Tag Archives: Madison

Huntsville/Madison County residential median sales price establishes new peak

Click here to view or print the full quarterly report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

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View full sizeHuntsville/Madison County median sales price up 8% from 2nd Quarter 2013. Infograph courtesy of North Al MLS & ACRE. All rights reserved.

Pricing: According to the North Alabama Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the median sales price in the Huntsville/Madison County reached a new peak during the 2nd quarter at $175,633 which is also 8.0 percent from the same quarter in 2013. Historical data indicates that second quarter median price in 2014 increased by 4.9 percent from the most recent 3-year average and 4.0 percent from the 5-year quarterly average (’09-’13).

Supply: The housing inventory average during the second quarter was 3,215 units, an increase of 4.8 percent from the same period in 2013 and .8 percent below the second quarter peak in 2010 (3,240 units). There was 7.1 months of housing supply (6 months considered equilibrium during 2nd quarter) in the second quarter 2014 versus 6.6 months of supply last year, an increase of 7.1 percent. Historical data indicates that the second quarter inventory-to-sales ratio in 2014 decreased 1.4 percent from the 5-year average (7.2 months – best market performance in Alabama during this window) and decreased 2.8 percent from the 3-year average.

Demand: Residential sales during the second quarter by Huntsville standards can only be described as sluggish, a small slip of 2.4 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. The second quarter sales remain 28.7 percent off the peak experienced in 2003 when 1,912 units were sold. Historical data indicates that second quarter sales in 2014 increased by 6.6 percent from the most recent 3-year average (’11-’13) and 5.5 percent from the 5-year quarterly average (’09-’13).

The Huntsville/Madison Residential Quarterly Report is provided compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

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The Huntsville/Madison County Residential Quarterly 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 Quarterly Report: “2nd quarter median sales price establishes new peak” | AL.com.

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Madison City Council OKs rezoning for new midtown shopping center

A new shopping center is coming to Wall Triana Highway and Browns Ferry Road after the City Council rezoned about 22 acres of empty fields.

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View full sizeThe Madison City Council on Monday rezoned about 22 acres on the northeast corner of Wall Triana Highway and Browns Ferry Road. The rezoning will allow for a new shopping center.

That didn’t sit well with more than two dozen residents from the surrounding neighborhoods who said convenient shopping is not an acceptable trade-off for the peacefulness they will lose with increased traffic.

“Shopping’s not everyone’s quality of life,” said Lois Brown, a Madison Trace resident, who said she will lose her quiet evenings sitting outside once a shopping center opens. “Please, please help us keep that quality of life. That’s why we moved from Huntsville to Madison. Please don’t make us move to Harvest or Monrovia to get back that quality of life.”

Eleven residents pleaded with the council to reject The Sembler Company’s request to rezone the property from R-2 medium density residential to B-2 community commercial district. This will allow grocery stores and small retail businesses to locate a few blocks west of Kroger on Hughes Road.

Shopping’s not everyone’s quality of life.” – Lois Brown, Madison Trace resident

Josh Beyer, vice president of development for Sembler, said he couldn’t divulge which particular stores they seek for the shopping center, but he said neighborhood service shopping centers typically have a grocery store and smaller retail outlets, such as the Publix on County Line Road.

“This would be a lot smaller,” he said, compared to the Publix on County Line Road. He added it would not include a big box home improvement type store.

The residents opposed to the rezoning said the property has been zoned residential for 20 years and some specifically made sure it wasn’t going to be commercial before they bought their houses. They told the council it should stick with what’s on the books. Some also argued that a new shopping center won’t really add much because it will take away business from existing stores, ultimately creating more empty storefronts.

Toby Stauch said there are enough empty storefronts in Madison already to accommodate retail growth.

Before the vote, which passed 6-1, with Councilman Tim Holcombe the lone dissenter, Council President Tommy Overcash said some residents behind where Publix had the same concerns but their fears were not realized.

Councilman Mike Potter said he researched the 11 homes within two blocks of Publix that sold since it opened, which showed two decreased in value by 1 percent, four increased 10 to 15 percent and five increased from 20 and 45 percent.

“Did Publix cause that, I can’t say, but you can say a development like Publix did not decrease it.”

Councilman Gerald Clark, who represents the area where the new shopping center will be, said growing up on a farm where they went grocery shopping once a week, he learned the value of stores being within walking distance.

“You don’t know what convenience is until you don’t have it,” he said.

Clark said he’s optimistic the city can find money to eventually four-lane Wall Triana all the way to U.S. 72, but it will take lots of money, which the new shopping center can help provide. He reminded them his main campaign platform was to increase the city’s tax base.

Former Councilman Tim Cowles, who once represented the area in question, said he favored the proposal for several reasons: one, if residential had been the best use, the property would not have remained vacant for 20 years; two, development will bring traffic improvements to the intersection; and three, the property owner ought to be able to determine its best use.

“I for one would like to see additional services there,” he said.

Mayor Troy Trulock said after the meeting that he didn’t feel the residents who spoke against the rezoning represented the sentiment of most of the 23,000 residents who live within two miles of the shopping center site or more residents would have attended.

There were 32 people there to here to speak for or against the rezoning, and 11 spoke against and two spoke were for it, Trulock said.

Councilman Steve Smith encouraged the residents to stay involved in the process because the development still has several steps through City Hall before it can begin construction.

“So don’t feel like you have lost your voice,” he said.

via Despite residents’ fears, Madison City Council OKs rezoning for new midtown shopping center | AL.com.

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Huntsville/Madison County residential median sales price in June improves 10% from prior year

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

Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales in June slipped 1.7 percent from the same period a year earlier. Year-to-date sales are virtually the same as 2013 (-1.0%) through the month of June. Total sales of 507 units were 15 units or 2.7 percent shy of our monthly forecast.

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View full sizeHuntsville/Madison County residential sales slip 1.7% from last June. Inventory has decreased 2.2% from the month of June peak in 2010. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 3,259 units, an increase of 142 units from last June and 5.3 percent above the 5-year June average of 3,095 units. New home inventory is down 9.1 percent year-over-year while existing single family is up 6.9 percent. The inventory-to-sales ratio in June was 6.4 months of housing supply (3.9 months for new construction – down from 4.2 months in May 2013). The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 6 months during June. Huntsville remains one of Alabama’s most balanced markets in 2014. June inventory in Huntsville/Madison County experienced a 2.5 percent (79 units) increase when compared to the prior month. This movement contrast with seasonal & historical data trends that indicate June inventory on average (€™09-€™13) remained unchanged from the month of May.

Demand: New home sales improved 5.3 percent from last June after a weak May but a strong sales surge in April. New home sales spur economic growth and job creation so this is encouraging news. Existing single family home sales accounted for 73 percent (down from 74% in June’13) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 14 percent (up from 12% in June’13) while condos were 3 percent of sales (down from 4% in June’13).

Residential sales in June improved 10.7 percent from the prior month. Real estate sales volume is seasonal and historical Huntsville data reflects that June sales, on average (€™09-€™13), increase from the month of May by 6.1 percent.

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View full sizeHuntsville/Madison County residential median sales prices rises 10% from last June. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Pricing: The Huntsville median sales price in June was $184,900, an increase of 10.1 percent from June 2013 and 10.7 percent from the prior month. Historical data (09-13) indicates that the June median selling price traditionally increases from the month of May by 3.0 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: According to Fannie Mae’s June National Housing Survey: Americans’ Attitudes Toward the Housing Market Reflect Steady but Slow Recovery, “Normal” Housing Levels Still a Ways Off. Click HERE for report.

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 median sales price in June improves 10% from prior year | AL.com.

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National survey puts Huntsville at top of the list for employee engagement

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 Huntsville is best known for rockets, military and an abundance of engineers. A new survey shows it is also a place filled with some pretty happy workers.

A new survey by Quantum Workplace has Huntsville ranked as the top in the country for employee recognition. The company looked at surveys from nearly 5,000 organizations and 400,000 employees that take part in the Best Places to Work program to determine where employees were most satisfied with the recognition they receive.

That sort of recognition includes things such as pay increases, access to new learning or training, time off or praise from senior leadership.

Seventy-three percent workers polled in Huntsville said they were satisfied with the amount of recognition they receive.

The remainder of the top 10 are:

   No. 2 – Nashville, Tennessee

   Percent of Satisfied Employees: 69 percent

   No. 3 – Austin, Texas

   Percent of Satisfied Employees: 68 percent

   No. 4 - San Antonio, Texas

   Percent of Satisfied Employees: 68 percent

   No. 5 – Washington, D.C.

   Percent of Satisfied Employees: 68 percent

   No. 6 - Atlanta, Georgia

   Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67 percent

   No. 7 – Charlotte, North Carolina

   Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67 percent

   No. 8 – Orlando, Florida

   Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67 percent

   No. 9 – Raleigh, North Carolina

   Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67 percent

   No. 10 – Tampa, Florida

   Percent of Satisfied Employees: 67 percent

Overall, employees said pay raises were the best way to recognize work. That was followed by training opportunities, time flexibility, bonuses and promotions.

Managers should skip plaques or other company-branded merchandise, however. Those were rated least desirable among employees, with less than 5 percent saying those were important to them.

via Lots of happy engineers? National survey puts Huntsville at top of the list for employee engagement | AL.com.

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$20 million renovation of Bob Jones High School under way in Madison

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School is over for the year, and work on a thorough renovation of Bob Jones High School has kicked into high gear.

The renovation is the largest in the history of Bob Jones’ current campus, Madison City Schools Superintendent Dee Fowler said on Tuesday. The high school has been at its current location on Hughes Road since 1996. Prior to that, it was housed on the nearby Discovery Middle School campus.

A wing was added onto the school in the early 2000s to keep pace with Madison’s growth, and the cafeteria was expanded in 2007.

“That’s baby stuff compared to what we’re doing now,” Fowler said.

Frank Nola, the architect who designed the school’s new look, said almost no part of the campus goes untouched in the plan. First up are changes to the school’s entrance and administrative offices, which were moved to a temporary location about a month ago so the initial work could begin.

The lobby at the school’s entrance will be the only portion of the building that members of the public can enter without either keycard access or being allowed in by staff in the front office. Nola described it as a “welcome center.”

Beyond the front office, the school’s media center will be much more digitally-focused than it currently is. “Right now, it’s a very book-oriented space,” Nola said.

A large hallway, or concourse area, will provide students better access through the school and eliminate the “circulation bottlenecks” the current layout causes, Nola said. The concourse will have seating, and a coffee bar, that students can use to relax and collaborate with one another.

Fowler described the effort as a “marrying” of the library with the cafeteria.

The cafeteria will also be renovated to rid it of its “institutional” feel and make it more like a food court, where students will have more food options during lunch, Nola said.

The school’s gymnasium will be reconfigured, reducing the size of the mezzanines and making it more of a competitive-style gym. The concession area will be more user-friendly, Nola said, and the new design will reduce foot traffic on the gym floor.

The practice gym will get new floors and bleachers, and the outdoor track will be completely refinished with polymer, which will last longer than the rubber currently in place.

The school’s entire HVAC system is also being replaced, as is its lighting system. Fluorescent lights will be replaced with LED lights, which will add up to cost savings for the district.

The facility’s data network, including its wireless network, will also be substantially increased, Fowler said.

“We’re moving away from a stationary computer lab and more toward a model in which every classroom can become a computer lab,” Fowler said. “A large part of this renovation is to make sure the network supports the district’s ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy for today, and for the future.”

Also in the plan are 70-inch touchscreen panels in each classroom to aid in digital teaching.

“It’s basically like an iPad, but for the wall, and more technologically advanced,” said Bob Jones principal Robby Parker.

The renovation of the administrative offices are expected to be finished by the beginning of the new school year, Nola said. The media center and the concourse will be completed in December.

The entire project is slated to be finished by July 2015.

Nola said that the most disruptive work will be done over the summers to minimize the disturbances to students’ instructional.

Parker said classes would be affected as little as possible.

“Instructional programs will not be affected,” Parker said. “And the inconvenience is a one on a scale from one to 10 when compared to the excitement, which is a 10. We’re really excited to get the finished product.”

$20 million renovation of Bob Jones High School under way in Madison | AL.com.

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