Sales: Alabama home sales totaling 4,738 units during September were an increase of 2.6 percent from the same month a year ago. Year-to-date home sales for the state through September were up 6.6 percent compared to the same period last year. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
Forecast: September sales were 14 percent or 604 units above the Alabama Center for Real Estate‘s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through September projected 38,043 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 41,643 units, a favorable difference of 9 percent.
Supply: The statewide housing inventory during September was 29,302 units, a decrease of 10 percent from September 2015 and 31 percent below the September peak in 2007 (42,393 units). There were 6.2 months of housing supply in September (6 months is considered equilibrium), which represents a favorable drop of 12 percent from September 2015 (7 months).
September inventory decreased from August by 2 percent. This direction is consistent with historical data that indicate September inventory on average (2011-15) decreases from August by 5 percent.
Demand: September residential sales decreased 10.6 percent from August. This direction is consistent with historical statewide data indicating that September sales on average (2011-15) decrease from August by 7 percent. The average days on market until a listing sold was 131 days, down 6 percent from last year. Nationally, existing home sales were up 0.6 percent from September 2015. See how Alabama compares with the U.S. residential market by clicking here.
Pricing: The September median sales price increased 7 percent from the same period last year to $147,326. During September, 80 percent of local markets experienced price gains from September 2015. This indicator can fluctuate from month to month due to sampling size of data and seasonal buying patterns. The September median sales price increased 2 percent from August. This direction is consistent with historical data averages (2011-15) reflecting that the September median sales price increases 2.6 percent from August.
Seeking balance: The metro markets in Alabama representing 70 percent of all sales continued to trend toward greater seller bargaining power with 5.4 months of supply. Outside the metro markets, Alabama’s midsized markets are reporting 6.9 months of supply, while rural areas are reporting 8.4 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: “The decline in the HPSI (Home Purchase Sentiment Index) over the past two months from the survey-high in July of 86.5 adds a note of caution to our moderately positive housing outlook,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Downside changes came in particular from the HPSI components ‘mortgage rate direction’ and ‘good time to buy a house.’ In addition, the starter home tight supply and rising home prices as well as the unsettled political environment are likely giving many consumers a reason to pause or question their home purchase sentiment.” For the full report, click here.
Click here to generate more graphs from the Alabama September Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply.