Sales: According to the North Alabama Multiple Listing Service, Athens/Limestone County residential sales totaled 121 units during November, an increase of 39 percent or 34 units above the same month in 2015. Year-to-date home sales through November were up 19.4 percent over the same period in 2015. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all Athens/Limestone County area housing data, click here.
Forecast: November sales were 47 percent or 39 units above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through November projected 948 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 1,179 units, a favorable difference of 34 percent.
Supply: Athens/Limestone County housing inventory totaled 686 units, a decrease of 4.2 percent from November 2015. New-home inventory is up by 36 units year-over-year, while existing homes dipped by 58 units. November inventory was 3.8 percent below the prior month. This direction contrasts with historical data indicating that November inventory on average (2011-15) increases from October by 5.2 percent.
The inventory-to-sales ratio in November was 5.7 months of housing supply. Restated, at the November sales pace, it would take 5.7 months to absorb the current inventory for sale. This is a favorable decrease of 31 percent from 8.2 months of supply in November 2015. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) during November is considered to be approximately 6 months.
Demand: November residential sales were 9 percent above the prior month. This direction contrasts with historical data associated with November sales, which indicate a typical decrease of 3.4 percent from October. Existing single-family home sales accounted for 65 percent of total sales (down from 77 percent in November 2015), and new home sales accounted for 33 percent (up from 22 percent).
Pricing: The Athens/Limestone County area median sales price in November was $172,500, an increase of 28 percent from the previous November. It was a 5.7 percent decrease from October. This direction is consistent with historical data (2011-15) reflecting that the November median sales price on average decreases from October by 6.4 percent. Pricing can fluctuate from month to month as the sample size of data (closed transactions) is subject to seasonal buying patterns. ACRE recommends consulting a local real estate professional.
Industry perspective: “The HPSI (home purchase sentiment index) fell in October for the third straight month from its record high in July, reaching the lowest level since March. Recent erosion in sentiment likely reflects, in part, enhanced uncertainty facing consumers today,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Since July, more consumers, on net, have steadily expected mortgage rates to rise and home price appreciation to moderate. Furthermore, consumers’ perception of their income over the past year deteriorated sharply in October to the worst showing since early 2013, weighing on the index. However, this component of the HPSI is volatile from month to month, and the firming trend in wage gains from the October jobs report, if sustained, may foreshadow an improving view in the near future.”
Click here to generate more graphs from the Athens/Limestone November Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply.
The Athens/Limestone County Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Athens/Limestone County Association of Realtors to better serve North Alabama consumers.