Sales: According to the North Alabama Multiple Listing Service, Huntsville/Madison County residential sales totaled 494 units during December, a rise in sales of 4 percent or 19 units from the same period the previous year. Sales for 2016 through December increased 9.4 percent over the same period last year. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all of Huntsville’s area housing data, click here.
Forecast: Closed transactions in December were 67 units or 16 percent above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s monthly forecast. ACRE’s 2016 sales forecast through December projected 5,556 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 6,227 units, a favorable difference of 12 percent.
Supply: The Rocket City’s housing inventory totaled 2,371 units, a decrease of 12 percent from the previous December. New home inventory was up 10 units year-over-year, while existing single-family inventory was down 289 units.
The inventory-to-sales ratio in December was 4.8 months of housing supply. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be about 6 months during December. Huntsville overall continues to move in a favorable direction when it comes to its inventory-to-sales ratio. The market in December experienced a 5.1 percent decrease in inventory when compared to November. Historical data indicate a typical 7.5 percent decrease from November to December.
Demand: Residential sales in December increased by 9.8 percent from November. This direction contrasts with seasonal patterns and historical data indicating that December sales, on average (2011-2015), decrease from November by 16 percent. New home sales made up 31 percent of sales, up from 25 percent the previous December. Existing single-family home sales accounted for 66 percent of total sales, down from 72 percent in December 2015, while condos were 3 percent of sales.
Pricing: The Huntsville median sales price in November was $199,000, up 15.7 percent from December 2015 and up 4.5 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (2011-2015) indicating that the December median sales price on average increases from November by 2.6 percent. Pricing can fluctuate as the sample size of data is subject to seasonal buying patterns. ACRE recommends contacting a local real estate professional to discuss pricing at the neighborhood level.
Industry perspective: “The tenor of our forecast effectively remains unchanged: signs of cautious consumers this quarter, rising interest rates, the renewed increase in the U.S. dollar to a 14-year high, and heightened uncertainty in the political sphere suggest conservatism in our outlook,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “While we are encouraged that confidence is rising across investors, consumers, businesses, economists and homebuilders, much of it appears to be in anticipation that the forthcoming Administration and the new Congress will enact fiscal policies and deregulation that will help spur growth. While we believe that some pro-growth policies could be adopted next year, it would take time for them to benefit the economy, barring any offsetting initiatives such as more restrictive trade policies.”
Click here to generate more graphs from the Huntsville December Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply.
The Huntsville/Madison County Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors to better serve North Alabama consumers.