The real estate market is booming in Alabama, and there may soon be a shortage in available houses.
The National Association of Realtors says Alabama has one of the highest demands for housing in the nation. At the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors, members told WAAY 31 to expect home prices to increase over the next year. One reason is that a lot of people are moving to Huntsville for work, but there isn't a lot of housing.
"We've seen Alabama make the national spotlight several times over the last year. Economic development is always a driver for our area," said Realtor, Sha Jarboe.
Realtors in Huntsville and Madison County said they've seen an increase in the number of people looking to buy homes. They told WAAY 31 about 20 people a week are searching for houses, and most are moving here because of jobs.
"For Alabama, that's not surprising, especially the Huntsville/Madison area, because we have the Arsenal, we have a lot of bio-tech companies, we have UAH," said future home-buyer, Chelsea Powers.
Realtors also said the Madison County market currently has 1,000 fewer homes available to buyers compared to April of 2018, because houses aren't being built as fast as they're being sold. The average house in Madison County stays on the market for about 60 days.
"Our national economists tell us to watch out for Alabama and that we could see up to a four percent increase as a whole in the state in our real estate market," said Jarboe.
Powers said even though prices may go up, it's worth it for her to stay in Huntsville when she finishes grad school.
"Most likely, I will stay here because of the environment. I have so many job opportunities here," said Powers.
Realtors said people may have to settle for your second or third choice homes, but to prepare for the shortage, experts have a few suggestions.
"They need to have their financing in place, they need to have a definite list of their wants and needs so that they go in to pull the trigger when it's time to buy the perfect house," said Jarboe.
Powers said potential home buyers may have to settle for something different.
"Do more like condominium style things so that people can have small isolated condos or apartments that are still more house-like," said Powers.
Realtors told WAAY 31 the 4 percent increase over the next year is just a prediction and anything can change. They also said Madison County is nowhere near reaching a critical shortage.