Tennessee growing strong

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – For the first time, Tennessee takes the top spot as U-Haul’s number 1 growth state.

That’s based on what they saw in 2020.

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“We have mountains on one side. We have really cool downtown locations like Chattanooga, Nashville and Memphis,” U-Haul Company of Nashville President Jeff Porter said.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors 2021 President Robert Backer is not surprised.

Home inventory in Hamilton County and the surrounding areas has been extremely low.

Backer said it’s normally double what they’re seeing.

“We’ve seen so much over this past year of people moving to our area from just different parts of the country,” Backer said.

They’ve seen Californians and New Yorkers in particular moving to into the area.

For reasons possibly connected to the pandemic.

“I think there are a lot stricter mandates and lock downs and stuff that they experienced through March, April, May and on I think was frustrating to people and they’re trying to get out of the urban areas,” Backer said.

Backer said that they’re seeing a lot of people from out of town buying up property in Rhea and Sequatchie Counties.

“Dayton, Dunlap, areas like that where they’re getting a little bit more land or want to be a little bit more out of it a little bit, not so urban, a little bit more not even suburban, but rural almost,” Backer said.

Interest rates are still driving home buying, but as far as what moves people into the state both Porter and Backer believe it’s the no state income tax, cost of living and lifestyle.

Backer said for the Chattanooga area it’s the outdoor activities, gig internet and location.

“Atlanta, Nashville, you can be in the mountains in North Carolina in an hour. We’re very centrally located,” Backer said.

Behind Tennessee on U-Haul’s list is Texas and Florida.