BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -The Birmingham Rent Report says the average rent in the city is up 3% since this time last year--that's a bigger jump than both the state and the national average.
Professional apartment hunters say that while a lot of new apartments are going up in Birmingham, so are the prices. The bump in new supply also means more quality choices.
“We have a lot of blight, or we did, in Birmingham. A lot of these condemned buildings, a lot of the buildings that were going unused for so many years are being renovated. And that means a lot more higher priced apartments are coming on the market,” says Luker.
Developers are kicking it into high gear because experts say Birmingham is attracting a lot of short-term renters like doctors here for residency, students at UAB, and contract workers.
"A lot of those apartment projects have really gone after the luxury renter. Upscale renters, physicians at UAB, attorneys, young professionals," says Ty West.
Which begs the question, do you have to sacrifice luxury for a cheaper rent?
“A lot of wonderful people are rehabbing older places and it’s not really raising the rent a whole lot,” says Luker.
If you are looking for affordable, new and downtown, there is a project in the works—The Stonewall is an Opportunity Zone project, geared towards market rate housing.
“It’s been widely established among business leaders downtown, especially employers, you know, a lot of our employees, they would love to work and live downtown. The new apartments that have come online really haven’t gone towards those entry-level young professionals. And it’s really because of the cost of development. A lot of the apartments are pricey to build. A lot of developers, that’s where they can make their biggest returns is going after these luxury renters,” says West. West predicts we will see more of a movement now toward market rate housing.