Wall Street Journal ranks Huntsville #15 for strong economy with affordable housing

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Huntsville ranked among the cities with the strongest economies and lowest cost of living by the Wall Street Journal. (Nathan Watson / Hville Blast)

Well, we all know that national media has Huntsville ranked as the country’s best place to live, as we reported in the spring, but another national publication has us included in a list of low-cost cities with the best economies.

The Wall Street Journal recently published this list, and has Huntsville ranked no. 15.

Strong housing + appealing lifestyle amenities

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Huntsville’s amenities, coupled with its affordable housing market, helped the city’s ranking. (Jacob Blankenship / Hville Blast)

The Wall Street Journal noted in their study that “skyrocketing prices, declining affordability and economic uncertainty have pushed some buyers out of the housing market,” and found the top metro areas for home buyers seeking an appreciating housing market, a strong local economy and appealing lifestyle amenities.

Huntsville was the only Alabama city to make the top 20, but nearby Decatur showed up at no. 43. Dothan came in at no. 157, Daphne was ranked no. 179, Auburn was no. 186 and Mobile snuck into the top 200 at no. 199.

Here is the WSJ’s top 20:

  1. Elkhart-Goshen, Ind.
  2. Burlington, N.C.
  3. Johnson City, Tenn.
  4. Ft. Wayne, Ind.
  5. Billings, Mont.
  6. Raleigh, N.C.
  7. Rapid City, S.D.
  8. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.
  9. Topeka, Kan.
  10. Visalia-Porterville, Calif.
  11. Ft. Collins, Colo.
  12. Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.
  13. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.
  14. Boulder, Colo.
  15. Huntsville, Ala.
  16. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.
  17. Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna, Calif.
  18. Jefferson City, Mo.
  19. Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, Ky.
  20. Colorado Springs, Colo.

Worsening housing markets make more people consider relocating

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Huntsville has a strong yet affordable real estate market, and a low unemployment rate. (Jacob Blankenship / Hville Blast)

Real-estate brokerage Redfin Corp. said 32.6 percent of shoppers on its platform searched primarily for homes outside their metro area in the second quarter, meaning people are looking to relocate to more affordable cities, but those cities need to also have the amenities to go along with their costs of living.

So why not Huntsville? In 2021, the Rocket City led the nation in economic growth, according to Stessa, a leading real estate technology service provider. Stessa referenced Huntsville’s low unemployment rate, strong employment growth and steady home sales and building permits as factors in the city’s lofty ranking.

Huntsville’s population grew more than 2 percent from 2019 to 2020, one of the highest growth rates in the country, fueled by companies adding new jobs and opportunities to the local community.

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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