The downtown area in Birmingham is undergoing some exciting growth in the coming months. One of the first vendors to set up shop in the developing neighborhood? Apparently, Starbucks! A new report is sharing that RGS Properties Inc. plans to develop 36 apartments with 9,200 square feet of retail space anchored by Starbucks downtown, the first phase in a project that could end up touching three different city blocks with 55,000 square feet of retail, around 200 apartments, office space and even a grocery store.
The Starbucks will certainly be an amenity for the apartments that will bring customers from outside the building as well. Adding a grocery store will be further incentive to keep the Starbucks busy and surrounding shops that are also planned will be about to retain customers. The building is planned for a lot located on 20th Street South. As living in Birmingham continues to grow and evolve, the modernization of downtown is a huge element to the city’s success.
The metro Birmingham real estate market is seeing positive growth, according to a report utilizing the Greater Alabama MLS. For the month of March, sales for residential properties was at 1,010 units, which is up 9.4 percent from March 2013. The Birmingham area housing inventory in March was 7,125 units, an increase of 5.1 percent from March 2013 and 43.1 percent from the month of March peak in 2007. The amount of homes available for sale in Birmingham equal out to a 7.1 month supply of property. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 6-7 months during the month of March so this represents significant improvement from just three years ago when it was 11.8 months of supply in March 2011.
Sales from February 2014 to March grew almost 30 percent, which some have attributed to the extensive winter that prohibited the market from reaching its potential throughout the past few months. Moving to Birmingham? The sooner the better, as prices will continue to strengthen. The median sales price in March was $162,250, an increase of 8.9 percent from last March ($149,000). The March median price also improved 4.8 percent when compared to the prior month.
Good news for the Birmingham metro real estate market: residential sales for Birmingham increased in February by 22.8 percent over January sales. The data comes from the Alabama Center for Real Estate, who released its monthly report on residential sales in the metro area recently, noting a 0.5 percent increase over February 2013 and an 11.5 percent increase over the five-year average from 2009-2013. Moving to Birmingham has grown in popularity, according to the data from this report.
Birmingham out-performed the five-year average by nearly 3 percent. Sales totaled 780 for the month, ahead of 635 for January and 776 a year ago. So what about price? The median sales price was recorded at $154,750, which is up from January’s $141,000 and last February’s $142,950. February’s numbers represent a 9.8 percent increase in sales prices compared to January and 8.3 percent compared to last February.
Supply and demand is tightening in the area, as currently there are 4.3 percent less available properties for sale.
In a recent study by WalletHub, Birmingham ranked as #31 among the 150 most populous cities in terms of the best place to launch a business. In addition to Birmingham, 3 Alabama cities made the list. Specifically, Mobile (No. 22), Montgomery (No. 23), Huntsville (No. 25) and Birmingham (No. 31) were the only Alabama cities featured in the ranking. Now is the time to open a business in Birmingham! The criteria that was examined to select the best places to harbor a growing business? 14 metrics, including access to financing, cost of office space, corporate taxes, labor pool availability, cost of living, average annual salary, length of an average workday and education. The website also considered an area’s entrepreneurial activity, five-year survival rate, number of businesses per capita, real estate affordability, industry variety and small business friendliness.
WalletHub’s list of the top 10 best overall cities for entrepreneurs is:
1. Jacksonville, Fla.
2. Fayetteville, N.C.
3. Augusta, Ga.
4. Jackson, Miss.
5. Memphis, Tenn.
6. New Orleans
7. Tulsa, Okla.
8. Columbus, Ga.
9. Cape Coral, Fla.
10. Las Vegas
According to a report, about a dozen Birmingham-area ZIP codes show a promising market for flipping houses. The town of Moody had the highest number of flips in the area in 2013 with 58. The municipality has a population of a little under 10,000, and the median selling price for the houses was $128,333. The average purchase price on those homes was $42,750, and once flipped, the homes sold for an average of $175,420. This represents a 310 percent gross profit rate.
Trussville has about the same population, but only 36 flips took place last year. Houses were bought at an average of $182,773 and sold at an average flipped price of $197,133. Odenville’s 32 flips in 2013 netted a 118 percent profit for investors in the town, and the city of Birmingham itself saw 23 houses flipped for a 107 percent profit margin. Ragland’s six flips yielded an 875 percent margin, with flipped houses selling for $78,000 after being purchased for $8,000.
If you are thinking of flipping a home in Birmingham, these are the places you’ll likely have the most financial gain. But remember, like all gambles, nothing in home flipping is guaranteed. Good luck!
As Alabama’s real estate numbers continue to move in a positive direction, the Birmingham region has been the source of much of the state’s recent success in real estate sales. Moving to Birmingham seems to be more popular than ever, according to recent data that shows the occupancy rate in Birmingham was at 93 percent in 2013, thanks in part to the blooming development of the downtown area.
Residential real estate isn’t the only area to see high occupancy rates. For 2013, Birmingham had 91 percent occupancy in industrial space, with a $3.42 square foot average rate. For residents and for businesses, Birmingham is becoming a strong and stable location for putting down roots. Hopefully the Birmingham area will continue to grow and strengthen, and the positive trends and demand will continue throughout 2014.
A well-known restaurant in Mobile is plotting a new location in Birmingham area location this spring, according to the local business journal. Wintzell’s Oyster House has been operating in Mobile since 1938 and is looking to venture out, with reports circulating throughout Alabama papers about where exactly. Wintzell’s recently closed its Northport location and plans to reopen it in Tuscaloosa in March, and a new Montgomery-area location is coming later this year. The restaurant is known for offering “Oysters-fried, stewed or nude.” The restaurant has 11 locations in Alabama as well as one in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Birmingham commercial movers have learned that the potential new location will occupy the old Costa’s Barbeque building on Chalkville Mountain Road, though there has not been confirmation to that suggestion.
The greater Birmingham metro area has seen residential sales climb significantly over the last few months, with December 2013 showing an improvement in sales by 16.6 percent from December 2012. Throughout the year of 2013, it has been recorded that the market has grown 10.3 percent. The inventory-to-sales ratio in December was 8.2 months of housing supply, an improvement from last month (9.5). Restated, at the December sales pace, it would take 8.2 months to absorb the current inventory for sale. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 8 months during the month of December so this represents significant improvement from just three years ago when it was 14.6 months of supply in November 2010.
Birmingham real estate inventory decreased by 3.6 percent from the prior month, with December residential sales improved 12.0 percent from the prior month. The median selling price in December was $159,900, an increase of 3.2 percent from last December ($155,000). In contrast, the December median price slipped 3.7 percent when compared to the prior month. This trend is consistent with historical data (’08-’12) indicating that the December median selling price traditionally decreases from the month of November by 2.5 percent.
The Uptown area in Birmingham has announced that while there are only two restaurants currently open in the blossoming entertainment district, there are many venues preparing to open for 2014, with an announcement sharing that venues such as Texas de Brazil, Southern Kitchen and Bar, and a slew of other companies are applying for city liquor licenses. The leasing for the area is more than 90 percent occupied with about 4,000 square feet remaining for available and interested tenants. Big name dining venues such as Todd English P.U.B, Cantina Laredo, and a New Concept from the owners of The Ivy are among the tenants also poised to open up shop next year.
The entertainment district area will be filled with restaurants and bars to draw visitors to the neighborhood. The mix of tenants is designed to appeal to tourists and locals alike, which is something the developers feel confident that they have achieved. The Birmingham local movers have found the new culinary options coming to the city will certainly be worth a few visits to the Uptown destination.
Economic developers are coming from Birmingham and Montgomery with the joint idea of developing Chilton County with the planned growth of the Chilton Interstate Park located off of Interstate 65′s Exit 212. The property spans about 530 acres, which is plenty of room for a variety of development intentions including commercial, residential, retail, and developed landscaping.
The entire Chilton County and surrounding areas are all firm believers in the growth of the area and the potential that the Chilton industrial park could bring. The Birmingham commercial movers have found that the location is prime for commercial development due its central location in the state, making it ideal for distribution and manufacturing.
The property is divided into mini parcels for creating business park lots or a subdivide the land into residential properties. The location is one hour away from Alabama’s three automakers, and there is a lot of potential for civil engineering of the area to add plumbing, power, and sewer into the park. The builder brochure shows the property is listed for $3.4 million or $30,000 per acre.