WHY IS EVERYONE MOVING TO NASHVILLE? | A look at the stats & reasons why Nashville is so popular!

Why does it seem like everybody's mother, brother, cousin, sister, uncle is moving to Nashville? I know I've coveredthis topic many times over the past few years but today we're going to be looking at statistics coming straight from our Chamber of Commerce on the reasons why so many people are now calling Nashville home.

Why Are People Moving to Nashville?

Nashville, really, for the better part of the last decade, has been a great popular relocation destination. But, really, since about May of 2020, we have seen major growth happening in the area and a lot of people, since they could work remote now, calling Nashville and its surrounding communities home. So we're going to be taking a look at why Nashville is so attractive to people.

Why is Tennessee attractive to people? When we take a look at everything, we are first going to ask ourselves, why are people moving here? Now, before we get into those statistics, I do want to preface, yes, this comes from the Chamber of Commerce. After recently attending the Nationomics Conference, which is for all real estate agents in the Middle Tennessee area, where we learn more about what's happening in our city and what we need to know so that we are better educated and we can also better educate our clients; this is where all of this information is coming from.

When we take a look at what are the three main pillars or what are the three main reasons why we see people moving here, well, it boils down to these three categories. They're moving here for our creative culture, smart politics, and our sound economic fundamentals. Those are, overall, the three biggest drivers. Now, of course, when you start to break those three down, there are several little subcategories amongst each of them, which is why people are moving here. I know, personally, the clients that I've worked with that have relocated to the Middle Tennessee area, a lot of times, it's the fact that they can save more money because your money goes further here. So I know a lot of times, just personally from my experience with my own clients, a lot of times the reasons why people are moving here is because it is better economically with our no state income taxes and our lower property taxes that's putting more money back in their pockets. I've had clients who've relocated business headquarters here because, again, we are a tax-friendly state, which we're actually going to be taking a look at as we get into our numbers.

People are also looking for a different way of life. A lot of times, those smart politics are also playing into reasons why people are making the move here. And then creative culture, so this is something that I love to talk to people about because I feel like you can look at data and statistics all day long, but I feel like one thing that's harder to really learn, if you haven't even visited Nashville before, is our true creative culture. Obviously, we're known as Music City, so, of course, there is a big singer-songwriter community here, which that in and of itself is a creative industry and it does spark creativity in this city. But what I've also told people is there does seem to be this really creative entrepreneurial spirit that's here in Nashville, and it extends outside of the music community, and it's one of my favorite things about Nashville, is that there really is this strong community of people that if you're an entrepreneur and you're trying to get a business going, people actually want to support you. They want to help prop you up, they want to help you get where you're going, where I know that cannot be the case in a lot of other places, but here in Nashville, there really is that great culture, which if people know it, it can be a driver to move here. But sometimes, people, when you're just trying to gather information on the internet, that doesn't always come through. So that is one thing to know.

Nashville's National Rankings & Job Economy 

When we're taking a look at what are those sound economic fundamentals, so over the last 20, even 30 years, the Chamber of Commerce here in Nashville has really made this big push to make sure that Nashville is making smart decisions, and Nashville does become a place that people want to move to. And so because of those efforts, they've really made a name for themselves on a national scale. In fact, Nashville has actually started to land on top list across the nation, which is incredible. So we're going to start taking a look at numbers and where Nashville starts to land. So Nashville actually landed at number four on the top performing cities across the entire US. So when you're taking into account how is the city determined to be a best performing city, so there's several categories. So when they're looking at it, they're really looking at job growth, wage growth, GDP growth, number of high-tech industries, broadband access, and affordable housing. So all of those factors together when people were looking at each of those, when it comes to Nashville, it landed us at number four. Provo, Utah, Austin, Texas, and Raleigh, North Carolina were the top three. So as you can see, Nashville is really excelling, and we're actually going to dive into more of the job aspect because that is one area in particular where Nashville really excels.

For context and backround, Nashville lost six figures worth of jobs when it came to COVID. There was a lot of job loss across the country, but Nashville, in particular, we lost six figures worth of jobs due to COVID. However, Nashville's job market has come roaring back. So we not only have recovered every job that was lost during COVID, but we are now up 9.1% in jobs, which equates to 96,100 new jobs, which is incredible. Our unemployment rate, as of March 2023, was 2.5%, which is below the national average. So Nashville, we are growing and part of that is because businesses are relocating their headquarters here, bringing more jobs here, which is a huge driver of our economy. But when we go to take a look at what are those sectors that are really growing or what are our biggest job sectors in the Middle Tennessee area, we also have to take that into account because it did talk about in the job performance index and number of high-tech industries.

Technology has landed in our top five industries in Nashville. So if we take a look at our top industries, yes, of course, there's going to be music and entertainment. We're Music City, that has to be in the top. But more than that, we also have healthcare. Healthcare is another major industry here, along with manufacturing and of course, tourism and hospitality because so many people are wanting to visit Nashville. I'm sure you probably know already, but we are one of the bachelor capitals of the US. If you head down to Broadway on any given weekend, you will see probably no less than at least 10 different bachelorette parties. So again, we have the entertainment and music industry, tourism and hospitality, technology, healthcare and manufacturing. Those are going to be our biggest industries in the Middle Tennessee area.

Also, speaking of cities that are best for job opportunities because of all of our growth, Nashville actually lands in the number one spot for top cities for job growth. So you do have Nashville sitting at the top of that list, and then rounding out the top five are Austin, Texas, Denver, Raleigh, and San Jose. Not all in that order, but those are the rest that are in the top five. And then just a few more statistics for you about our job economy, so since 2012, Nashville has seen an increase of 35.3% in jobs. And if you're looking at our total labor force, that number is coming in at 1,138,800 jobs, and that's going to be as of March 2023. So as you can tell, we have a really healthy job economy, companies continue to relocate their headquarters here, which is one of our biggest economic drivers, which again, is why people are moving here, whether it's for personal reasons and they just happen to get a new job here or whether they are bringing their companies here.

How Far Does Your Money Go in Nashville?

Now, we've talked about the fact that your money goes further here in Tennessee, another statistic coming from the Chamber of Commerce, is the fact that Tennessee has the least debt per capita of any state in the US. If we're looking at the average debt per person in the state of Tennessee, it's sitting at $893, whereas Massachusetts is the state with the most debt per capita. It's sitting at over $11,000. In fact, it's $11,171. So we do have less debt here. So that does mean that people are not having to pour as much of their money towards debt.

On top of that, more money is going back in people's pockets because we do not have any state income tax and we have some of the lowest property taxes in the country. That's another big driver. Now, something I'll put out there because I do think it's really important for people to know - we do not have a flat property tax rate across the Middle Tennessee area. Davidson County actually did a 34% property tax hike as a response to the 2020 tornado and COVID back in 2020. Now, if you're looking at what that 34% is overall, Davidson County still, in comparison to the rest of the US, has low property taxes. However, they did take a significant hike as a response to COVID and a tornado. Now, Davidson County, in case you don't know, Davidson County is the county that goes right around the heart of Nashville. Now, Williamson County is going to be lower. In fact, if you start to try to break down what the property tax rate starts to look like, there's a really complicated formula, and the property taxes are based off of assessed value, not appraised value. There's actually a whole formula, and I did a more in-depth video about what that formulation is. You can click here, go take a look at what that calculation looks like. 

To give you a rough idea of those numbers, Williamson County, which is where Franklin, Brentwood, Nolensville, Thompson's Station, Arrington, College Grove, parts of Spring Hill, Fairview, where those communities are, which is going to be just south of Nashville and Williamson County, it breaks down to be about 0.57 per $100 of assessed value. And then if you're looking at what the property tax rate is about for Davidson County, that's going to run at about 0.88% of every $100 of assessed value. So those are really general, but again, if you want to check out the actual breakdown of what the property taxes, it's going to be the same formula calculation for each county, of course, the property tax rate will be a little bit different depending on the county, but again, you can at least get the formula to help you get a good idea of just what that ends up being. Overall, property taxes are low.

Now, speaking of taxes, overall, Tennessee comes in at the number three least taxed state in the entire US, which is incredible. Again, you're not taxed as much here, which is fantastic. That goes back to the smart politics and the sound economic fundamentals. So you do have that going for you, especially in the state of Tennessee. The only two states that beat us out were Alaska and Wyoming.

Population Growth Numbers

If you've tuned in before, you're probably aware of how Tennessee has been a really hot relocation destination, Nashville in particular, especially since COVID happened. So you may be wondering what does that translate to in terms of population. So between 2021 and 2022, we actually saw a population increase of about 1.8%, which does translate to 35,624 people. Some of the places people are moving here from include Chicago, LA, San Diego, San Francisco, New York, and actually, Louisville, Kentucky. But again, why are people making those choices? It comes down to a lot of what we've talked about.

A couple of crazy statistics for you that just helps illustrate how Nashville is really putting itself on the national map. So when we look at the biggest real estate transactions across the entire country for 2022, Nashville landed in the top five. We actually came in at number four with the sale of the Fifth and Broad building, which is located Downtown. That building sold for $787 million. And the only other cities that were included in the top five, three of them were New York City, then it was Nashville, and then the last one was in Seattle. So again, Nashville is starting to participate on that national scale, which is really exciting. On top of that, right now in Downtown Nashville, we have 45 cranes in the sky. So Nashville is continuing to grow, continuing to boom. Nashville really has an upward trajectory in its future. And you compare the 45 cranes in Downtown Nashville to 51 cranes that are in the city of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles is much bigger than here in Nashville, but that just shows you where Nashville is headed. And so this actually leads me into talking about real estate. 

Tennessee Real Estate Market Trends

Lately, I'm starting to hear people say, "Caitlin, when are prices going down? When's Nashville going to go down so that I can swoop in and get a good deal?". Here's what you need to know.  As we continue, to have all of this growth, we have this extra population coming in, and it will not be slowing down anytime soon. Nashville is expected to have another 200,000 people move here by the year 2025. We're also supposed to have another 1 million people move to the state of Tennessee by 2040 with 57% of that population landing here in the Middle Tennessee area. So here's what we're dealing with in the real estate world. Yes, our market has settled from the white-hot market that we were in, however, we are still very much in a seller's market, and if conditions remain similar to what they are now, that seller's market is expected to continue because with everybody coming in, of course, they're going to need housing.

Now, of course, not all of them are going to rent, but a good portion of them will purchase. But we are still dealing with low inventory. One of the things that's capping our inventory is the fact that so many potential sellers are sitting with such a low interest rate that they don't want to let that go. So we don't have as much inventory coming to the market as we would need to help match the demand that we're still seeing. So if you're looking at the basic laws of supply and demand, as long as we still remain in low inventory and the higher demand, prices are not going to start tanking in one negative direction.

Nashville is on an upward trajectory, and while we may not be in a white-hot market where homes are going exceedingly over list price and appreciating at 4% a month, which is what we were seeing through 2021 into 2022, we are still seeing appreciation. Home values are still going up. It's just at a more moderate pace. So if you're waiting for our market to tank, you're probably going to be waiting a very, very long time. It's still a great time to purchase because buyers do have more negotiating power than what they did a year and a half, two years ago, which is great. Sellers do still have a great opportunity because of low inventory, there are still buyers out there looking. So there is still opportunity on both sides. It's just, yes, unfortunately, you may have to deal with higher interest rates.

In the coming weeks, I'm going to be doing a video series with one of our trusted lenders where we're actually going to be diving into the numbers. This lender, in particular, has been in the business 30+ years. They know how to look at the trends of interest rates. They know what plays into what dictates interest rates. They are able to show us graphs and charts and be more fact-based than what the fear-based media will want to tell you. So that is coming. So if you're interested in learning more and you really want to know the ins and outs of what plays into the mortgage side of the industry and how that plays into then the real estate side, especially here in the Nashville market, that will be coming in the coming weeks. So stay tuned for that, but we are going to be taking a look at that. But overall, just know, Nashville, we are headed in an upward trajectory. We are very fortunate to live here. And if you are one who is wanting to call Nashville home or even explore the possibility of making Nashville home, please do not hesitate to reach out to me and my team. 

If you are ready to start that conversation about a potential move, you can go ahead and book a discovery call with me where we can talk more about it and see if we are a fit to work together. But if not, if you're not ready for that, that's okay too. But just know I'm going to be pumping out a lot more informational content and just what you need to know about our Nashville market, what's happening in the mortgage world, because one thing that all of us across the board are noticing in this industry is we are combating, really, sensationalized headlines that don't tell you the whole story, and a lot of times are not truly fact- based, and they're not necessarily applicable to what's happening here in Nashville. So all of that information is coming soon. But again, if you ever have any questions or you're thinking about making a move, please don't hesitate to reach out to us! 

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