Marshall County January home sales up 12 percent over last year

Marshall County January home sales up 12 percent over last year
The Marshall County median home sales price in January was $113,900, an increase of 3.5 percent from January 2017. (Brittany Faush / Alabama NewsCenter)

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

Sales: According to the North Alabama Multiple Listing Service, January home sales in Marshall County totaled 55 units, representing a 12.2 percent increase from the same month last year. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and the Annual Report.

Click here to check out all Marshall County housing data.

Forecast: January sales were four units or 7.9 percent above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 51 sales for the month, while there were 55 actual sales. ACRE forecasts 834 transactions in Marshall County during 2018; there were 872 actual residential sales in the area during 2017.

Supply: Marshall County housing inventory totaled 425 units in January, a decrease of 43.8 percent from January 2017’s total of 756 listings. Inventory in the area increased 0.5 percent from the prior month. Historical data indicate that January inventory on average (2013-2017) decreases from the month of December by 2 percent.

Demand: January home sales in Marshall County decreased 15.4 percent from the previous month’s total of 65 transactions. Historical data indicate that January residential sales on average (2013-2017) decrease 16.7 percent from December. Homes selling in the area during January averaged 71 days on the market, a decrease of 40.3 percent from the same month last year. The five-year days-on-market average for Marshall County during January is 123 days.

Seeking balance: The inventory for sale divided by the current monthly sales volume equals the number of months of housing supply. The market is considered to be in balance at approximately 6 months of supply. Marshall County had 7.7 months of housing supply during January, down from 10.7 months of housing supply during the same month last year. Restated, at the January sales pace, it would take 7.7 months to absorb the current inventory for sale.

Pricing: The Marshall County median sales price in January was $113,900, an increase of 3.5 percent from January 2017. The January median sales price was 5.9 percent below the December median sales price. Historical data indicate that January median sales prices on average (2013-17) decrease 5.5 percent from December. Pricing can fluctuate from month to month as the sample size of data is subject to seasonal buying patterns. ACRE recommends contacting a local real estate professional for additional market pricing information.

Industry perspective: The recent headlines in the real estate world have revolved around rising interest rates. As of Jan. 31, the interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.38 percent. This is up from 4.18 percent on Jan. 10 and up from 4.08 percent on Dec. 6, 2017. The stock market has rebounded somewhat from its large selloff on Friday, Feb. 2, and Monday, Feb. 5, as investors adjust from an accommodating monetary policy to one with some inflation and higher interest rates. The recent market decline is a signal of a return to normalcy and higher debt costs. Rising interest rates, however, do not cause housing activity to come to a halt, in the same way that rising rates do not cause businesses to go into hibernation. In the spring of 2006, the Federal Reserve stopped raising interest rates after raising rates 16 times over a three-year period. The economy was performing well during this time (2004-2005) of rising interest rates. The Great Recession happened, interestingly enough, at a time when interest rate increases were halted.

Home ownership rates increased to 64.2 percent during 2017 after falling to a post-1965 low of 62.9 percent in 2016. Not surprisingly, home ownership rates peaked during 2005 at approximately 69 percent. Millennial home ownership rates are also on the rise as their employment situations continue to improve. Millennials, in fact, have been recently credited with an improvement in suburban housing markets as not all are city dwellers. This rise in home ownership was highlighted recently at the annual TrendLines 2018 program in Washington, D.C., with an analysis of Census Bureau housing data presented by Sage Policy Group, Delta Associates and Transwestern. The following excerpt is from the closing paragraph from the home ownership report, and is encouraging news for residential real estate markets across the nation:

“This year, the most common age in America will be 26 years old. There is also an abundance of 25- and 27-year-olds. All of these people are millennials, America’s largest and most educated generation. As more of this demographic block marches into their 30s, demand for ownership opportunities will rise. While there may be downturns that occasionally suspend these demographics, the next decade stands to emerge as a period of rapidly expanding home ownership and single-family homebuilding in America.”

Click here to generate more graphs from the Marshall County January Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply. 

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

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