Department of Numbers

Knoxville Tennessee Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Knoxville, TN (the Knoxville metro area) was $763 in 2016 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Knoxville was $741 in 2016. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2017 Knoxville median and average rent data will be released in September of 2018.

Data is also available below for Knoxville rental vacancy rates, Knoxville rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Knoxville.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Knoxville Tennessee (2016 dollars)2

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $981 +0.93% +7.80%
Tennessee Median Gross Rent $806 +1.38% +7.18%
Knoxville, TN Median Gross Rent $763 -0.39% +2.97%

Knoxville, TN Real Gross Rent Trends

Median gross rent for Knoxville peaked in real terms in 2015 at $766 and is now $3 (0.39%) lower. At $741, real average gross rent in Knoxville was at its highest level in 2016 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent in Knoxville: Knoxville TN Median, Knoxville TN Average, Tennessee Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Knoxville

Date US
Median
Tennessee
Median
Knoxville, TN
Median
Knoxville, TN
Average
2016 $981 $806 $763 $741
2015 $972 $795 $766 $732
2014 $942 $776 $744 $708
2013 $910 $752 $741 $723
2012 $898 $742 $746 $734
2011 $898 $738 $754 $714
2010 $912 $744 $736 $709
2009 $916 $742 $734 $707
2008 $932 $747 $722 $682
2007 $885 $711 $721 $666
2006 $895 $719 $707 $679
2005 $869 $696 $678 $659

Knoxville Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2016 the rental vacancy rate for Knoxville Tennessee was 5.82% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Knoxville Tennessee

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.89% +0.04% -0.60%
Tennessee 6.68% -0.45% -1.18%
Knoxville, TN 5.82% -0.06% +0.30%

Trends in Knoxville, TN Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Knoxville peaked in 2005 at 9.23%. Since then it has fallen by 3.41% to 5.82%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2012 post peak low of 4.76%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 1.06%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Knoxville TN, Tennessee, US

Rental vacancy rate in Tennessee

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Knoxville

Date US Tennessee Knoxville, TN
2016 5.89% 6.68% 5.82%
2015 5.85% 7.13% 5.88%
2014 6.32% 7.24% 7.00%
2013 6.49% 7.86% 5.52%
2012 6.77% 7.89% 4.76%
2011 7.40% 8.54% 5.91%
2010 8.17% 10.33% 6.08%
2009 8.43% 10.52% 7.33%
2008 7.86% 10.30% 4.95%
2007 7.87% 9.20% 5.07%
2006 7.70% 9.61% 8.92%
2005 7.74% 8.82% 9.23%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Knoxville, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Knoxville, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 18.36% in 2016 according to the ACS.

Knoxville Tennessee Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.43% -0.20% -0.35%
Tennessee 19.92% -0.00% -0.34%
Knoxville, TN 18.36% -0.39% -1.27%

Trends in Knoxville, TN Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Knoxville household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2011 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 19.71%. Since then it has fallen by 1.34% to 18.36%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Knoxville TN, Tennessee, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Knoxville Tennessee

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Knoxville Tennessee

Date US Tennessee Knoxville, TN
2016 20.43% 19.92% 18.36%
2015 20.63% 19.93% 18.75%
2014 20.89% 20.83% 19.61%
2013 20.78% 20.26% 19.63%
2012 20.65% 20.48% 19.68%
2011 20.70% 20.58% 19.71%
2010 20.50% 20.17% 19.20%
2009 20.12% 19.61% 17.91%
2008 19.00% 18.16% 16.85%
2007 18.66% 17.96% 17.43%
2006 18.90% 18.25% 16.70%
2005 18.89% 18.00% 16.48%

Renter Fraction in Knoxville Tennessee

You can calculate the renter fraction in Knoxville in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Knoxville as a fraction of total Knoxville households. In 2016 31.99% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Knoxville Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.88% -0.09% +0.38%
Tennessee 34.91% +0.73% +1.29%
Knoxville, TN 31.99% -0.25% -0.83%

Trends in the Knoxville, TN Renter Fraction

The Knoxville household renter fraction peaked in in 2012 at 32.88% and is now 0.89% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Knoxville TN, Tennessee, US

Fraction of renters in Knoxville

History of Knoxville Renter Fraction

Date US Tennessee Knoxville, TN
2016 36.88% 34.91% 31.99%
2015 36.97% 34.18% 32.24%
2014 36.90% 33.86% 30.25%
2013 36.50% 33.62% 32.82%
2012 36.09% 33.31% 32.88%
2011 35.42% 32.72% 32.37%
2010 34.65% 31.87% 30.92%
2009 34.13% 30.85% 29.77%
2008 33.36% 30.17% 30.12%
2007 32.80% 30.06% 29.15%
2006 32.73% 30.10% 30.06%
2005 33.10% 30.74% 30.09%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.