft w/Master BD & BA, a lower level Family Rm, &  more, along w/being set in a scenic wooded setting. Only mins. to dwtn. Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, & the attractions; a great location & value – come see it today! Type: Single-Family Home Location: Gatlinburg, TN Price: $149,900  For more information >











The Jason White Team
Century 21 Four Seasons Realty, Inc.
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Gatlinburg, TN 37738
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