Home-builders say it's a sign of an economic rebound.
A recent report from database, "The Market Edge" shows residential building permits are up in several East Tennessee counties for the first time in five years.
"I'm getting daily calls, which is turning into appointments weekly," said realtor Marquita Stevens, talking about the construction off the Northshore Town Center site.
"In the last 2-3 months, it's quadrupled in business compared to what I did last year," she added.
Home-building companies, like Radius Homes, said since there's been fewer than normal homes built in the last few years, and the economy has been improving, inventory for new houses are down.
Those companies are now working on overtime to get back to speed.
"We have eight in the works and three on deck," said Blane Chrisman with Radius Homes.
He said it's difficult to keep up with the demand since home prices are lower.
"These people are building every day, from sun up to sun down, as hard as they can go," Chrisman added.
As the first half of 2012 was busy for the local new home industry, experts expect a busy second half too.
"I really feel people are in a comfortable spot," Stevens said.
Of the nine counties "The Market Edge" surveyed, six had positive increase in new residential building permits during the first half of 2012 (January 1 to June 30), compared to the same time period in 2011.
- Blount County: 43.6%
- Sevier County: 35.2%
- Knox County: 22.4%
- Anderson County: 14.8%
- Roane County: 12.5%
- Jefferson County: 6.7%
Two counties still saw decreases in permits. Chrisman said the economies and industries in Loudon County (-12.7%) and Monroe County (-37.9%) are not fairing as well as its East Tennessee counterparts at this time. He expects that to change soon.
Hamblen County, according to the report, saw a 0% change from this time last year.