Category Archives: Madison County “in the news”

Huntsville/Madison County residential home sales up 16% in April; YTD up 9%

By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)  Follow on Twitter
on May 20, 2015 at 11:35 AM, updated May 20, 2015 at 11:36 AM

Click here to view or print the entire April report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

Sales: According the North Alabama MLS, Huntsville/Madison County residential sales totaled 465 units in April, an increase in sales growth of 16.5 percent or 66 units from the same period last year. This represents the best sales results for the month of April since 2007. Year-to-date sales through April are 9.1 percent above 2014.

Forecast: Closed transactions in April were 68 units or 17.1 percent above the Center’s monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through April projected 1,395 closed transactions while the actual sales were 1,562 units, a favorable cumulative variance of 11.9 percent.

Historical sales.jpg
Huntsville/Madison County residential sales improve 16% from last April. Inventory is 5% below monthly peak established in 2014. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 3,061 units, a decrease of 4.5 percent or 144 units from last April and 1.3 percent above the 5-year April average of 3,102 units. New home inventory is up 5.1 percent year-over-year while existing single family inventory is down 6.5 percent.

The inventory-to-sales ratio in April was 6.6 months of housing supply (4.6 months for new construction – up 31.4% from April’14 when it stood at 3.5 months). The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 7.0+/- months during April (NSA). Huntsville was again one of Alabama’s most balanced markets in April. The market in April experienced a 2.3 percent (68 units) increase in inventory when compared to the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data indicating April inventory on average (‘1€0-’14) increases by 4.0 percent from the month of March.

Demand: Residential sales in April slipped .6 percent from the prior month which was much stronger than normal. This direction contrast with seasonal patterns and historical data indicating that April sales, on average (’10-‘€14), increase from the month of March by 5.2 percent. New home sales remain somewhat soft, down 20.6 percent from April 2014. Existing single family home sales accounted for 75 percent (up from 65% in April’14) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 21 percent (down from 32% in April’14) while condos were 4 percent of sales (up from 3% in April’14).

Pricing: The Huntsville median sales price in April was $171,000, a slip of 2.3 percent from April 2014 but 7.9 percent above the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (’10-’14) indicating that the April median sales price on average increases from the month of March by .3 percent. It’s important to note that pricing can fluctuate from month-to-month as the sample size of data (closed transactions) is subject to seasonal buying patterns so a broader lens as to pricing trends is appropriate. ACRE recommends contacting a local real estate professional to discuss pricing at the neighborhood level.

Industry Perspective: “The spring and summer home buying season has gotten off to a stronger start, reflected in some of the improvement in consumer housing sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The share of consumers who intend to own rather than rent their next home rebounded after a two-month slide. Meanwhile, home price growth expectations strengthened to the strongest pace since last October. Nevertheless, consumers continue to express concerns about the recent weakening economic conditions…When we consider both the continued caution of consumers and the positive start to the year, we believe that these results support our expectation that 2015 will be a year of modest growth in housing activity.” For full report, go HERE.

Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales up 16% in April; YTD sales up 9% | AL.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Madison County "in the news"

Huntsville #2 in Best Places for Tech Jobs – NerdWallet

11956733-large

by Sreekar Jasthi on April 27, 2015 | posted in Cities, Lifestyle

The technology industry is booming, and the benefits are spreading far and wide — in California’s Silicon Valley and beyond. Metropolitan areas across the nation are home to opportunities in a variety of tech jobs.

Companies also are hiring for roles ranging from software developers and Web developers to computer and information research scientists and everything in between. The most successful tech cities are home to big companies or are places that encourage startups through accelerator programs and venture capital investment.

Best of the best

NerdWallet examined the nation’s 370 largest metropolitan areas to find the best places for tech jobs. All of the top 10 places for tech jobs feature more opportunities than the national average of 18 tech jobs for every 1,000 employees. The tech workers on our list are paid very well — every metro area on our list has a relatively higher average salary than the national mean of just under $70,500. Only one place in our top 10, however, has a lower median rent than the average median rent of the places we analyzed.

Here’s what we analyzed to find the best places for tech jobs:

Size of the tech industry. We examined the number of tech jobs for 1,000 employees in each metro area, using 2014 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Income for tech jobs. We looked at the annual mean salary for tech jobs in each area. We also considered the median gross rent as a cost-of-living metric to see how far the average income went in every place.

For more information on affordability in U.S. cities, check out NerdWallet’s cost of living calculator. For similar studies and more, visit NerdWallet Cities.

Key takeaways

Tech jobs are geographically diverse. Some places on our list are expected — Silicon Valley and Seattle — but tech hubs are found throughout the country. On the East Coast, tech companies are thriving in the Washington, D.C., corridor and the Boston metro area. To the south, there’s Huntsville, Alabama, and the Research Triangle in North Carolina. Boulder, Colorado, and the Silicon Hills of Austin, Texas, also made our list.

Information technology is the leader. Although all tech industry careers are flourishing, most of the top places on our list are computer science and information technology hubs. Opportunities in other areas, such as aerospace, biotech and other science- and research-based fields are most popular in the South’s Research Triangle and in Huntsville.

Want to be first to know about future NerdWallet studies? Click here to have updates sent to your inbox.

Best places for tech jobs in 2015

2. Huntsville, Alabama

The heart of the Southern tech scene is in Huntsville, Alabama. In Rocket City, 68 of every 1,000 jobs are in technology-related fields. Average salaries are on the lower end of our list at $92,296 annually, but median rent is cheapest at $725 a month. The city also made our list of Best Places for Engineers. The main drivers in Huntsville are at Cummings Research Park, a science and technology business park with hundreds of companies, and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

via Best Places for Tech Jobs – NerdWallet.

Leave a comment

Filed under Madison County "in the news"

Village of Providence cuts ribbon on Phase VIII, named 2014 Community of the Year

village-of-providence-ribbon-cutting-4232015-e38420131b2c66c6

Lucy Berry | lberry@al.comBy Lucy Berry | lberry@al.com
Follow on Twitter

The Village of Providence continued its expansion efforts Thursday with an official kickoff of Phase VIII, which will create 52 custom homes at the Huntsville neighborhood development.

Developer David Slyman said 15 of the homes are currently under construction at the west end of the Providence bridge, with more to be added over time. The eighth phase represents a $25 million investment, Slyman said.

Officials also took the opportunity to celebrate winning the 2014 Community of the Year Award from the National Association of Home Builders and the Platinum Award for Best Mixed-Use Community. The awards recognize outstanding achievement and innovation each year.

“When you get the Community of the Year from the National Home Builders Association, that is something that nobody else has done as they said in Alabama for 30 years, but it is also something that makes us very proud to be part of Huntsville,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle told the crowd. “As part of Huntsville, this shows that Huntsville is always on the cutting edge.”

Slyman said he and his brother, Todd, had planned to cut the ribbon on Phase VIII late last year, but wet weather “put us way behind the eight ball.”

He said home sales have been rapidly picking up since the weather has improved.

“We expect it won’t be too long until we announce Phase IX,” he said.

Only one-third of the Village has been built, and more than $350 million has been invested since its inception. The Village of Providence now has more than 200 homes, 226 apartments, two national hotels, several restaurants and businesses, and over 450 workers.

Slyman, who said another 400 homes will be built at the Village of Providence, said new multi-family and retail components should come to fruition in the future.

“On the Village side, we’ll have some other announcements coming,” he said. “We’ve got another corporation getting ready to locate here. We’ve got another hotel to announce shortly, and another phase of our Providence Place Apartments.”

Village of Providence cuts ribbon on Phase VIII, named 2014 Community of the Year | AL.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Madison County "in the news"

Huntsville/Madison County March residential sales up 21% from last year

Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)
Follow on Twitter

Click here to view or print the entire March report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

Sales: Huntsville/Madison County residential sales totaled 468 units in March, an increase in sales growth of 21.2 percent or 82 units from the same period last year. This represents the best sales results for the month of March since 2007. Year-to-date sales through March are 6.2 percent above 2014.

Forecast: Closed transactions in March were 89 units or 23.5 percent above the Center’s monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through March projected 998 closed transactions while the actual sales were 1,097 units, a favorable cumulative variance of 9.9 percent.

Historical sales.jpg

Huntsville/Madison County residential sales improve 21% from last March. Inventory is 4% below monthly peak established in 2011. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) 

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 2,993 units, a decrease of .5 percent or 16 units from last March and only .5 percent above the 5-year March average of 2,983 units. New home inventory is up 21.5 percent year-over-year while existing single family inventory is down 3.5 percent.

The inventory-to-sales ratio in March was 6.4 months of housing supply (5.3 months for new construction – up 35.9% from March’14 when it stood at 3.9 months). The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 7.5 months during March (NSA). Huntsville was one of Alabama’s most balanced markets in March. The market in March experienced a 8.6 percent (81 units) decrease when compared to the prior month. This movement favorably contrast with historical data that indicate March inventory on average (‘1€0-’14) typically increases by 3.4 percent from the month of February.

Demand: Residential sales in March also increased 41.8 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with seasonal patterns and historical data indicating that March sales, on average (’10-‘€14), increase from the month of February by 23.4 percent. New home sales remain soft, down 12.9 percent from March 2014. Existing single family home sales accounted for 76 percent (up from 70% in Mar’14) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 20 percent (down from 28% in Mar’14) while condos were 4 percent of sales (up from 2% in Mar’14).

Pricing: The Huntsville median sales price in March was $158,432, a slip of 3.9 percent from March 2014 and 5.6 percent decrease from the prior month. This direction unfavorably contrast with historical data (’10-’14) indicating that the March median sales price traditionally increases from the month of February by .2 percent. It’s important to note that pricing can fluctuate from month-to-month as the sample size of data (closed transactions) is subject to seasonal buying patterns so a broader lens as to pricing trends is appropriate. ACRE recommends contacting a local real estate professional to discuss pricing at the neighborhood level.

Industry Perspective: “Consumers are being patient prior to entering the housing market. Our March survey results emphasize how critical attitudes about income growth are to consumers’ outlook on housing,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “We’ve seen modest improvement in total compensation resulting from a strengthened labor market. However, income growth perceptions and personal financial expectations both eased off of recent highs, consistent with Friday’s weak jobs report. Simultaneously, the share of consumers expecting to buy on their next move has declined. We believe the recent setback in consumer sentiment should be short lived if early signs of income growth bear out and occur in proportion to expected interest rate increases. Meanwhile, the wait for housing expansion continues.” For full report, go HERE.

Huntsville/Madison County residential sales in March increase 21% from prior year | AL.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Madison County "in the news"

North Alabama housing market ‘one of the most stable’ in Southeast

Rob Hale, president of MarketGraphics Southeast, speaks to Huntsville-area realtors and home builders April 2 at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. (Lucy Berry | lberry@al.com)

Rob Hale, president of MarketGraphics Southeast, speaks to Huntsville-area realtors and home builders April 2 at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. (Lucy Berry | lberry@al.com)

Lucy Berry | lberry@al.comBy Lucy Berry | lberry@al.com
Follow on Twitter

More residents in the Huntsville area are seeking apartment communities with higher-end amenities as the housing market recovers.

That was one of the talking points Thursday during a 2015 north Alabama housing forecast presentation by MarketGraphics Southeast President Rob Hale at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. The annual breakfast event for area realtors and homebuilders was sponsored by BancorpSouth.

Hale said the recession sparked a shift in the number of north Alabama millennials, retirees and move-down buyers interested in new apartment projects.

“The recession started it because people lost their homes,” he said. “They were able to rent, but not buy, and I think that started a trend of new apartment construction and it built on that.”

Nationwide trend

The movement toward apartments isn’t just affecting Huntsville, Hale said, but the entire U.S. He said the developments are especially attractive to the under-30 crowd that’s not as interested in purchasing a new or existing home as past generations were.

Apartments are also a good option for retirees who need smaller housing, but still want luxury, an audience member pointed out.

“There’s the pool, there’s somebody else mowing the grass, there’s really great amenities with these new developments,” Hale said. “It’s attractive to people who at some point might have been first-time homebuyers.”

The local market, which includes Madison, Limestone, Morgan and Marshall counties, is the picture of stability, Hale told the crowd. The four-county area had 2,470 building permits last year, down slightly from 2,501 the previous year and 2,518 in 2011.

Market vibrancy

While north Alabama led the Southeast for several years in market vibrancy (new home permits divided by total population), Hale said that’s no longer the case today. Markets like Jacksonville, Fla., Nashville and Charleston, S.C., are experiencing more vibrant housing markets right now.

Huntsville hasn’t always followed the national trend, he said, and the market doesn’t encounter the same peaks and valleys as other places sometimes do.

“You did not experience the wave of destruction that took place in a lot of places in the Southeast,” he said. “The coastal Florida market was devastated by the recession. This just illustrates how stable the market is in north Alabama.”

The area had 15,000 vacant developed lots in February 2011. Since then, that figure has declined to roughly 11,500. There are 546 homes under construction in the four-county area, Hale said.

With companies like Polaris and Remington Outdoor promising thousands of jobs in Huntsville over the next several years, Hale hopes the local housing market enters a phase when new jobs have a direct link to the construction of new houses.

Jobs equals housing

Hale said the market needs about 1.25 new jobs for every building permit issued in order to sustain healthy housing activity.

“Of all the markets in the Southeast over the years, the Huntsville market has been one of the most stable, even through the recession,” he said. “Our hope is that as new jobs arrive in Huntsville, it will result in an improvement in the new home housing market.”

Hale praised the area’s public leadership in attracting new companies and diversifying the economy. “That’s certainly not true everywhere,” he added.

Penny Billings, division president for BancorpSouth, said her biggest takeaway from Thursday’s event was “location and where you’re building.”

“We have seen some pretty good vibrancy right now in new home sales,” she said. “Some of our builders are reporting that their sales are a lot higher than they’ve been.”

North Alabama housing market ‘one of the most stable’ in Southeast, even through recession | AL.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Madison County "in the news"

Huntsville among top 10 Southern cities for jobs right now

17426346-mmmain

Lucy Berry | lberry@al.comBy Lucy Berry | lberry@al.com
Follow on Twitter

Two Alabama metros are among the top cities in the South for job creation and hiring in 2015, according to a new study by ZipRecruiter.

The hiring and job market data company released a report this week of the top 20 Southern cities with the greatest 2015 hiring demand and growth potential. Cities were ranked using ZipRecruiter’s Hiring Demand Index, which is based on relative monthly job growth percentage measured across the U.S.

Huntsville came in at No. 9, while Mobile fell at No. 19. Here is the full list:

  1. Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Fla.
  2. Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington, Texas
  3. Houston/Sugar Land/Baytown, Texas
  4. Richmond, Va.
  5. Jacksonville, Fla.
  6. Memphis, Tenn.
  7. Roanoke, Va.
  8. Greenville/Mauldin/Easley, S.C.
  9. Huntsville
  10. Orlando/Kissimmee, Fla.
  11. Cape Coral/Fort Myers, Fla.
  12. Durham, N.C.
  13. Greensboro/High Point, N.C.
  14. Winchester, Va.
  15. Spartanburg, S.C.
  16. El Paso, Texas
  17. Danville, Va.
  18. Lubbock, Texas
  19. Mobile
  20. Myrtle Beach/Conway/North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Click here for ZipRecruiter’s report.

ZipRecruiter writer Kylie Anderson, who praised Huntsville’s military and aerospace technology, called the city “the center for NASA rocket-propulsion research.”

“The city also supports commercial technology companies and other engineering research,” she said.

Huntsville’s top five industries and their most in-demand position are:
  • Healthcare: Healthcare Representative
  • Trucking/Transportation: Class A CDL Driver
  • Engineering: Applications Engineer
  • Admin/Secretarial: Customer Service Retail
  • Manufacturing/Operations: Production Manager

Madison County’s February unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, down from 5.6 the previous month. Joblessness was also down in Mobile, from 7.1 percent unemployment to 6.4 in February. To see how your county fared, click here.

[Related: Top 10 Alabama occupations with the most online job postings in February]

Visit AL.com/jobs to search more than 2,000 listings in Alabama.

Huntsville, Mobile among top 20 Southern cities for jobs right now | AL.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Madison County "in the news"

The Huntsville, Alabama, metro area is the best place for engineers by far.

Capture

The north Alabama city with the country’s highest concentration of engineers and technology workers was recently named the best place for engineers in the U.S.

NerdWallet ranked Huntsville the nation’s top engineering city in a study published online Monday. The personal finance website, which analyzed 350 metropolitan areas, praised the Rocket City for its heavy engineer base, high average engineering salary and low rent costs.

About 25 miles from Huntsville, Decatur fell at No. 8 on the list, which also featured cities from Georgia, Florida, Michigan, California, Texas, Washington and Ohio.

“The South has a concentration of the best places for engineers,” said NerdWallet author Sreekar Jasthi. “Six of the top 10 places on our list were in southern states. Most of these areas have military bases, manufacturing centers and companies that provide competitive career opportunities for engineers.”

Click here to see the full list.

To determine the ranking, NerdWallet looked at two factors: size of the engineering industry using 2013 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and engineering income levels.

This week wouldn’t be the first time Huntsville has landed in a “top cities” list on NerdWallet. The city ranked No. 25 on NerdWallet’s list of America’s Most Innovative Tech Hubs. Huntsville, Montgomery and Birmingham were also among the best places for black-owned businesses in early February.

Here’s what NerdWallet had to say about Huntsville and Decatur’s engineering prowess:

Huntsville: With a NASA flight center and an Army arsenal, Huntsville is nicknamed “The Rocket City” for good reason. Engineers make up 6% of its employed population and make nearly $103,000 a year, which is higher than the national mean. Median rent is the second lowest in our top 10, at around $725 a month. Huntsville, a northern Alabama city near the Tennessee border, is a hub for aerospace engineers.

Decatur: Just 25 miles west of our list’s leading place, Decatur engineers have access to many opportunities in Huntsville. But Decatur itself is home to a United Launch Alliance facility, where spacecraft launch equipment is manufactured. Engineers make up about 2% of Decatur’s workforce, making it the smallest engineering industry in our top 10. However, it still has more engineers per 1,000 employees than the national average.

2 north Alabama cities within 25 miles of each other make NerdWallet’s best places for engineers | AL.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Madison County "in the news"