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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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125 Mendenhall Drive, Madison AL, 35758

Incredible family home on a quiet cul-de-sac in Madison’s most desirable school district. Extensive attention to detail with heavy crown, trey ceilings, lots of wood and tons of natural light. The recently updated kitchen features granite, stainless and a gas cook top with double oven. Formal living and dining rooms. A fifth bedroom or study on the main level. Privacy abounds in the huge fenced back yard with large evergreen trees and stately hardwoods. HOA pools, tennis, trails, club house and stocked ponds.

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Madison mayor outlines road expansions, home and building development, new public facilities in State of the City address

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It was a sold-out speech at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Friday night as Madison Mayor Troy Trulock took center stage for his State of the City address.

Most of the mayor’s speech was spent on accolades, education and points of pride in his city. After that, Trulock gave some insight into what lies ahead for Madison with a taste of the projects that will go into play in 2015.

Some of the major developments involve improving Madison’s roads. For example, a five-lane expansion of County Line Road is being accomplished through a partnership between Madison and the state of Alabama. Trulock estimates construction will begin in the next month or two.

There’s also the continuing six-lane development of U.S. 72 from County Line Road to Providence. This is about a five and a half mile stretch, which Trulock said is “not in good shape right now.” He said the continuing effort to fix it has been acknowledged through a partnership between Madison, Huntsville, Madison County and the state.

“Right now if you drive on Highway 72, sometimes it turns into a parking lot. We’re going to fix that,” he said.

The final major road project planned this year is to open an interchange between Interstate 565 and County Line Road, another city and state partnership. The mayor expressed how the need for this interchange is a shared sentiment for those who drive through.

The discussion then turned from roads to buildings. Trulock said more homes and subdivisions will be coming in this year. As such, there will be development of the Village at Oakland Springs outside Browns Ferry Road. This residential and business district will be about two-thirds the size of the Village of Providence and is expected to be reminiscent of its setup. Trulock said the Village at Oakland Springs will hold offices and retail in close proximity to small, medium and large size homes.

A new library could be on the way too. Trulock said the 35,000 square foot plans should be a large improvement over the 15,000 square foot library on Hughes Road. He said crowding has been a problem with the branch’s limited size.

Plans are also being put together for a new recreation building, which would include an indoor pool and basketball and volleyball courts among other athletic facilities. Construction could begin over the summer.

“I know as a coach and as a parent that we need a lot of extra recreation space,” he said, adding, “Definite need for our community.”

Ground should be broken on this project by summer.

In line with the economic front, the continuing development of Town Madison is expected to bring in 1,600 new jobs on top of 1,000 jobs at Intergraph.

Trulock also promised a surprise on the way in terms of economic development. He teased two projects to be placed near the city’s center but could not reveal what they are yet. He said the first of these projects will likely be announced within the next month or two and the other in the next three or four months.

Madison mayor outlines road expansions, home and building development, new public facilities in State of the City address | AL.com.

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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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Huntsville/Madison County residential sales up 4% in December

Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales in December improved 4.4 percent from the same period a year earlier. Total sales of 401 units were 9 units or 2.3 percent above our monthly forecast. The Center’s 2014 sales forecast projected 5,219 closed transactions while the actual sales were 4,901 units, a 6.1 percent cumulative variance.

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View full sizeHuntsville/Madison County residential sales up 4% from last December. Inventory hits new peak in December. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 3,320 units, an increase of 449 units from last December and 20.7 percent above the 5-year December average of 2,750 units. New home inventory is up 75.5 percent year-over-year while existing single family is up 2.8 percent.

The inventory-to-sales ratio in December was 8.3 months of housing supply (7.1 months for new construction – up 4.3% from Dec’13). The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 8-8.5 months during December. 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 December began to mitigate the short-term excess as the inventory in Huntsville/Madison County experienced a 5.8 percent (203 units) decrease when compared to the prior month. This movement is consistent with both seasonal listing trends & historical data that indicate December inventory on average (€™09-€™13) typically decreases by 7.1 percent from the month of November.

Demand: Residential sales in December improved 21.9 percent from the prior month. Historical Huntsville data reflects that December sales, on average (€™09-€™13), decrease from the month of November by .1 percent so this break from the norm is encouraging news. New home sales were up 6.6 percent from December 2013. Existing single family home sales accounted for 72 percent (up from 65% in Dec’13) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 16 percent (up from 12% in Dec’13) while condos were 2 percent of sales (down from 3% in Dec’13). 2014 sales were 5.7 percent below 2013.

Pricing: The Huntsville median sales price in December was $169,900, a decrease of 7.4 percent from December 2013 and 4.0 percent from the prior month as a result of the short-term supply/demand imbalance. Historical data (09-13) indicates that the December median sales price traditionally increases from the month of November by 5.0 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: “The housing market is likely to continue its gradual climb upward next year after a sub-par 2014,” according to Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “We anticipate a fairly strong increase in housing starts in response to stronger employment and some improvement in related household incomes. As a result, that may help to unfold some of the suppressed household formation numbers and incent builders to meet some of that increased demand. For all of 2015, we expect total housing starts to increase by about 22 percent and total home sales to rise approximately 5 percent, with total mortgage origination ticking up slightly to $1.13 trillion.” 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 up 4% in December; 2014 sales slip 6% | AL.com.

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Town Madison developers negotiating with 10 big box stores

Conceptional drawing of what the main retail, restaurant and entertainment portion of Town Madison could resemble when it opens in late 2016 or early 2017.

Conceptional drawing of what the main retail, restaurant and entertainment portion of Town Madison could resemble when it opens in late 2016 or early 2017.

Negotiations are in the works with 10 potential anchor stores for Town Madison, which the retail developer for the 800,000-square-foot shopping center said it right on schedule for recruiting the first tenants.

Josh Beyer, vice president of development for the Florida, Gulf Coast region of The Sembler Company, which is handling retail end of the $400 million mixed-use development, said he’s not yet a liberty to announce which stores he is negotiating with, but they are all big box type of retailers that are key to establishing the shopping center.

Traditionally, developing large shopping centers begins with securing the anchor stores first, and then the smaller retailers come on board, he said. The anchor stores will occupy about 300,000 square feet, he added.

Beyer was in North Alabama on Monday and Tuesday meeting with local officials, including Madison City Council on Monday night to finalize an agreement for $3 million in tax incentives in return for constructing a series of new road improvements surrounding a new 130,000-square-foot shopping center at Browns Ferry Road and Wall Triana Highway.

Sembler was involved in the first phase of developing Valley Bend Shopping Center in Jones Valley, which now has grown into 414,000-square-foot center. It’s anchored by Hobby Lobby, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls, Bed Bath & Beyond, Petsmart and a SuperTarget.

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Land has been cleared of trees at the along Zierdt Road and Interstate 565 in recent weeks in preparation for development of Town Madison. The mixed-use development calls for 800,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space plus 625,000 square feet of office space. (Photo by Paul Huggins/phuggins@al.com)

View full sizeLand has been cleared of trees at the along Zierdt Road and Interstate 565 in recent weeks in preparation for development of Town Madison. The mixed-use development calls for 800,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space plus 625,000 square feet of office space. (Photo by Paul Huggins/phuggins@al.com)

Gov. Robert Bentley helped local officials break ground on Town Madison in August. In all, Town Madison will encompass 700 acres along Interstate 565 and Zierdt Road. Conceptual plans show 800,000 square feet of retail, entertainment and restaurant space. Lennar Commercial is partnering on Town Madison and is handling the commercial development of 625,000 of office space.

The land for the retail area has been cleared of trees in recent weeks, and developers continue to work on site plans for store layout and roads.

The City of Madison and Madison County Commission created a cooperative district that will allow local developer Louis Breland to take out a $20 million bond to pay for new roads and other infrastructure improvements, including a new interchange with Interstate 565. Breland will get a tax break on Town Madison until his investment is recouped.

Beyer said the new interchange and road supporting the shopping center must be complete before any of the stores will open. He anticipates opening in late 2016 or early 2017.

Town Madison developers negotiating with 10 big box stores | AL.com.

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1,000 new rooftops to rise on Madison’s western horizon

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A thousand new residential rooftops will be popping up in eastern Limestone County, based on recent rezoning proposals to the City Council.

On Monday, the council announced public hearings on rezoning for three separate parcels totaling 176 acres. Combined with the rezoning in July of 158 acres on Huntsville Brownsferry Road, Madison can expect to add more than 1,000 single-family homes, said Mayor Troy Trulock.

“There’s another 600 in the pipeline,” he added.

The 1,000-home estimate will take two to five years to play out completely, the mayor said, so there’s going to be plenty of ongoing construction work in western Madison.

Mungo Homes will likely be the first to break ground should the rezoning requests be approved Sept. 22. It seeks to rezone 58 acres at the northwest corner of Burgreen and Powell roads from agriculture to R-3A single-family detached residential. The 58 acres will be combined with another parcel already zoned residential for a total of about 100 acres.

There’s another 600 in the pipeline.” – Mayor Troy Trulock

The largest of the three rezoning request is from Murphy Homes. It calls for 89 acres on the south side of Hardiman Road and east of Segers Road to be changed from agriculture to R-3A single-family detached residential. The smallest of the three comes from Woodland Homes. It seeks to change 29 acres from agriculture to single-family residential. The property is east Segars Road and across from the entrance to Hardin Oak Drive.

District 4 Councilman Mike Potter, who represents some areas west of County Line Road, said the growth is going to put “tremendous pressure” on Hardiman, Burgreen and Segers roads, and the city must get plans in place so the infrastructure can handle the large amount of traffic. A key part of that will be partnering with the Limestone County Commission, he added.

“Our school system’s got to be concerned, too,” District 1 Councilman Tim Holcombe said.

Potter referenced the new 700-acre Town Madison retail and commercial development as making the expected, rapid growth of new homes easier to bear.

While there’s some tax revenue generated from the construction phase of home building, he said property taxes are not enough to offset the cost of providing city services to them. Without retail taxes on the side, “rooftops translate to negative numbers.”

1,000 new rooftops to rise on Madison’s western horizon; 176 acres sought for rezoning | AL.com.

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