By Melanie Patterson
North Jefferson News
A business publication has tapped a local city as having the largest increase in home values in Jefferson County since the national economic recession.
A recent article in the Birmingham Business Journal named Fultondale as the top “rebound town,” with home values up 1.3 percent in 2013 compared to 2007.
Average house prices in Fultondale’s 35068 zip code increased from $138,994 in 2007 to $140,809 in 2013, the article stated.
Of the top 10 cities featured, only one other had an upward percentage: the 35213 zip code in Mountain Brook saw home values increase by 0.7 percent. Other areas saw home values that have risen, but are still below 2007 figures.
Kelly Shaw Smith, a realtor with REMAX Northern Properties, said one reason Fultondale is seeing higher property values is that the city has plenty of room for new homes.
“Fultondale has one of the biggest areas for new construction,” Smith said. “A lot of the people I work with, probably half, want new construction. Fultondale just has the area to build, at Chapel Hills and other subdivisions.”
Fultondale’s home value increase is no surprise to Mayor Jim Lowery.
“It’s driven by the desire of people to live in Fultondale,” he said, adding that the city’s quality-of-life amenities are a big draw for families, including the new elementary school, public parks, sports amenities for children and adults. He said the city also has good public safety departments and an ideal location near Interstate 65 and the future Interstate 22.
The shopping convenience of the Promenade Shopping Center is another factor; the Birmingham Business Journal attributed “new retail” along the Interstate 65 corridor as a reason that houses in the area are more attractive to buyers.
Lowery said another draw for Fultondale is its vicinity to large employers such as UAB and the federal courthouse in Birmingham, and the Mercedes plant in Vance.
Smith agreed that “a lot of people that buy in Fultondale come out of UAB.”