JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Both realty and property management professionals, as well as Johnson City officials, have observed a clear pattern when it comes to housing within the city limits.

“Yeah, I think it’s clear the demand is high,” Johnson City director of development services Preston Mitchell said.

Universal Development and Construction (UDC) president Shane Abraham says the company’s rental properties normally stay at capacity all year long. However, the recent housing market has been anything but normal for everyone.

“We’ve certainly seen that tighten up a little bit to where you’ve got longer waitlists than you would traditionally see in the past,” he said. “We’ve felt that across the board, as well.”

Even units that won’t be fully constructed for another few months are hard to come by.

“The demand is there,” Abraham said. “A lot of factors that are contributing to that, but we’re definitely seeing that in quicker lease-ups of new communities, as well as longer waitlists on existing communities.”

“It’s not just in the Tri-Cities, but in other areas we’re seeing that same dynamic play out,” he continued.

Regional Supervisor for AO Realty and ISM Management, Alice Overholt, explained that her one property in Johnson City and seven properties in Knoxville are seeing the same demand.

Overholt confirmed that all of her properties are full and have waiting lists.

“I have been doing this for 37 years and have never seen the market as it is now,” she said in a text message.

Property manager for The Haven at Knob Creek Apartments, Angel Taylor, shared that there has been a waiting list for the better part of six months and doesn’t expect anything to come open until August.

But, Mitchell explained that an increase in building and land development could provide some needed relief in the somewhat near future.

“We anticipate new starts of roughly 2,500 units could be coming online in the next 24 to 36 months,” he said.

The city realizes not only the need for those units, but their importance, as well.

“We are in support and need to be in support of additional single-family growth, but also multi-family growth,” Mitchell said. “There are folks who just choose not to have a yard, there a folks that choose not to have a single-family home. There are also folks who both choose to rent and are unable to purchase. So, we have a variety of needs and so we need to accommodate that variety of needs.”

Mitchell also understands, however, that much of the easily-developable land has been claimed and improved.

“What we’re left with is difficult property,” he said. “Either difficult in terms of compatibility and from a political perspective, or difficult because of physical constraints, environmental constraints.”

“Those conversations, those hard conversations, they will come back,” he continued. “We will have those again, but that’s part and parcel with a growing community.”