Tag Archives: Huntsville

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

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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.

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Alabama new home starts in January rise 13 percent from last year

Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)
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Click here to view or print the entire monthly report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

Demand: Alabama’s new home sales in January slipped 2 units or .9 percent from the same period last year.

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Alabama new home sales in January on par with last year while inventory has increased 4% from the same period. Infograph courtesy of ACRE. All rights reserved.Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) 

Supply: Housing starts have increased 13.0 percent since last January. New construction inventory has also increased 4.0 percent since January 2014.Three of five metro areas experienced increases in inventory levels from last January (Birmingham – up 10%, Mobile – up 7% and Tuscaloosa – up 6%).

Alabama’s metro markets in January reflect 8.4 months of new home supply, up 6 percent from last January’s 8.0 months and up 83 percent from 4.6 months in December.

Pricing: Alabama’s metro market’s median new home sales price in January was $235,510, an increase of 2.1 percent from last January and 5.6 percent from last month.

New Home Pipeline: January statewide housing starts increased by 13.0 percent from January 2014 but slipped 2.0 percent from the prior month. 2014 starts were down 2.0 percent. Housing starts were up 7.8 percent in 2013 and 6.5% in 2012. January statewide building permits were up .5 percent from January 2014 but down 5.6 percent from last month. 2014 permits were down .8 percent. Building permits were up 5.6% in 2013 and 8.4 percent in 2012.

Residential Construction Employment: According to the Alabama Dept. of Industrial Relations, statewide residential construction employment in December increased 1.2 percent (800 jobs) to 68,600 from last month and improved 9.2 percent (+5,800 jobs) from the same month a year ago. (Note: January figures are to be released on 3/17/15).

Local Results: 10 out of the 27 home builder associations (37% – down from 56% in Dec) reported gains in building permits from the prior month while 12 associations (44% – up from 33% in Dec) reported gains in housing starts from last month. Twenty associations (74% – up from 33% in Dec) experienced an increase from their January 2013 housing starts.

Industry Perspective: From David Crowe, NAHB chief economist: “The new year either will see the housing sector break out in a traditional, solid recovery or it will see another mundane nudge forward. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in economics to know that. Unfortunately, any economist with two hands can list forces for both outcomes. But the scale is heavily tipped toward more growth in single-family construction in 2015 than any of the recovery years to date.”

This monthly report is provided compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

View the current monthly Alabama Residential Report here.

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The ACRE New Construction Monthly Report is work product stemming from our partnership with the Home Builder’s Association of Alabama Foundation.

About ACRE. ACRE was founded in 1996 by the Alabama Real Estate Commissionthe Alabama Association of REALTORS and the Office of the Dean, UA Culverhouse College of Commerce. ACRE is not a state-funded entity, rather its operates in part because of the goodwill & generosity of our ACRE Corporate Cabinet and other statewide ACRE Partners.

For other Alabama real estate resources & news, please visit our website and our ACRE blog.

Alabama new home starts in January rise 13 percent from last year | AL.com.

 

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Huntsville launches plan to become ‘Gig City’

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Huntsville’s ambitious plan to join the growing list of U.S. cities with ultra-high-speed Internet service is now under way.

Mayor Tommy Battle announced Wednesday that Huntsville wants to hear from private companies capable of creating a citywide fiber-optic network with download speeds “at or above” 1 gigabit per second.

Internet providers that want to partner with Huntsville on the “Gig City” effort must submit a letter of intent by April 1. Proposals are due April 24.

With Google Fiber and other Internet companies deploying ultra-high-speed fiber networks primarily in “NFL cities” like Atlanta and Nashville, said Battle, Huntsville has to be aggressive to make sure it is not left behind. Moving data at high speeds is becoming as essential to a city’s economic survival as water, sewer and roads, he said.

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Business Relations Officer Harrison Diamond, left, talks about Huntsville’s “Gig City” ambitions during a Wednesday news conference while Mayor Tommy Battle looks on. (Steve Doyle | sdoyle@al.com)

Business Relations Officer Harrison Diamond, who is spearheading the Gig City plan, said four companies have expressed interest in submitting proposals for a citywide fiber network that would serve homes as well as businesses.

Huntsville’s ideal network would be both affordable and fast, said Diamond, with Internet download speeds ranging from several hundred megabits to more than a gigabit per second.

“Cost and speed are two of our main considerations,” Diamond said at a Wednesday news conference. “We want the entire community to be covered. We want everybody in Huntsville who wants it to have access to it.”

He said the city will entertain proposals from companies that already provide Internet service here – AT&T, Comcast and Wow! – as well as firms with no ties to Huntsville.

Building an underground fiber network that stretches from Interstate 65 to Hampton Cove will take time, and serious bucks. Battle said the city would prioritize getting the network set up initially in areas that need it most today, including Cummings Research Park.

Diamond said Huntsville’s defense and aerospace industry is teeming with “data heavy” companies that are rooting for ultra-fast Internet. If it doesn’t happen, he said, high-tech firms will eventually bypass the Rocket City for places with faster download speeds.

“This is not a want, this is a need,” said Diamond.

Steve Doyle | sdoyle@al.comBy Steve Doyle | sdoyle@al.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on March 18, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Huntsville launches plan to become ‘Gig City’ with ultra-fast, fiber-based Internet service | AL.com.

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Grissom High ‘CyberSloths’ take 1st place in national cyber security finals

Crystal Bonvillian | cbonvillian@al.comBy Crystal Bonvillian | cbonvillian@al.com
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on March 15, 2015 at 12:58 PM

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A cyber security team from Grissom High School won the national championship title in the CyberPatriot VII National Finals Competition this weekend in Washington, D.C.

The team, dubbed the “Grissom CyberSloths,” was one of 25 finalists from across the nation, including a team from New Century Technology High School. The Grissom team competed in CyberPatriot’s Open Division, and the “New Century Alpha” team competed in the Cyberpatriot’s All Service Division for ROTC groups.

This year’s competition began last fall, with more than 2,100 teams from across the U.S. participating in the preliminary rounds, according to Huntsville City Schools. In the finals, teams competed to defend virtual networks and mobile devices from a professional aggressor in the Network Security Master Challenge. They also completed a Digital Forensics Challenge, a Digital Crime Scene Challenge and a Cisco Networking Challenge.

Grissom finished second in the finals last year. Both Grissom and New Century have earned national reputations for their cyber security programs, and CBS Sunday Morning recently came to Huntsville to video the teams for an upcoming segment on their successes.

Grissom High ‘CyberSloths’ take 1st place in national cyber security finals | AL.com.

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The Building, Home & Remodeling Show℠

2015 BHR Show

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Think You Should FSBO? Think Again!

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Huntsville/Madison County residential sales in January exceed forecast

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

Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales totaling 299 units in January were 8 units or 2.7 percent above our monthly forecast but were 4.8 percent below the same period a year ago.

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View full sizeHuntsville/Madison County residential sales slip 5% from last January. Inventory hits new peak in January. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 3,298 units, an increase of 475 units from last January and 16.3 percent above the 5-year January average of 2,836 units. New home inventory is up 3.8 percent year-over-year while existing single family is up 3.6 percent.

The inventory-to-sales ratio in January was 11.0 months of housing supply (7.4 months for new construction – up 17.5% from Jan’14). The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 8-8.5 months during January. Huntsville is historically one of Alabama’s most balanced markets but it appears the market has, at least momentarily, got a little ahead of the recovery as it relates to additional new supply. With that said, the market in January began to mitigate the short-term excess as the inventory in Huntsville/Madison County experienced a .7 percent (22 units) decrease when compared to the prior month. This movement favorably contrast with historical data that indicate January inventory on average (‘1€0-’14) typically increases by 4.5 percent from the month of December.

Demand: Residential sales in January decreased 25.4 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with seasonal patterns and historical data indicating that January sales, on average (’10-‘€14), decrease from the month of December by 28.0 percent. New home sales were down 12.5 percent from January 2013. Existing single family home sales accounted for 81 percent (up from 72% in Jan’14) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 17 percent (up from 26% in Jan’14) while condos were 2 percent of sales (same as Jan ’14).

Pricing: The Huntsville median sales price in January was $155,000, an increase of .4 percent from January 2014 but a 8.8 percent decrease from the prior month as a result of the short-term supply/demand imbalance. This direction is consistent with historical data (’10-’14) indicating that the January median sales price traditionally decreases from the month of December by 4.0 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 as positive about their personal finances at the start of 2015 as they have been since we launched the National Housing Survey in 2010, and this optimism seems to be spilling over into housing market attitudes,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Consumers are more optimistic about the environment both for buying and for selling a home today, and the share who plan to own on their next move has jumped back up, reversing a three-month trend toward renting. These results are in line with lender optimism about future growth in their mortgage origination business, as shown in our Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey™. Overall, these are good signs to start off 2015 and are consistent with our expectation that strengthening employment and economic activity will boost the speed of the housing recovery.” For full report, go HERE.

View the current monthly Huntsville Residential Report here.

The Huntsville Residential Monthly Report is work product developed in conjunction with the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS to better serve North Alabama consumers. The ACRE monthly report is provided to illustrate the “general” market direction & trends when comparing prior periods with the most current available data. Real estate is local and statistics will fluctuate between areas within a city including subdivisions. ACRE recommends that you consult a local real estate professional for “specific” advice associated with your market.

About ACRE. ACRE was founded in 1996 by the Alabama Real Estate Commissionthe Alabama Association of REALTORS and the Office of the Dean, UA Culverhouse College of Commerce. ACRE is not a state-funded entity, rather its operates in part because of the goodwill & generosity of our statewide ACRE Partners.

Alabama real estate resources & news, please visit our website and our ACRE blog. You can also follow ACRE from our facebook page, just “like” http://www.facebook.com/acreua and/or follow on twitter at @uaacre.

Huntsville/Madison County residential sales in January exceed forecast | AL.com.

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