Sales: According to the Cullman MLS, Cullman County area residential sales totaled 71 units during March, a 20.3 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. Year-to-date sales are up 21.5 percent over the same period in 2015. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
Demand: March residential sales increased 51 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data indicating that March sales on average (2011-15) increase from February by 50.6 percent. Days on Market (DOM) until a listing sold was 156 days, 10.3 percent faster than the same period last year (174 days).
For all of Cullman’s real estate data, click here.
Forecast: March sales were nine units or 14.5 percent above our monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through March projected 151 closed transactions while the actual sales were 164, a favorable difference of 8.6 percent.
Supply: Cullman County area housing inventory totaled 756 units, which is 12.7 percent higher than supply in March 2015. The inventory-to-sales ratio in March was 10.6 months of housing supply. Restated, at the March sales pace, it would take 10.6 months to absorb the current inventory for sale. This is an improvement of 6.4 percent (11.4 months of supply) from March 2015 and it’s 43 percent lower (18.9 months of supply) from the 2009 peak. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) for March is approximately 6 months, so this represents an area where continued improvement would be welcome news.
Pricing: The Cullman County median sales price in March was $129,500, an increase of 3.7 percent from March 2015 ($124,900). The median sales price was also 0.3 percent below the prior month. This month’s price direction is consistent with historical data (2011-15) reflecting that the March median sales price on average decreases from February by 6.6 percent. Pricing can fluctuate from month to month as the sample size of data (closed transactions) is subject to seasonal buying patterns, so a broader lens as it pertains to pricing trends is appropriate. We recommend consulting a local real estate professional.
Industry Perspective: “Growing pessimism over the last three months about the direction of the economy seems to be spilling over into home purchase sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The gap between the share of consumers who think the economy is on the wrong track and the share who think it is on the right track has widened, nearly matching its reading last August, when concerns regarding China and oil prices led to the biggest stock market plunge in years. In turn, we saw dips this month in income growth perceptions, attitudes about the home selling climate, and job confidence, all of which contributed to the lowest HPSI reading in the last year and a half. These declines seem to be at odds with recent news of solid overall job creation, but may reflect weakening economic performance in certain industries.” For the full report, click here.