Forecast: July sales were 6.7 percent or 2,156 units above the Alabama Center for Real Estate‘s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s 2017 sales forecast through July projected 31,844 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 34,000 units.
Supply: The statewide housing inventory during July was 27,743, a decrease of 9 percent from July 2016 and 36 percent below the July peak in 2008 (43,057 units). There were 5.2 months of housing supply in July (6 months is considered equilibrium), which represents a drop of 14.6 percent from July 2016 (6.1 months).
July inventory increased from June by 35 percent. This direction is consistent with historical data that indicate July inventory on average (2012-16) increases from June by 0.1 percent.
Demand: July residential sales fell 9 percent from June. Historical data indicate that July sales on average (2012-16) decrease from June by 2.2 percent. The average days on the market until a listing sold was 139 days, down 3 percent from last year. According to the National Association of Realtors March Existing Home Sales Report, July home sales were 2.1 percent higher than home sales during the same month in 2016. See how Alabama compares with the U.S. residential market by clicking here.
Pricing: The July median sales price increased 1.3 percent from the same period last year to $156,808. During July, 64 percent of Alabama markets experienced price gains from July 2016. This indicator can fluctuate from month to month due to sampling size of data and seasonal buying patterns. The July median sales price decreased 6.6 percent from June. This direction is consistent with historical data averages (2012-16) reflecting that the July median sales price decreases 1.2 percent from June.
Seeking balance: The metro markets in Alabama representing 70 percent of all sales continued to trend toward greater seller bargaining power with 4.6 months of supply. Outside the metro markets, Alabama’s midsized markets are reporting 5.4 months of supply, while rural areas are reporting 8.2 months of supply. There have been significant improvements from inventory peaks experienced during the recession. The supply of quality inventory in the past has affected sales, according to some boots-on-the-ground professionals.
Industry perspective: “We are keeping our full-year economic growth outlook at 2 percent as risks to our forecast are roughly balanced,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “On the upside, consumer spending growth might not moderate as much as we have accounted for in our forecast. A build-up in inventory also should be positive for growth this quarter, and nonresidential investment in structures will likely continue to improve as oil prices stabilize.”
Click here to generate more graphs from the Alabama July Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply.