Sales: According to the Gulf Coast Multiple Listing Service, Mobile-area residential sales totaled 297 units during December, a decrease of 7.8 percent from the same month last year (25 units). Total 2016 home sales through December rose 4.3 percent over last year. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all of Mobile’s area housing data, click here.
Forecast: December sales were 24 units, or 7 percent, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through December projected 4,369 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 4,470 units, a favorable difference of 2 percent.
Supply: The Mobile-area housing inventory in December was 1,873 units, a decrease of 13 percent from December 2015. Inventory has now declined 44 percent from the December peak (3,330 units) reached in 2009. There were 6.3 months of housing supply last month (6 months represents a balanced market for this time of year) vs. 6.7 months of supply in December 2015, a favorable decline of 5.5 percent.
Demand: December sales decreased 10 percent from November. This direction contrasts with historical data, which indicate December sales, on average (2011-15), increase from November by 7.7 percent.
Pricing: The Mobile-area median sales price in December was $137,000, up 5 percent from last December. The December median sales price increased by 5.4 percent when compared to November. Historical data indicate the December median sales prices remained the same from the month of November from 2011 through 2015. Pricing can fluctuate from month to month as the sample size of data is subject to seasonal buying patterns. ACRE highly recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss prices, which can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.
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 Mobile December Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply.