Department of Numbers

Birmingham Alabama Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Birmingham, AL (the Birmingham-Hoover metro area) was $829 in 2016 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Birmingham was $797 in 2016. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2017 Birmingham median and average rent data will be released in September of 2018.

Data is also available below for Birmingham rental vacancy rates, Birmingham rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Birmingham.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Birmingham Alabama (2016 dollars)2

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $981 +0.93% +7.80%
Alabama Median Gross Rent $743 +0.54% +6.45%
Birmingham, AL Median Gross Rent $829 +1.10% +4.80%

Birmingham, AL Real Gross Rent Trends

At $829, real median gross rent in Birmingham was at its highest level in 2016 since the series began in 2005. At $797, real average gross rent in Birmingham was at its highest level in 2016 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent in Birmingham: Birmingham AL Median, Birmingham AL Average, Alabama Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Birmingham

Date US
Median
Alabama
Median
Birmingham, AL
Median
Birmingham, AL
Average
2016 $981 $743 $829 $797
2015 $972 $739 $820 $785
2014 $942 $723 $804 $787
2013 $910 $698 $791 $782
2012 $898 $700 $770 $746
2011 $898 $709 $777 $759
2010 $912 $712 $799 $781
2009 $916 $715 $825 $778
2008 $932 $714 $811 $791
2007 $885 $674 $763 $739
2006 $895 $672 $765 $726
2005 $869 $639 $769 $706

Birmingham Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2016 the rental vacancy rate for Birmingham Alabama was 9.32% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Birmingham Alabama

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.89% +0.04% -0.60%
Alabama 10.34% +0.62% +1.17%
Birmingham, AL 9.32% +2.23% +1.98%

Trends in Birmingham, AL Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Birmingham peaked in 2009 at 11.75%. Since then it has fallen by 2.43% to 9.32%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2015 post peak low of 7.09%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 2.23%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Birmingham AL, Alabama, US

Rental vacancy rate in Alabama

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Birmingham

Date US Alabama Birmingham, AL
2016 5.89% 10.34% 9.32%
2015 5.85% 9.72% 7.09%
2014 6.32% 10.37% 7.50%
2013 6.49% 9.17% 7.34%
2012 6.77% 7.79% 9.26%
2011 7.40% 8.30% 7.15%
2010 8.17% 9.64% 8.77%
2009 8.43% 10.33% 11.75%
2008 7.86% 9.73% 9.29%
2007 7.87% 9.25% 9.38%
2006 7.70% 8.72% 9.30%
2005 7.74% 9.21% 8.50%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Birmingham, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Birmingham, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 19.05% in 2016 according to the ACS.

Birmingham Alabama Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.43% -0.20% -0.35%
Alabama 19.27% -0.27% -0.16%
Birmingham, AL 19.05% +0.18% -0.49%

Trends in Birmingham, AL Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Birmingham household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2014 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 20.33%. Since then it has fallen by 1.28% to 19.05%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Birmingham AL, Alabama, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Birmingham Alabama

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Birmingham Alabama

Date US Alabama Birmingham, AL
2016 20.43% 19.27% 19.05%
2015 20.63% 19.54% 18.87%
2014 20.89% 20.09% 20.33%
2013 20.78% 19.44% 19.54%
2012 20.65% 19.89% 19.45%
2011 20.70% 19.91% 19.80%
2010 20.50% 19.78% 20.33%
2009 20.12% 19.47% 20.27%
2008 19.00% 17.75% 17.45%
2007 18.66% 17.78% 17.29%
2006 18.90% 17.73% 17.57%
2005 18.89% 17.41% 17.64%

Renter Fraction in Birmingham Alabama

You can calculate the renter fraction in Birmingham in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Birmingham as a fraction of total Birmingham households. In 2016 30.57% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Birmingham Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.88% -0.09% +0.38%
Alabama 31.55% -0.56% -0.41%
Birmingham, AL 30.57% -0.50% -0.55%

Trends in the Birmingham, AL Renter Fraction

The Birmingham household renter fraction peaked in in 2014 at 32.50% and is now 1.93% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Birmingham AL, Alabama, US

Fraction of renters in Birmingham

History of Birmingham Renter Fraction

Date US Alabama Birmingham, AL
2016 36.88% 31.55% 30.57%
2015 36.97% 32.11% 31.07%
2014 36.90% 32.32% 32.50%
2013 36.50% 31.96% 31.12%
2012 36.09% 31.25% 30.57%
2011 35.42% 30.11% 29.98%
2010 34.65% 29.88% 29.30%
2009 34.13% 30.42% 29.53%
2008 33.36% 29.01% 28.08%
2007 32.80% 29.10% 27.82%
2006 32.73% 28.22% 26.64%
2005 33.10% 29.48% 28.45%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.