Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Quick News of Huntsville and Alabama and its Impact on Huntsville Real Estate

It seems like there has been a lot of news of Alabama and Huntsville, so let's do a quick fly by in case you missed it.

Standard & Poor's reaffirms Huntsville's AAA Credit rating with a stable future outlook.  Moody's gave the city a Aaa with a negative outlook due to the city's indirect ties to the federal government.  The high credit rating give the chance for the city to get loans at a much lower interest rate than other cities with a worse credit rating.   City Financial Director Randy Taylor says the city will refinance 21 million dollars that went to the Madison County Jail construction.

Management Training Consulting Firm, Afterburner, will be franchised next in Huntsville according to the Atlanta based company.  This is due to its strong military presence.

Wells Fargo is reporting that if the federal government's sequestration hit, Alabama and Huntsville in particular could be one of the hardest hit due to the exposure of the aerospace industry in the defense cuts that would take place.  Other places to get hit: New Mexico, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, and on the same level as Huntsville would be St. Louis Missouri.

Good news out of Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in report they're highlighting from Univ. of Alabama's Center of Business and Economic Research.  They're also agreeing with it, although the Reserve Bank branch in Birmingham is more cautious of the latter part of the year.  Dr. Addy positive news from CBER highlights':
  • The state's economy will continue to show improvement in both output and employment during 2013. Real gross domestic product growth of 1.7 percent to 1.9 percent is forecast for 2013, about the same pace of expansion as in 2012.
  • The pace of job growth is expected to pick up modestly from the 11,300 jobs added in 2012. About 15,000 to 20,000 jobs could be added in 2013. However, the unemployment rate will remain around its current seasonally adjusted level of 7.8 percent as individuals enter or reenter the labor force.
  • Large transportation equipment-related manufacturing and service-providing employers will be the major economic drivers in 2013. These include firms in industries such as automotive manufacturing, shipbuilding, steel, tourism, healthcare, and business services. Exports should also continue to boost the Alabama economy.
  • Alabama's private contractors and government facilities engaged in aerospace and defense-related projects will remain cautious about hiring or making new capital investments until they get some clarity on federal spending plans.
  • The state's economy will continue to show improvement in both output and employment during 2013. Real gross domestic product growth of 1.7 percent to 1.9 percent is forecast for 2013, about the same pace of expansion as in 2012.
  • The pace of job growth is expected to pick up modestly from the 11,300 jobs added in 2012. About 15,000 to 20,000 jobs could be added in 2013. However, the unemployment rate will remain around its current seasonally adjusted level of 7.8 percent as individuals enter or reenter the labor force.
  • Large transportation equipment-related manufacturing and service-providing employers will be the major economic drivers in 2013. These include firms in industries such as automotive manufacturing, shipbuilding, steel, tourism, healthcare, and business services. Exports should also continue to boost the Alabama economy.
  • Alabama's private contractors and government facilities engaged in aerospace and defense-related projects will remain cautious about hiring or making new capital investments until they get some clarity on federal spending plans.
The German Consul General, Christoph Sander will be visiting Alabama this coming week to tour the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa County.  Usually these higher ups come to check on investments and see if they've paid off and made the right decision.  From this point, investment can increase depending on a positive review or be pulled if there are many problems. 

This is vast amount of economic news to come out about Huntsville and the state of Alabama.  In terms of real estate, if sequestration hits (depending on the financial situations) we may see a large or small bump in activity.  Considering that the news has been talking about sequestration for over four months now, its possible that we may only see a small bump.  However, depending on what defense contracting companies do and how deep the cuts to civilian workers hours in the defense department, it is this that will determine what the real estate outlook in short term will look like.

Overall its best to say the crystal ball looks murky and the Magic 8 ball says "ask again later".

Today's Tidbit:  The Land Trust of North Alabama is now nationally accredited through the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a program of the Land Trust Alliance.  Just over 200 Land Trust groups exist in the United States. 

Huntsville Metro Area Homes