Demand is up for new homes in Knox County and eight surrounding counties.

A new report from Knoxville company The Market Edge shows the area saw a 17 percent jump in residential building permits in 2017. That equates to 3,789 permits. In 2016 there was a 12 percent increase in the area, and in 2015 there was a 20 percent increase.

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Dan Mitchell, a spokesperson for the Home Builders Association of Greater Knoxville, said he's noticed there's been a steady increase in residential construction in the past few years.

"There's going to be a continual increase of individuals wanting to come and move into this area," Mitchell said. "We do need a lot more developed property to be able to support the demand that's coming here in the future."

Knox County area permit sales up
According to a report from Knoxville-based company The Market Edge, permit sales increased in the Knox County area by 17 percent in 2017.

Mitchell said he sees demand for starter homes and retirement homes, and sometimes rural counties are developing faster.

Some home developers are coming from Nashville, according to Mitchell.

While there's been an increase over the past few years, he said other factors might slow construction down in the near future.

"There is a possibility with the economy growing the way that it is, also the increase in expenses, and also the potential of interest rates going up that this market could slow down just a little bit," Mitchell said.