(Huntsville, AL) – The results are in. The City of Huntsville released its annual Development Review on Wednesday. According to the review, residential development remains vibrant in Huntsville and growth is occurring in all areas of the city. The review is produced by the Department of Planning. Home sales were up 8.1 percent in 2013 and the number of single-family subdivision lots approved by city planners increased 62 percent.
The report also shows demand is increasing for multi-family housing, in keeping with national trends, and many of those units are gravitating toward the more dense urban locations of the city, such as downtown Huntsville, Jones Valley, and Highway 72 West near Cummings Research Park.
“While single family housing remains attractive, we are seeing more citizens interested in live, work, shop, and play environments such as Providence, Twickenham Square, and the new Lendon development,” said Mayor Tommy Battle.
Huntsville planner and demographer Connie Graham says the additional interest in living in more urbanized cores may also be attributed to two rising subsets of the City’s population – young adults and empty nesters. In the years since the 2000 census, the number of young adults ages 20-34 increased 27 percent and the number of seniors ages 60+ increased by 21 percent.
“Both of these age groups are active and energetic and don’t want to be tied down to home maintenance, large yards, and the expensive upkeep of a single family home,” said Graham. “They want easy access to shopping, entertainment and walkability. This also mirrors what we are seeing on a national scale.”
Urban Planner Dennis Madsen says this shift in demographics will also drive the demand for more public spaces, parks and amenities.
The City of Huntsville remains the fastest growing major City in Alabama with a 2013 population of 187,413.