According to Planning’s recently released 2022 Development Activity Report, the local construction industry recorded another big year, with near record-setting numbers.

Demand for housing continued to outpace supply, held back by rising interest rates, high construction material costs, and labor shortages. Even in the face of those challenges, local residential permits are up 55.9 percent since 2018, reaching 4,191 in 2022 – the second-highest showing of the past 20 years. The Southwest County Sector took the lead in number of new units, with 1,037, trading places with the typically dominant Northwest County Sector, which trailed slightly with 999 units. Combined, the two sectors accounted for half of all new residential units this year.

Southwest County also had one of the largest apartment projects of the year with the 286-unit Apartments at Farragut Town Center, valued at $69.7 million. In terms of residential subdivision approvals, Northwest County came out on top with 10 new plats delivering 612 lots on 315 acres.

Multi-family development continues to account for a growing share of new housing across the county. This has been true over the past several years, reaching an all-time high of 49.6 percent of new units in 2022.

With 180 permits, non-residential construction is down from last year’s 270 approvals, but still up 28.6 percent over 2018. City sectors accounted for some of the year’s more prominent projects, including a renovation at Lakeshore Park in West City and a new building for Lonsdale Elementary School in Central City. Another notable development was an addition to Tennova North Hospital in North County.

Though disruptions to the labor market and supply chain persist, both residential and non-residential growth in Knox County continues. Demand shows no signs of slowing, and new trends in housing choice are emerging in response – multi-family units, in particular, continue to account for more growth. Also, higher than average renovation values are likely to continue if new supply cannot keep up and mortgage rates climb.

View the full report on Planning’s website for more information, or contact Aubrey Weiland at or 865-215-3832 for a version of this report in a screen-reader accessible format.