FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — Franklin’s housing market is making a name for itself nationwide. It’s ranked alongside pricey cities like Santa Cruz, California, and Bellevue, Washington. News 2 asked a Franklin realtor to explain how housing got so pricey so fast.

Matt Ligon, managing broker with Parks Realty on Main Street in Franklin, grew up in Williamson County. The area he loves has changed a lot. “Back in the early 90s, you could buy a house on West Main Street for $40,000 to $80,000, depending on the level of finish,” said Ligon.

But today, Ligon says, that house is $1 million+.

Those prices have landed Franklin #6 on GOBankingRates list of cities that have seen the biggest price jumps in five short years. 

In 2018, the median home price for a single-family in Williamson County was $495,000, but today it’s $901,000.

Ligon said the pandemic partially fueled that price growth. “The demand went up as people starting moving out of the North and out of Florida and California and come here, and they just sucked up what inventory we had, and put a strain on resales primarily, because they can only build them so fast.”

But, Ligon said the housing shortage and price escalation ignited years before the pandemic, as we were coming out of the Great Recession. The housing and financial crisis at that time meant developers had a hard time securing financing to build new homes – a situation that lasted several years. 

“Almost everything came to a stop as far as development…the entire development chain got broken,” said Ligon. “And it’s taken a long time. We are still not there. We’re still short on inventory. We’re still short on lots to provide enough product for the marketplace and the demand that’s there right now.” 

Ligon admitted that he doesn’t have a crystal ball, but if we do head into another recession, he does not expect Franklin home prices to dip all that much.

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Williamson County homes are sitting on the market for 31 days. It’s not seven days like during the pandemic, but, realtors say, it’s still a very good market.