Housing Needs and Trends in Central Appalachia and Appalachian Alabama

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Virginia Center for Housing Research

Appalachia is a region with significant contrasts. The evolution of the economic landscape over the last century has led each county in the region to face and adapt to unique circumstances. Although each county is unique, general housing trends in the region can be identified as well as outlier counties that do not conform to these trends. Many of the relevant housing trends in the region are quantifiable using US Census data. VCHR has compiled this data for a wide range of housing topics, including housing stock, demand, and affordability. Despite limitations such as reduced reliability in low-population counties, VCHR has conducted a relatively complete survey of issues relating to housing demand and preferences has been conducted. The analysis performed by VCHR uses both quantitative and geospatial methods to identify housing trends across the region; however, the trend may be stronger, weaker, or non-existent for some topics. VCHR indicates the significance of these trends where possible and maintains an unbiased presentation of the findings. This report presents each topic in the context of other trends to offer a more complete understanding of the figures produced in the analysis. Though comprehensive, the data and resulting analysis have raised additional questions. Where the analysis cannot conclusively explain a trend, this report can guide the reader toward further areas of research and consideration. Ultimately, VCHR’s findings present an updated assessment of housing trends in Central Appalachia and Appalachian Alabama and their significance.