Brac Real Estate | BRAC Huntsville | Effects of BRAC on north alabama

Economic factors positively impact housing sales in Huntsville

Real estate market in Huntsville
The housing market may not be doing well nationally, but here in the Valley -- the numbers are steady if not rising.

Realtors say the Huntsville-Madison county area is favored more than the rest of the country.

Between Brac and low interest rates, those looking to buy can't find a better deal. It's been named the most affortable city in Alabama -- with birmingham coming in a close second.

It's an ever-evolving market that fluctuates year to year. Across the nation -- the housing market "bubble" -- so to speak -- has popped. But in Madison County, it's still a float.

"We've had a best market the last 3 or 4 years," says Carey Rosenblum with Rosenblum Realty Incorporated.

Rosenblum says Huntsville is favored more than the rest of the country. And you can see why -- drive up Highway 231/431 north -- and odds are you'll pass former farmland that's been converted into neighborhoods. It's a growing trend for those wanting "bang for the buck".

"They need the size, they need the price condensed for a fair value, there are some buildings in the area that are providing that, energy efficient homes, and spacious homes, and not heavy on the pocket book."

The average home in Madison County costs anywhere from 170 to 200-thousand. It's a steal for many looking to buy.

However, the price isn't the only reason for a booming market. Rosemblum credits low interest rates as major player.

"When you can borrow money long term at 6 to 6.5 percent that's very good and it's stayed in that area for the last few years."

Along with Huntsville's booming economy the BRAC Huntsville movement is the number one reason why Huntsville has maintained it's affortablility:

"Anytime you have people moving to your area that can find a job readily it makes good sense that they're going to plant roots down or buy a home or rent a home."

BRAC to bring high paying jobs to the Valley
By Hollice Smith Joe Rich,

Huntsville lawyer and chairman of the Tennessee Valley brac Committee, told Scottsboro Rotarians at the Western Sizzlin' Tuesday not to worry because funding for the big transfer program at Redstone Arsenal will definitely be available.

There had been a little doubt earlier that the project might be delayed due to a possible shortage of funds, but Ritch said the funds are there and the transfers to Redstone Arsenal through the brac (Base Realignment and Closure) is coming about.

Of the 5,000 jobs being transferred from other bases to Redstone, Ritch said some will begin moving late in 2007, some in 2008, the vast majority will be transferring from 2009-11.

Ritch said one of the reasons there hasn't been an influx of people in the area house-hunting is that most of them in the North Virginia area have a couple of years to make up their minds whether they want to transfer to this area or try and get another job in that area where there seems to be a lot of jobs available.

Ritch said Redstone Arsenal, with 32,000 employees on the base, is the largest industry in Alabama. There will be an additional 5,000 jobs being transferred to the Arsenal along with an equal number of support jobs.

The average salary of those transferring to Redstone is in the $100,000 a year range, Ritch stated. This will be 10,000 high paying jobs for the North Alabama and Southern Tennessee areas, he stated.

Ritch, who was introduced by Tommy Harding, said he drove from Redstone Arsenal to Scottsboro in 45 minutes and that is not a long commute for most of those people who will be transferring.

Ritch said he does not know what percentage of the the people will move with their jobs being transferred, but if they don't move, those jobs will be filled by someone else.

The valley chairman commented that several defense companies in the Huntsville area are selling at a premium as a result of the brac project.

Ritch presented a framed commemorative coin to Rick Roden, president/CEO of the Greater Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, in appreciation of his help with the Tennessee Valley brac Committee. Roden is a member of the Tennessee Valley brac Committee and is working diligently in a recruiting effort to get many of the people transferring to the area to live in Jackson County.

Regional effects of changes at Ft. Knox discussed during GLI breakfast Business First of Louisville
 by Ben Adkins Business First Staff Writer 

This During a breakfast event hosted by Greater Louisville Inc. this morning, top-ranking Fort Knox military officials emphasized that the region must plan to accommodate an influx of several thousand new residents expected to relocate to the region over the next four years.

Some 4,000 military and civilian jobs will be added at Fort Knox through 2011 as a result of Base Realignment and Closure initiatives signed into law in 2005.

Workers filling those positions are expected to bring an average of 2.5 family members each, creating an economic ripple effect through several counties, the officials said.

Many of the new jobs will be based at the Human Resources Center for Excellence, for which a groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Nov. 27.

In June, Huntsville, Ala.-based Turner Universal Construction Co. was awarded a $183 million contract for the nearly 1 million-square-foot building.

"That's a significant facility," said Maj. Gen. Robert M. Williams, Commanding General at Fort Knox.

Fort Knox garrison commander Col. Mark Needham said that the base also plans to work with local contractors.

With some of Fort Knox's old residential facilities being demolished and new ones to be erected, Needham said the goal is to hire local contractors for 85 percent of the residential construction, which will cost about $200 million, or just under a fourth of the $856 million total construction costs.

Finding qualified candidates to fill the added positions also is a concern, Needham said.

About two-thirds of the workers will come from U.S. Army Human Resources Command locations in Indianapolis, St. Louis and Alexandria, Va., leaving a shortfall of about 1,400 employees, he said.

Needham said they will look to several sources to fill the positions, including working with universities and colleges to attract younger applicants. The average age of human resources command employees is 53 years, he said.

The potential impact on area schools and needed road improvements to facilitate increased traffic also were discussed during the breakfast.

Retired Maj. Gen. John Tindall, who co-chair's the governor's BRAC task force, said Fort Knox needs the support of the Louisville community to make the transition a success.

"The spillover will touch all segments of our society," he said.

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