Tennessee became the top state in the U.S. for movers in 2020, which positively impacted the Nashville and Knoxville multifamily markets’ that recorded sustained demand for rentals.
U-Haul’s annual migration study reported that Tennessee had the greatest net gain of U-Hauls entering the state in 2020. This launched the Volunteer State from their previous ranking of 12th in 2019 to first, beating out Texas and Florida which have held the title of No. 1 most migrated to state since 2015.
Self-movers finding their new home in Tennessee settled mostly in Nashville, Knoxville, and the cities’ surrounding towns. The newfound Tennessee residents were a part of 24,800 net migrators to the Nashville metropolitan area in 2020, while Greater Knoxville had 7,100 net migrants, according to Moody’s Analytics.
The influx of residents impacted the demand for multifamily housing in these markets. According to Berkadia Research, net leasing activity totaled 3,387 units in Nashville and 891 units in Knoxville in 2020.
Businesses were also attracted to the Tennessee lifestyle and decided to call Nashville home. Amazon is one of the companies spearheading the move into Nashville. A new Amazon Executive Headquarters and Operations Center of Excellence will be added to the Gulch neighborhood and will create 5,000 new jobs.
EY’s $22 million Exceptional Delivery Growth Engine Center has also joined the Nashville skyline. With major tech companies moving into Nashville, it ranks the city third-in-line behind San Francisco and Silicon Valley in most tech jobs.
Nashville is not the only city in Tennessee gaining the attention of incoming business. Lending Solutions Inc. is investing $2 million into a new call center in Knoxville. The call center will serve as a training hub and will create 265 jobs.
In Knoxville, 21 new businesses opened in the downtown area despite the pandemic with 13 of the businesses opening between September and December 2020. Most of these newly opened businesses are pubs, restaurants, and retail stores. With the relaxation of pandemic restrictions, small businesses have been given the opportunity to thrive.
-Kiana Giddings, Berkadia Research