Huntsville’s rising population could cause increased rental prices for longtime residents

What was once a hotbed for home-for-sale has now cooled due to an increase in interest rates set by the Federal Reserve.
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 7:08 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The tide is turning for buyers in the Huntsville housing market. Now, Huntsville renters may face rate increases as people continue to move to the number one city to live in America.

According to the last quarterly report from the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors, home sales are still strong, but slowing. Inflation and high-interest rates are partially to blame and both are keeping many potential home buyers in rentals.

Jordan Steelman, co-creator of Love Huntsville, says affordable housing is the big issue for these renters. He believes affordability is exacerbated by the number of new luxury apartments being built in the Rocket City.

“Huntsville, while it is still affordable on a national scale, it is very unaffordable for folks who currently live here who aren’t making engineer salaries, Doctor salaries, lawyer salaries, those kinds of things.”

He says his organization has seen people subjected to rent increases that have priced them out of homes.

These rent increases across the city are a growing concern for Mary Ellen Judah with Neighborhood Concepts.

“I think we need to look at more mixed-income developments. That really can play a clear critical role if you set aside a certain number of units for working families.”

Judah says she’s seen other cities implement rent control mandates to try to keep rent prices in check. However, she says for a city of Huntsville’s size, it would do more harm than good.

“There are other cities that have tried, you know, some of these mandates that require developers to set aside a certain amount of units or can’t raise your rents over a certain amount,” she said. “And I think what those really did those measures can foster disinvestment in the community.”

I reached out to the city of Huntsville about affordable housing and a spokesperson tells me Community Development has numerous programs to assist with housing in the city.