Birmingham. Any revitalization projects?

19 Replies

I am interested in investing in the Birmingham area and would like to know if there are any revitalization projects happening in or around the city. Any big companies planning to move in? Any new construction going on? Any trendy little neighborhoods on the rise?

What's currently happening in Birmingham?

@Joey Noel there's tons of revitalization going on in Birmingham. New sports complexes, breweries and restaurants popping up everywhere, a whole new entertainment district (uptown)

http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/print-editio...

parks and much more! I moved away to Texas 5 years ago and just moved back and hardly recognize downtown. There are many good neighborhoods on the rise - just depends on what you're looking for. If you're into urban living; Highland Park, Avondale, Midtown, Downtown and Uptown are all very attractive options.

Here's an article from Rent.com about Birmingham:

Birmingham One of the Best

As initially reported by rent.com

A report from Rent.com was released naming Birmingham as one of the top 10 cities in the nation for renters. The website analyzed Birmingham real estate and looked at key statistics related to the rental market to determine that the Magic City is the ninth best city for renters in the nation. Birmingham clocked in at 10.8 percent for its vacancy rate and had a median rent of $896 against a median household income of $31,467. Of course, these stats are for the Birmingham rental market as a whole. It’s not clear if they include only apartments, or include apartments, single family homes, and other rental types. We’ve noticed that the single family home market is quite healthy for owners. 

CNN Money reports: Years of revitalization efforts have seen a huge impact. Turning old warehouses into office builds and opening new parks, Birmingham is seeing a huge payoff. In the last 12 months, homes prices climbed 6%. This year, forecasters are looking for a 7.8% increase in home prices.

Do some research, man. Birmingham is where it's at!

Originally posted by @Jarrod Cook :

@Joey Noel there's tons of revitalization going on in Birmingham. New sports complexes, breweries and restaurants popping up everywhere, a whole new entertainment district (uptown)

Here's an article from Rent.com about Birmingham:

Birmingham One of the Best

As initially reported by rent.com

A report from Rent.com was released naming Birmingham as one of the top 10 cities in the nation for renters. The website analyzed Birmingham real estate and looked at key statistics related to the rental market to determine that the Magic City is the ninth best city for renters in the nation. Birmingham clocked in at 10.8 percent for its vacancy rate and had a median rent of $896 against a median household income of $31,467.

Do some research, man. Birmingham is where it's at!

With all due respect, this is backwards thinking. I read the article also. A market that's good for renters is NOT a market that is good for investors. One of the reasons they say it's good for renters is because of the high 10.8% vacancy rate. The national average vacancy rate is just under 8%. Rent .com rates Birmingham as good for renters because they're are a lot of rentals available which does not favor investors. Read the article again.  The $31,467 median income is another problem with Birmingham. That's over 30% below the national average of about $45,000. With 30% living below the poverty level (twice the national rate and a low gross metropolitan product, it's had to get excited about Birmingham. There are too many better markets.


@Mike D'Arrigo

In Birmingham 50% of residents lease compared to around 35% in other markets. Explain how this is not good for investors? Birmingham is one of the hottest markets for buy and hold investors right now.

jc

Here are some other fun facts about Birmingham... @Mike D'Arrigo , I guess these are some more reasons to not get excited about Birmingham? 

-The city is investing over $1 billion to revitalize the downtown area into a 24 hour mixed use entertainment district.

-The city is home to “the Oscars of dining” winner from James Beard Foundation

(Birmingham Visitor’s Center)

-3rd fastest growing real estate market in the nation (CNN Money)

-3rd best cash flow markets in the United States (Nuwire Investor study)

-2nd in the nation for building personal net worth, based on local salary rates,

living expenses, and unemployment rates (Salary.com)

-48th in population among the nation’s top 300 metropolitan areas (City of

Birmingham Website)

-Largest city in the state of Alabama

-Consistently rated as one of America’s best

places to work and earn a living based on the area’s competitive salary rates and relatively low living expenses (Under30ceo.com)

-Jefferson County IB School is in top 25 “America’s Best High Schools” (Newsweek 2011)

-One of the largest banking centers in the U.S (Wikipedia)

-4.6% Unemployment Rate (Compared with 5.6% National Average)

GO BIRMINGHAM!!

Well said Jarrod! 

Lisa Nilsson

@Jarrod Cook You can find those kinds of accolades about almost every market. I'm not trying to slam Birmingham. I'm sure it's a fine city, but I was addressing your citing of the Rent.com study showing it as the 9th best city for renters. I don't want what is best for renters. I want what is best for investors. Low rents, high vacancies low rental appreciation is what makes a market good for renters. In contrast, Renters Insurance rated Indianapolis as the 2nd most landlord friendly market in the nation which from their point of view is renter unfriendly. Forbes just reported on a study showing Kansas City as having the 4th highest rental appreciation in nation at 8.8% per year. These are numbers that favor landlords, not renters. In spite of all the glowing things you shared, it doesn't change the fact that median income is 30% below the national average and the poverty rate is twice the national average. These are real numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau. Numbers like that don't bode well for strong rents and potential for rental increases. I don't mean to offend you but the numbers are what they are and I felt it necessary to point out the fallacy of being the best city for renters as somehow being good for investors. About a year ago, people were touting the same thing about Atlanta and it didn't make sense there either.

Originally posted by @Jarrod Cook :

Here are some other fun facts about Birmingham... @Mike D'Arrigo , I guess these are some more reasons to not get excited about Birmingham? 

-4.6% Unemployment Rate (Compared with 5.6% National Average)

Jarrod, you need to familiarize yourself with theBureau of Labor Statistics unemployment reports. The published unemployment rate is the U2 report which is what we all see. It does not show people who have given up looking for work, people who's unemployment has run out, people who are marginally employed and those who are only working part time but want to work full time. The U6 report shows those people and the true national unemployment rate when you count them is over 11%. These are official government numbers. You can find them on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.The 4.6% rate that you cite is from the U2 report. Birmingham has a high number of people that have fallen off the radar because of the way that unemployment is reported. My question is how can a city with a 30% poverty rate have an unemployment rate below that of Dallas Tx which has the best economy in the nation? Think about that. The answer is that it doesn't. You need to look beneath the numbers which is what I do and have done so for many markets.

Originally posted by @Jarrod Cook :

@Mike D'Arrigo

In Birmingham 50% of residents lease compared to around 35% in other markets. Explain how this is not good for investors? Birmingham is one of the hottest markets for buy and hold investors right now.

OK, here's my explanation. Yes, of course. When you have 30% living below the poverty line, they HAVE to lease. Not everyone that leases is a good tenant however. When they can't afford their rent because the median income is only $31,000 it doesn't make it a good rental market just because there's a bunch of people renting out of absolute necessity. There are plenty of other markets where 45% of the population rents and the median income is $45K or more. Indianapolis and Kansas City are two of them but there are others.

Let's look at an example here. The population of city Birmingham is 212K. That means that there are 106K renters. Now take a city like Indianapolis with a population of 840K and 45% rental rate. That means you have 378K renters which is more than 106K. Now, on top of having a much larger renter pool, you have a renter pool with a median income 30% higher than in Birmingham. If you can show me how Birmingham is more favorable with numbers like this, I'm all ears. But just so you know, I carefully considered Birmingham for one of our turn key markets and came to the easy conclusion that the economic and demographic fundamentals didn't support it.

Birmingham's median family income is just slightly below average, but it was also just ranked as Forbes' Most Affordable City in America.  That article stated the median family income of Birmingham at $61,000 as compared to a national average of $63,900. http://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2015/03/12...

I do agree with Mike though that the published unemployment numbers do not account for the things he mentioned like people who have given up looking for work, etc.

I may be biased, but I do think Birmingham has a lot of great things happening right now!

@Mike D'Arrigo

I don't have to look beyond the numbers, I live and breath Birmingham on a daily basis, and while doing so, manage hundreds of successful investments for clients all over the country. Funny you should mention Dallas because that's where I came from - my investors there are moving money here at a high rate. Maybe you should by pass your journals and try reality. While other prior profitable markets are drying up, Birmingham is thriving. I'll listen to your schooling on other markets but I laugh when you try to educate on where I pound the pavements daily. 

Originally posted by @Jarrod Cook :

Here are some other fun facts about Birmingham... @Mike D'Arrigo , I guess these are

Jarrod,

Just one more comment and then I'll bow out of this conversation. I don't want to hijack the thread. As impressive as your list is, "fun facts" are not the basis for making investment decisions. They're great for marketing and yes, I use them on my website myself but it's the economic and demographic  fundamentals that count which I dig in to deeply on many markets so I'm not just picking on Birmingham.

@Mike D'Arrigo

  one thing I know about B ham is there is one of the best brew pubs I have ever been to.. its on site brewery is modled after the best German ones... the beer is awesome.

since I do business in Indy and KC and B ham.. I like them all... it really boils down to the team as we know in each of these markets ....

There are great teams in each of the aforementioned city.. I have been investing in B ham since 2003 and quite like it... I like the rolling terrain.. and of course nothing finer than southern hospitality and manners...

I like Indy I like the down town what they have done there..

And KC has treated me well.

All the stat's facts and figures of all these markets are great.. and you can compare one to the another.. but again it comes down to the HUMAN capital in each city and I have found some very good capital in each of these markets

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@Jay Hinrichs well said Jay.

I appreciate everyone's strong opinions on "who's got the better market". But I have to agree with Jay that there are many great markets out there and it depends on the investor ect. For instance one of the reasons I like Birmingham is that it would diversify my portfolio geographically. I own 5 properties in Indianapolis and If I buy in Kanas City then my entire portfolio will be in the Midwest. All numbers aside I like the idea of spreading my investments geographically. It just makes sense to me.

@Jarrod Cook I think the forum is most informative and useful when you keep it to factual responses and not making it personal. I simply pointed out that being rated the 9th best market for renters by Rent.com is favorable to renters NOT to investors, There is no denying that.  So you either didn't understand the study or you were putting a spin on it.  You would certainly know the market being on the ground there, but when you spin something that obviously doesn't favor the investor, then it calls your objectivity in to question. I don't have an ax to grind or a horse in the race. Unlike you, I am not partial to a specific market. If I truly felt Birmingham was a strong market, I would be operating there. In fact, I considered it. When I told you to familiarize yourself with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, I wasn't criticizing you personally. There probably aren't a lot of people that know the difference between the U2 and U6 reports but you need to understand that when you cite an unrealistic 4.6% unemployment rate, you need to understand why it is not reality. You made a point that you lived in Dallas but you didn't explain how Birmingham could have a lower unemployment rate than Dallas which has the best economy in the nation. The reason is that Birmingham has a high number of people that are no longer counted as unemployed under the U2 reporting method. Have you ever wondered why the unemployment rate can drop drastically one month when the number of new jobs created don't support it? Well now you know how. My point was that you can't always accept data at face value. You need to understand what's behind the numbers.

good thread, facts vs feet. I'm invested in both Bham and Indy and Charlotte. Reminds me of the saying, "opportunity is no-where OR opportunity is now-here, same spelling , just depends on how you look at it. "

704-962-0979

Any chance someone can answer my question that I Orignally posted?  

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