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Airbnb City Guide: The Best Places To Invest in Knoxville, Tennessee

A large open field in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Airbnb Rules and Regulations in Knoxville, Tennessee

As of 2024, the City of Knoxville requires all short-term rental property owners to obtain a permit to legally operate their Airbnb. Three types of permits are available based on the property type: owner-occupied in residential districts, non-owner-occupied in nonresidential districts, and limited non-owner-occupied in residential districts. Permit holders must adhere to occupancy limits, provide a local contact person, which could be a co-host or property manager, and ensure compliance with life safety requirements such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers.

The city enforces these regulations through a partnership with Host Compliance, which tracks and identifies non-compliant listings. Neighbors can report issues via a 24-hour hotline. While the number of short-term rentals in Knoxville remains relatively low compared to the total housing stock, the city council continues to discuss potential amendments to the existing ordinance to address concerns about problem properties and to ensure a balance between the rights of property owners and the well-being of residential communities.

Knoxville Airbnb Market Data:

  • Average Revenue – $39.9K per year
  • Average Daily Rate – $198.7 per night
  • Average Occupancy Rate – 55%
  • Average RevPAR – $109.3
  • Average Home Prices – $350,151

1. Top Place to Invest in Knoxville, Tennessee - Smoky Mountains

Nestled in the heart of East Tennessee, the Smoky Mountains offer a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and thriving tourism. This area has become increasingly attractive to Airbnb and short-term rental investors seeking to capitalize on the growing demand for vacation accommodations in this stunning region.

Smoky Mountains Airbnb Market Data:

  • Average Revenue – $60.1K per year
  • Average Daily Rate – $316.6 per night
  • Average Occupancy Rate – 52%
  • Average RevPAR – $164.1

Convenience - 7/10

The Smoky Mountains are easily accessible from major cities like Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Asheville. However, the mountainous terrain and winding roads can sometimes make navigation challenging, especially during inclement weather.

Tourist Attractions - 9/10

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the region's crown jewel, drawing millions of visitors annually. Other popular attractions include Dollywood, Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, and the Titanic Museum Attraction.

Things to Do - 8/10

From hiking and fishing to shopping and dining, there's no shortage of activities in the Smoky Mountains. Visitors can explore the national park, take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, or enjoy the many local festivals and events held throughout the year.

Average Home Prices - 6/10

According to Zillow, the median home value in the Smoky Mountains area was $325,000 in 2024, representing a 3.2% appreciation rate over the past year. While prices are relatively affordable compared to other popular vacation destinations, the limited inventory and high demand can make it challenging for investors to find suitable properties.

Proximity to Work-Related Travel - 5/10

The Smoky Mountains are primarily a leisure destination, with limited options for work-related travel. The nearest major hospital is the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, about an hour's drive away. Convention centers and sports venues are also located in larger cities like Knoxville and Chattanooga.

X-Factor - 8/10

The Smoky Mountains offer visitors a truly unique and immersive experience with stunning natural beauty, rich Appalachian culture, and a wide range of outdoor activities. The area's popularity as a vacation destination ensures a steady stream of potential guests for Airbnb and STR investors.

2. Top Place to Invest in Knoxville, Tennessee - Alcoa

Alcoa, a charming city in Blount County, Tennessee, offers a perfect blend of small-town atmosphere and modern amenities. Located just a short drive from Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Alcoa presents an attractive opportunity for those who are looking to start a short-term rental business and tap into the growing tourism market in the region.

Alcoa Airbnb Market Data:

  • Average Revenue – $40.4K per year
  • Average Daily Rate – $167.6 per night
  • Average Occupancy Rate – 66%
  • Average RevPAR – $112.6

Convenience - 8/10

Alcoa boasts excellent accessibility, with McGhee Tyson Airport located within the city limits. The close proximity to major highways, such as I-140 and US-129, makes it easy for visitors to explore the surrounding areas, including Knoxville and the Smoky Mountains.

Tourist Attractions - 6/10

While Alcoa may not have many tourist attractions, its strategic location near popular destinations like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Dollywood, and Pigeon Forge makes it an ideal base for visitors. The city's Springbrook Park offers outdoor recreation opportunities, including walking trails and a disc golf course.

Things to Do - 7/10

Alcoa's downtown area features a variety of local shops, restaurants, and breweries, providing visitors with a taste of the local culture and making it a great foodie destination. The city hosts several annual events, such as the Alcoa Springbrook Park Summer Concert Series and the Alcoa Farmers Market, which attract both locals and tourists.

Average Home Prices - 7/10

According to Zillow, the median home value in Alcoa was $285,000 in 2024, with a 4.1% appreciation rate over the past year. The relatively affordable prices, the city's growth potential, and proximity to tourist hotspots make Alcoa an attractive option for investors looking to buy a property to list on Airbnb.

Proximity to Work-Related Travel - 7/10

Alcoa's central location in Blount County puts it within easy reach of several hospitals, including Blount Memorial Hospital and the University of Tennessee Medical Center. The city's proximity to Knoxville also provides access to convention centers and sports venues, such as the Knoxville Convention Center and Neyland Stadium.

X-Factor - 7/10

Alcoa's unique selling point lies in its strategic location, offering visitors a quieter, more laid-back alternative to the bustling tourist hubs of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The city's small-town charm, combined with its accessibility and growing economy, makes it an attractive option for Airbnb and STR investors seeking a balance between investment potential and quality of life.

3. Top Place to Invest in Knoxville, Tennessee - Rockwood

Rockwood, a hidden gem in Roane County, Tennessee, is a small city with a rich history and untapped potential for short-term rental investors. Situated along the scenic Watts Bar Lake and surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, Rockwood offers a unique opportunity for those seeking to establish an Airbnb rental in an up-and-coming market.

Rockwood Airbnb Market Data:

  • Average Revenue – $29.4K per year
  • Average Daily Rate – $141.5 per night
  • Average Occupancy Rate – 57%
  • Average RevPAR – $81

Convenience - 5/10

While Rockwood is easily accessible via I-40 and US-27, its location in a more rural part of Tennessee may be less convenient for some visitors. The nearest major airport, McGhee Tyson Airport, is approximately an hour's drive away.

Tourist Attractions - 4/10

Rockwood's main tourist attraction is the Watts Bar Lake, which offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and swimming. The city also boasts several historical sites, including the Rockwood Iron Furnace and the Rockwood Museum. However, Rockwood has a limited number of tourist attractions compared to other areas in the region.

Things to Do - 5/10

Visitors to Rockwood can enjoy the great outdoors, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and water sports on Watts Bar Lake. The city also hosts several annual events, such as the Rockwood Fall Festival and the Christmas Home Tour. However, dining, shopping, and nightlife options are somewhat limited.

Average Home Prices - 8/10

According to Zillow, the median home value in Rockwood was $145,000 in 2024, with a modest 2.3% appreciation rate over the past year. The affordable prices and low cost of living make Rockwood an attractive option for Airbnb and STR investors looking to enter the market with a smaller investment.

Proximity to Work-Related Travel - 4/10

Rockwood's location in a more rural area means that it is not as well-suited for work-related travel. The nearest hospital, Roane Medical Center, is about a 20-minute drive away in Harriman. Convention centers and sports venues are located in larger cities like Knoxville, which is approximately an hour's drive from Rockwood.

X-Factor - 6/10

Rockwood's unique selling point is its growth potential and natural beauty. As more people discover the charm of this small city and its surrounding areas, there may be an increasing demand for vacation rentals. The affordable prices and the opportunity to invest in an emerging market could be attractive to Airbnb and STR investors who are willing to take a calculated risk.

4. Top Place to Invest in Knoxville, Tennessee - Old North Knoxville

Nestled just north of downtown Knoxville, Old North Knoxville is a historic neighborhood that has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. With its charming architecture, convenient location, and growing popularity among young professionals and families, Old North Knoxville has become an attractive destination for Airbnb and short-term rental investors.

Old North Knoxville Airbnb Market Data:

  • Average Revenue – $39.2K per year
  • Average Daily Rate – $188.2 per night
  • Average Occupancy Rate – 57%
  • Average RevPAR – $108.1

Convenience - 8/10

One of Old North Knoxville's greatest strengths is its prime location. This neighborhood offers easy access to the city's main attractions and amenities within minutes of downtown Knoxville, the University of Tennessee, and major highways like I-40 and I-275. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy the convenience of being close to shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Tourist Attractions - 6/10

While Old North Knoxville itself may not boast a wealth of tourist attractions, its proximity to downtown Knoxville and the surrounding areas makes it an ideal base for exploring the city's offerings. Visitors can easily reach popular destinations such as Market Square, the Old City, and the Knoxville Museum of Art within a short drive or bike ride.

Things to Do - 7/10

Old North Knoxville's tree-lined streets and historic homes create a pleasant atmosphere for outdoor activities like walking, jogging, and cycling. The neighborhood also hosts several annual events, such as the Old North Knoxville Victorian Holiday Home Tour, which showcases the area's stunning architecture and community spirit. Residents and visitors can also enjoy the nearby greenways, parks, and local businesses.

Average Home Prices - 7/10

According to Zillow, the median home value in Old North Knoxville was $325,000 in 2024, representing a 4.2% appreciation rate over the past year. While prices have risen in recent years due to the neighborhood's growing popularity, Old North Knoxville still offers relatively affordable options compared to other historic districts in the city. This affordability and growth potential combination makes it an attractive prospect for Airbnb and STR investors.

Proximity to Work-Related Travel - 8/10

Old North Knoxville's central location puts it within easy reach of major employers and work-related destinations. The neighborhood is just a short drive from the University of Tennessee Medical Center, the Knoxville Convention Center, and several downtown office buildings. This proximity makes Old North Knoxville an appealing choice for business travelers and visiting professionals.

X-Factor - 8/10

Its unique blend of historical charm and modern livability sets Old North Knoxville apart. The neighborhood's meticulously restored homes, ranging from Victorian mansions to cozy bungalows, create a captivating atmosphere that draws in visitors and residents alike. As more people discover the allure of this hidden gem, Old North Knoxville is poised for continued growth and investment potential in the coming years.

5. Top Place to Invest in Knoxville, Tennessee - Colonial Village

Colonial Village, a charming neighborhood in the heart of Knoxville, Tennessee, has emerged as an attractive destination for Airbnb and short-term rental investors. With its convenient location, affordable housing options, and proximity to local attractions, Colonial Village offers a unique investment opportunity for those looking to capitalize on the growing tourism market in Knoxville.

Colonial Village Airbnb Market Data:

  • Average Revenue – $38.5K per year
  • Average Daily Rate – $188.3 per night
  • Average Occupancy Rate – 56%
  • Average RevPAR – $107.3

Convenience - 7/10

Situated just a short drive from downtown Knoxville and the University of Tennessee, Colonial Village provides easy access to the city's main thoroughfares, including I-40 and Kingston Pike. This central location allows visitors to quickly reach popular destinations, restaurants, and shopping centers, making it a convenient base for exploring the city.

Tourist Attractions - 6/10

While Colonial Village may not have many tourist attractions within its boundaries, its proximity to downtown Knoxville and other nearby areas opens up many possibilities for visitors. The Knoxville Museum of Art, the Sunsphere, and the historic Market Square are all within a 15-minute drive, offering diverse cultural and entertainment options.

Things to Do - 6/10

Colonial Village's residential setting provides a quiet and relaxing atmosphere for visitors looking to unwind after a day of exploring Knoxville. The neighborhood's tree-lined streets and well-maintained sidewalks create a pleasant environment for walking, jogging, or simply enjoying the outdoors. The nearby Sequoyah Park also offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and scenic views of the Tennessee River.

Average Home Prices - 8/10

According to Zillow, the median home value in Colonial Village was $225,000 in 2024, representing a modest 3.1% appreciation rate over the past year. These affordable prices, combined with the neighborhood's desirable location and potential for growth, make it an attractive option for Airbnb and STR investors looking to enter the market with a relatively low initial investment.

Proximity to Work-Related Travel - 7/10

Colonial Village's central location puts it within easy reach of several major employers and work-related destinations. The University of Tennessee Medical Center is just a 10-minute drive away, while the Knoxville Convention Center and the downtown business district are approximately 15 minutes away. This proximity makes Colonial Village convenient for business travelers and visiting professionals.

X-Factor - 7/10

What sets Colonial Village apart is its unique blend of affordability, convenience, and potential for growth. As Knoxville continues attracting visitors and new residents, the demand for short-term rentals in well-located, affordable neighborhoods like Colonial Village will likely increase. By investing in this hidden gem, Airbnb and STR investors can position themselves to benefit from the city's growing tourism industry while enjoying a stable and promising real estate market.

6. Top Place to Invest in Knoxville, Tennessee - Rocky Hill

Rocky Hill, a charming neighborhood in West Knoxville, has emerged as an attractive destination for Airbnb and short-term rental (STR) investors. With its convenient location, affordable housing options, and proximity to local attractions, Rocky Hill offers a unique investment opportunity for those looking to capitalize on the growing tourism market in Knoxville.

Rocky Hill Airbnb Market Data:

  • Average Revenue – $50.2K per year
  • Average Daily Rate – $222 per night
  • Average Occupancy Rate – 62%
  • Average RevPAR – $138.2

Convenience - 8/10

One of Rocky Hill's greatest strengths is its prime location. Situated just a short drive from downtown Knoxville and the University of Tennessee, Rocky Hill provides easy access to the city's main thoroughfares, including I-40 and Kingston Pike. This central location allows visitors to quickly reach popular destinations, restaurants, and shopping centers, making it a convenient base for exploring the city.

Tourist Attractions - 6/10

While Rocky Hill may not have many tourist attractions within its boundaries, its proximity to downtown Knoxville and other nearby areas opens up many possibilities for visitors. The Knoxville Museum of Art, the Sunsphere, and the historic Market Square are all within a 15-minute drive, offering diverse cultural and entertainment options.

Things to Do - 7/10

Rocky Hill's residential setting provides a quiet and relaxing atmosphere for visitors looking to unwind after a day of exploring Knoxville. The neighborhood's tree-lined streets and well-maintained sidewalks create a pleasant environment for walking, jogging, or simply enjoying the outdoors. The nearby Sequoyah Park also offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and scenic views of the Tennessee River.

Average Home Prices - 8/10

According to Zillow, the average home value in Rocky Hill was $279,000 in 2024, representing a modest 3.1% appreciation rate over the past year. These affordable prices, combined with the neighborhood's desirable location and potential for growth, make it an attractive option for investors looking to purchase a home to transform into an Airbnb rental.

Proximity to Work-Related Travel - 7/10

Rocky Hill's central location puts it within easy reach of several major employers and work-related destinations. The University of Tennessee Medical Center is just a 10-minute drive away, while the Knoxville Convention Center and the downtown business district are approximately 15 minutes away. This proximity makes Rocky Hill convenient for business travelers and visiting professionals.

X-Factor - 7/10

Rocky Hill's unique blend of affordability, convenience, and small-town charm sets it apart. The neighborhood boasts a quaint downtown area with local restaurants, shops, and providers. As Knoxville continues attracting visitors and new residents, the demand for short-term rentals in well-located, affordable neighborhoods like Rocky Hill will likely increase. By investing in this hidden gem, Airbnb and STR investors can position themselves to benefit from the city's growing tourism industry while enjoying a stable and promising real estate market.

⚡️
Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.