Birmingham Metro

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About the Community of Birmingham

With a population of 1,128,047 Birmingham Alabama is the largest city in Alabama, with ¼ of the state’s population living in the metropolitan area.  It is experiencing a dramatic renaissance that has brought revitalization to the downtown, massive new manufacturing plants, and a great deal of new jobs.   The “Magic City” has a diverse and stable economy, and a broad array of cultural attractions, along with a rich history.  Forbes Magazine gushes, “After years of investing in revitalization efforts — turning old warehouses into offices, opening new parks, building a minor league baseball stadium — Birmingham is finally seeing the big payoff!”  Several factors make Birmingham, Alabama a strong real estate investment market.

Birmingham Economy

Alabama is ranked #2 strongest Auto Industry in the United States, and “Forbes” magazine ranks Birmingham 1 of 15 “Up and Coming Downtown’s”, and as “#12 Most Affordable City.”   Another magazine, “Business Insider” ranks Birmingham “#12 Best City for job seekers in 2014” with 19% of employers looking to hire.  More than 50% of Fortune 500 Companies have a presence in Birmingham, and two are headquartered here, Regions Financial Corporation (312) and Graybar Electrics (470).  An additional eight Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Birmingham.  “Network World” calls Birmingham, “The Silicon Valley of the Southeast.”

Birmingham is the 9th largest banking center in the United States, headquarters for four major insurance companies, a telecommunications hub for AT&T, home to three top international construction and engineering firms, and two major soft-drink bottlers.  Labeled the “Pittsburgh of the South” manufacturing in Birmingham employs 43,900, and it is home to three of the nation’s seven iron pipe manufacturers.

In the last two years, Birmingham unemployment dropped to 6% the sixth best in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.  Birmingham’s GDP growth of 3.8% outpaced the US average of 2.5% GDP, and the city consistently ranks as one of America’s best places to work and earn a living based on competitive salary rates and low living expenses.

Birmingham Education

Within a 50 mile radius of downtown Birmingham are two dozen universities, colleges and technical schools with a combined enrollment of more than 100,000 students. The University of Alabama Birmingham has 18,000 students, and enjoys elite rankings as a medical school, while employing 23,000 people.

Housing in Birmingham

With a historic economic collapse in 2008 United States housing prices have allowed investors to get fabulous returns, allowing for tremendous profits for buy and hold cash flow investors and great opportunities to sell renovated homes to owner occupants at high profit margins.  The average foreclosure price in Birmingham, Alabama is $51,500, nearly half the national average of $113,000.  Cash flow opportunities are in the 10% – 18% ROI (Return on Investment) range, and for the price of an average foreclosure, the Rich Life Real Estate team provides renovated properties with tenants in place.  There is strong demand for rental property in Birmingham with 41.6% of the properties serving as rentals, and vacancy rates at their lowest point since 1997. Foreclosures are down 55% from last year, and prices went up 4.84% last quarter, “CNN Money” rates Birmingham #8 hottest housing market in the U.S. for 2014.

Birmingham History

Birmingham was founded in 1871, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction Period, and started as a heavy industrial, railroad and transportation center focused on mining, the iron and steel industries.   The cities growth was fueled city by cheap, non-unionized, white and African-American labor from rural Alabama who sought employment in the city’s steel mills and blast furnaces, providing a competitive advantage over industrial cities in the Midwest and Northeast.

Until the 1960s, Birmingham was a primary industrial center of the South. The rapid pace of growth from 1881 to 1920 earned its nicknames The Magic City and The Pittsburgh of the South.  Birmingham was a major  component of the railroading industry, rails and railroad cars were both manufactured here.  Today, Birmingham ranks as one of the most important business centers in the Southeastern United States and is one of the largest banking centers in the United States.

Birmingham played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement in1963 when Martin Luther King and local Birmingham leaders launched “Project C” (for “Confrontation”), a massive assault on the Jim Crow system that caused great inequality.  Daily “sit-ins” and mass marches were higly successful, leading not only to desegregation of public accommodations in Birmingham but also the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While in jail for peacefully protesting, Dr. King wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, a defining treatise in the cause against segregation.

Culture in Birmingham

As the cultural and entertainment capital of Alabama, Birmingham has numerous art galleries in the area including the Birmingham Museum of Art, the largest art museum in the Southeast. Downtown Birmingham is also home to the state’s major ballet, opera, and symphony orchestra companies such the Alabama Ballet,[40] Alabama Symphony OrchestraBirmingham Ballet, Birmingham Concert Chorale, and Opera Birmingham.  Along with Ruffner Mountain Park and the proposed Red Mountain Park Birmingham would rank first in the United States for Green Space per resident.