December home sales in Phenix City area increase 15.4 percent from 2016

December home sales in Phenix City area increase 15.4 percent from 2016
Homes in the area were selling 31 percent faster in December than they had been a year earlier. (iStock)

Click here to view or print the entire monthly report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

Sales: According to the Phenix City Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, Phenix City area residential sales totaled 90 units during December, up 15.4 percent from the same month a year earlier. Sales for 2017 through December increased 13.1 percent from 2016. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and the Annual Report.

For all of Phenix City’s area home sales data, click here.

Forecast: December sales were seven units above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s 2017 sales forecast through December projected 1,080 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 1,138 units.

Supply: Phenix City area housing inventory in December totaled 399 units, a decrease of 29.6 percent from December 2016. Inventory levels have reduced 67 percent from the December peak in 2007. The inventory-to-sales ratio in December was 4.4 months of housing supply. Restated, at the December sales pace, it would take 4.4 months to absorb the current inventory for sale. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 6 months.

Demand: December sales decreased by 6.3 percent from the prior month. Historical data indicate December sales on average (2012-16) increase from November by 16.2 percent. The average number of days on the market until homes sold was 111 days, down 31.1 percent from the previous year and up 8.8 percent from November.

Pricing: The Phenix City median sales price in December was $138,950, a decrease of 10.2 percent from December 2016 and an increase of 2.4 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical seasonal data (2012-16) that reflect the December median sales price on average increases from November by 7.3 percent. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Industry perspective: “The economy and real estate markets continue to show they are resilient. Regardless of the economic metric — GDP, monthly jobs or home prices — the dashboard registers an ‘all-systems-go’ economy,” said KC Conway, director of research and corporate engagement at the Alabama Center for Real Estate. “GDP started the year (2017) off with its best Q1 reading in several years and followed it up with above 3 percent readings for Q2 and Q3. (The year just ended) will be the first year since the financial crisis that the economy registered an annual GDP greater than 2 percent. It was just plus 1.6 percent for 2016.

“Job growth is healthy as well. The first week of December the market received solid monthly jobs reports from both ADP (which measures private industry job formation) and the BLS (the government’s monthly jobs report produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics). ADP reported a healthy new 190,000 private-sector jobs for November and a monthly average of 210,000 jobs over the prior 12 months. The BLS reported November jobs at a higher-than-expected level of 228,000 jobs – and its year-to-date monthly average is 174,000. Unemployment remains low at 4.1 percent, and inflation was just reported on December 13th at 1.7 percent for the “core rate” (which excludes the more volatile food and energy components) and 2.2 percent overall annualized due to higher energy prices.

“The Federal Reserve is taking note of the expanding economy and followed up its prior two rate hikes earlier in 2017 with a 0.25 percent rate increase at its December 13th meeting. Housing conditions remain conducive to growth in new supply and more transaction activity. Single-family home inventories are below demand levels across the nation, Southeast and most Alabama markets. The national rate of appreciation is running above 6 percent on the heels of 5-plus percent in 2016. This is leading builders and lenders to be more receptive to adding inventory. New housing starts and permits will likely end 2017 at or above the 1.3 million units level, split 30 percent multifamily and 70 percent single-family. The outlook heading into 2018 is the best we have seen in a decade.”

Click here to download graphs from the Phenix City December Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply. 

The Phenix City Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Phenix City Board of Realtors to better serve area consumers.

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