Sales: According to the Wiregrass Multiple Listing Service, the Wiregrass area residential sales totaled 92 units during March, which is 15 percent above the number recorded during the same period last year. Year-to-date home sales in March were 6.5 percent higher than the same period last year. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all of the Wiregrass area housing data, click here.
Forecast: March sales were nine units or 18 percent above our monthly forecast. The Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) year-to-date sales forecast through March projected 201 closed transactions while the actual sales were 196 units, a dip of 2 percent.
Supply: Wiregrass area housing inventory totaled 788 units, a decrease of 18.8 percent from March 2015. Inventory was up 2.1 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data that indicates March inventory on average (2011-15) increases from February by 3.6 percent. The inventory-to-sales ratio during March of 8.6 months of housing supply is down 29.4 percent from the same period last year. Restated, at the March sales pace, it would take 8.6 months to absorb the current inventory for sale. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 6 months during March, so this indicates the continued presence of a buyer’s market.
Demand: March residential sales were 61 percent above the prior month. This direction is consistent with seasonal and local historical data that indicates the March sales on average (2011-15) increase from February by 26 percent. The average days on market (DOM) until a listing sold was 170 days, 2.4 percent slower than March 2015 (166 days).
Pricing: The Wiregrass area median sales price in March was $113,450, an increase of 3 percent from March 2015 ($110,000) and an 18.8 percent rise above the previous month. This direction is consistent with historical seasonal data (2011-15) that reflects the March median sales price on average increases from February by 10.8 percent. It should be noted that the differing sample size (number of residential sales of the comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss prices, as they will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.
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.”