HUNTSVILLE, AL— Alabama’s largest city Huntsville, has been named the best place to live in America, take the prize from Boulder, Colorado for the first time in two years. Huntsville’s high quality of life, affordability and cheap property appealed to Americans looking to put down roots amid the current ski-high housing costs, according to U.S. News & World Report‘s ranking system.
Huntsville is also home to the Redstone Arsenal. The Redstone Arsenal is a U.S. Army installation located in Alabama, close to Huntsville and located in a wetland area serviced by the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. Redstone Arsenal is listed as a census-designated place in Madison County, Alabama and is also named as a part of the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. Redstone Arsenal serves as the host for a variety of tenant commands and also the Marshall Space Flight Center operated by NASA.
Every year U.S. News ranks 150 of the country’s metropolitan area, relying five indexes: job market, housing affordability, quality of life, desirability and net migration, which measures the trend of people moving to or away from a metro area.
The former agricultural town blasted off in the 1960s after NASA locating the Marshall Space Flight center, which developed the Saturn V rocket that propelled the Apollo astronauts to the moon, in the Southern city.
Huntsville scored high in housing and job market on the U.S. News & World Report list of best cities to live.
Add to that the Redstone Arsenal, the U.S. Army’s chemical weapons plant, the FBI’s operational support headquarters and the Army’s Aviation and Missile Command, which all give the area a steady economic base.
There’s also a growing biotech industry. Salaries from these jobs tend to be higher than the national average.
Huntsville scored high in housing and job market, no wonder with all those stable government jobs, but faltered in desirability.
‘Multiple years of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic uncertainty have changed many people’s priorities when they consider a major move,’ U.S. News real estate editor Devon Thorsby said. ‘Work-from-home options have become more permanent, and there’s an even greater focus on an individual’s ability to enjoy where they live, rather than where a job will necessarily take them.’
Housing affordability is top of mind for many U.S. residents. The rising cost of homes in the United States, inflation from the snarls in the supply chain and the work-from-home trend that came out of the pandemic.
People living in small, cramped apartments in expensive coastal cities like
All these factors made finding a bargain more important than picking a home in the prime location.
The expensive urban areas lost out to Southern and Western city because people were looking for a cheaper lifestyle and better quality of life, Thorsby said.
‘Much of the shakeup we see at the top of this year’s ranking is a result of changing preferences,’ Thorsby said. ‘People moving across the country today are putting more emphasis on affordability and quality of life than on the job market, which in many ways takes a back seat as remote work options have become more standard.’
The price of homes jumped 19.7 percent in February alone, S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index.
Source: Daily Mail and US News.