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Huntsville among top 10 Most Promising U.S. Tech Hubs to watch in 2014 by Techie.com

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Downtown Huntsville. (AL.com file photo)

Huntsville was the only city in Alabama to make Techie.com‘s new Most Promising Tech Hubs of 2014 list.

Other U.S. cities featured on the list, which was released Monday, were Atlanta; Burlington, Vt.; Fort Collins, Colo.; Champaign/Urbana, Ill.; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; Orlando, Fla.; Minneapolis/St. Paul; and Sioux Falls, S.D.

“One of the most important factors in naming our most amazing tech hubs is the presence, or at least the emergence, of a tech and startup culture,” said Dan Blacharski, Techie.com editor-in-chief. “Without the culture, the meetups, and the fun places to go in the city, tech startups just won’t want to come.”

Techie.com editors also considered other factors, including the presence of incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces, city and community support and available infrastructure, such as high-speed Internet.

A Techie.com article highlighting the top 10 cities lauded Huntsville’s Cumming Research Park, aerospace and military technology companies, and the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

“But it’s not all government and academia; Huntsville is rapidly emerging as one of the best places in the South for small, emerging tech businesses,” Blacharski said.

The piece also features quotes from BizTech Chief Executive Officer Gary Tauss and Huntsville entrepreneur and Small Business Meetup Group creator Brandon Kruse.

Click here to read the full article.

“For a great place to launch a startup, entrepreneurs need look no further than Huntsville,” Blacharski said. “The entrepreneurial scene, and vibrant incubators like Biztech – along with good old fashioned southern hospitality – has made Huntsville one of the greatest laboratories for tech startups in the country.”

Among some of Huntsville/Madison County’s other recent honors: the third best U.S. city for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) graduates by NerdWallet; a top high-tech U.S. hotspot by the Progressive Policy Instituteone of the top U.S. cities on the rise by NerdWallet; a high-ranking U.S. city for economic growth potential by Business Facilities Magazineone of the best cities for high-tech startups by Entrepreneur Magazine; and a great city for computer programmers by ValuePenguin.

Huntsville among top 10 Most Promising U.S. Tech Hubs to watch in 2014 by Techie.com | AL.com.

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Huntsville listed among 8 up-and-coming tech hubs in the U.S.

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Is the Rocket City an aspiring Silicon Valley? An Austin-based company ranking America’s eight up-and-coming tech hubs seems to think so.

SpareFoot shined the spotlight on Huntsville in a blog post today highlighting the country’s top emerging tech cities.

In the listing, SpareFoot praised Huntsville for placing 14th last year on Entrepreneur.com’s 25 best U.S. cities for technology startups list. The city was also lauded for having a “startup mover and shaker” like BizTech and “feather in its cap” like Cummings Research Park.

Huntsville companies Bragg Peak Systems, Correlated Magnetics Research, Curse and eTruckBiz were recognized as the city’s “tech stars.”

Other cities included in the listing were: Charleston, S.C.; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; Las Vegas; New Orleans; Orlando, Fla.; and Provo, Utah.

In October, Huntsville ranked No. 4 on the Progressive Policy Institute’s list of 25 high-tech U.S. hotspots. Huntsville was also recently the only Alabama city to make Techie.com’s top 10 most promising tech hubs to watch in 2014 list.

Huntsville listed among 8 up-and-coming tech hubs in the U.S. by Austin-based startup | AL.com.

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Huntsville/Madison County February home sales up 6% from prior month

Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales in February improved 6.1 percent from the prior month. In contrast, sales totaling 333 units, represented a slip in sales growth of 11.4 percent from the same period a year earlier and 16 units shy of ourmonthly forecast.

Click here to view or print the entire January report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.
Historical Sales.jpg
View full sizeHuntsville/Madison County residential sales up 6% from prior month. Inventory is 6% below February 2011 peak. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 2,880 units, an increase of 68 units from last February. New home inventory is down 2.2 percent year-over-year while existing single family is up 4.1 percent. The inventory-to-sales ratio in February was 8.6 months of housing supply (5.5 months for new construction – down from 6.3 in January). The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 8 months during February. Huntsville and Baldwin County were Alabama’s most balanced markets in 2013. February inventory in Huntsville experienced a 2.0 percent (57 units) increase when compared to the prior month. This movement is consistent with historical data trends that indicate February inventory on average (€™09-€™13) increases from the month of January by 1.7 percent.

Demand: Existing single family home sales accounted for 71 percent (up from 64% in Feb’13) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 25 percent (down from 34% in Feb’13) while condos were 4 percent of sales (up from 2% in Feb’13).

Residential sales in February improved by 6.1 percent from the prior month. Real estate sales volume is seasonal and historical Huntsville data reflects that February sales, on average (€™09-€™13), increase from the month of January by 13.5 percent.

Pricing: The Huntsville median selling price in February was $156,400, a slip of 6.5 percent from February 2013. In contrast, the median price increased by 1.3 percent from last month. Historical data (09-13) indicates that the February median selling price traditionally decreases from the month of January by 2.2 percent. 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.

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 improve 6% from prior month | AL.com.

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The one, must-do thing in Alabama? U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville

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You know those “if you have this much time in a city, here’s what you should do” lists? Well, Huffington Post has come up with a list of the “one thing” that must be done in each of the 50 states. For Alabama, that’s U.S. Space Camp at Huntsville’s U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

“Space Camp” is a place for “aspiring astronauts ages 9 to 99″ to come “for a chance to sleep in bunks, spin in the Multi-Axis Trainer, and handle a crisis on simulated intergalactic missions.”

More than 27,000 kids from 83 countries attended the week-long Space Camp in 2013 alone, Tim Hall, the center’s spokesman said.

The site makes the HuffPost list along with a drive along California’s coastal highway, visiting the Butter Cow at the Iowa State Fair, and sandboarding at Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. Listening to the blues at The Lyric in Oxford, Miss., and spending the night on the floor of the Grand Canyon in Arizona also made the list.

HuffPost editors came up with list by talking among themselves and asking friends to come up with what they call “the ultimate American travel guide.” It’s not a comprehensive list, the site assures, just one that’s a good place to start for those who want to “travel back to your American roots.”

The folks at Huffington Post aren’t the only ones who think the Space & Rocket Center is a pretty cool place to go. The center was the most visited paid tourism destination with more than 584,000 visitors in 2013, according to Alabama’s Tourism Departmen

The one, must-do thing in Alabama? U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville | AL.com.

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Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales up 16% in January

Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales totaled 314 units in January, an improvement in sales growth of 16.3 percent from last January and 7 units above our monthly forecast.

Click here to view or print the entire January report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.
Historical Sales.jpgView full sizeHuntsville/Madison County residential sales up 16% from last January. Inventory is 6% below January 2011 peak. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 2,823 units, a decrease of 19 units from last January. New home inventory is up 4.4 percent year-over-year. The inventory-to-sales ratio in January was 9.0 months of housing supply (6.3 months for new construction – up from 4.3 in December). The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 8 months during January. Huntsville and Baldwin County were Alabama’s most balanced markets in 2013. January inventory in Huntsville experienced a 1.7 percent (48 units) decrease when compared to the prior month. Historical data trends indicate January inventory on average (’09-’13) increases from the month of December by 3.5 percent.

Demand: Existing single family home sales accounted for 72 percent (up from 68% in Jan’13) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 26 percent (down from 32% in Jan’13) while condos were 2 percent of sales (same as Jan’13).

Residential sales in January slipped by 18.2 percent from the prior month. Real estate sales volume is seasonal and historical Huntsville data reflects that January sales, on average (’09-’13), decrease from the month of December by 30.5 percent.

Pricing: The Huntsville median selling price in January was $154,332, a slip of 9.2 percent from January 2013. This figure also decreased by 18.2 percent from last month. Historical data (’09-’13) indicates that the January median selling price traditionally decrease from the month of December by 2.6 percent. 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.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®, who recently presented at ACREcon said “Direction wise I see the economy is expanding. I expect 2.5% GDP growth this year. In the 4th quarter growth was solid but that was one quarter. We need that rate to be consistent for four quarters.”  Assuming that growth and concurrent job creation, Yun still sees challenges for housing sales going forward. “Housing affordability is coming down. You have mortgage rates and prices rising in 2014 but it will take growth and job creation on the other side,” he said. “For the year as a whole I think it will be neutral on US housing prices.” Yun said “He is already seeing softness in housing readings for the first quarter, and hopes the remainder of the year will be strong enough to balance it out.”

More industry perspectives: “January 2014 sales of new and existing homes reflected the decline in the affordability rate in most regions, the widespread inclement weather and the rise in interest rates. The slowdown in year over year unit sales also reflects the absence of real growth in employment and household incomes,” said Steve Murray, editor of the REAL Trends Housing Market Report. “As we stated last month we believe that unit sales are nearing a normal level given employment, the number of households, mortgage rates and household income. We expect that year over year increases will continue to be only slightly improved on a year over year basis in the months ahead.”

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.

via Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales up 16% in January | AL.com.

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