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North Alabama housing market boom continues

Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 11:27 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The permanent headquarters of U.S. Space Command will be located at Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal and local housing experts are weighing in on what that means for the market, buyers and sellers.

Barry Oxley, Executive Officer of the Huntsville Madison County Builders Association told me if you invest in a home today, it’ll be worth significantly more in about five years. Right now, homes are being sold at a record level and interest rates are historically low.

“Interest rates are historically low and depending on your credit, you can get two percent and three percent interest rates,” Oxley said. “So you can buy your home cheaper today just because of interest rates. If you wait five years from now, you don’t know what interest rates are going to be or the cost of housing so it will probably cost you more money in the long run.”

According to Oxley, demand is already high and almost 4,000 new homes are being built every year in Madison County. He says builders will need to increase that by about 20 percent to meet expected demand.

Meanwhile, four major tasks are on the horizon: figuring out where growth will be, finding suitable development land, finding workers to build all these new homes and roads and being ready to adapt to any outside changes to the economy.

“If you are going to develop a piece of property that might hold 500 homes, that is going to be somewhere around 100 plus acres of land and it could take a year, a year and a half to get the roads in, the infrastructure, all the sewage and utilities and everything else,” Oxley said. “So if you see a piece of farm land or areas that have a lot of trees for example, we’ll have to go in there and start developing and depending on water flows it can take a lot of money and a lot of time. We need to plan ahead.”

It’s also important to note that labor is costing more money these days. Oxley said his team is working to meet the demands. In fact, their trade school, the North Alabama Home Building Academy (NAHA) put 100 people in the workforce last year.

NAHA is a nonprofit organization that provides hands-on short-term programming to individuals eager to enter into the residential construction industry.

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