Tuscaloosa home sales rise in August from last year

Tuscaloosa home sales rise in August from last year
Sales were up 7.4 percent in August from the same month a year earlier. (iStock)

Click here to view or print the entire monthly report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

Sales: According to the Tuscaloosa MLS, Tuscaloosa-area residential sales totaled 246 units during August, up 7.4 percent from 229 homes sold during August 2016. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all of the Tuscaloosa area’s housing data, click here.

Forecast: August results were 17 units or 6.5 percent below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s monthly forecast. ACRE’s 2017 sales forecast through August projected 1,804 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 1,825 units.

Supply: Tuscaloosa’s August housing inventory totaled 959 units, a decrease of 18.4 percent from August 2016. August inventory decreased by 0.5 percent compared to July. Historical data indicate that August inventory on average (2012-16) decreases from July by 0.7 percent. Inventory has now declined 50.7 percent from the August peak (1,947 units) reached in 2008.

Seeking balance: The inventory-to-sales ratio declined 24 percent year-over-year during August to 3.9 months. Restated, at the August sales pace, it would take 3.9 months to absorb the current inventory for sale. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand on a non-seasonally adjusted basis) is considered to be approximately 6 months.

Demand: August residential sales were 2 percent below the prior month. This is consistent with seasonal buying patterns and historical data indicating that August sales on average (2012-16) decrease from July by 11.2 percent. Existing single-family home sales accounted for 80 percent of total sales (the same as in August 2016), while 10 percent were new home sales (down from 11 percent) and 10 percent were condo sales (up from 9 percent).

Pricing: The Tuscaloosa median sales price in August was $167,198, an increase of 14.5 percent compared to August 2016. The median sales price was down 7.1 percent from July’s price. Historical data (2012-16) indicate that the median sales price in August typically increases from July by 1.7 percent. It should be noted that differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. Consult with a real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Industry perspective: “For the first time in 2017, we have increased our full-year growth outlook. The upgrade reflects economic activity gaining momentum at the end of the second quarter, though we see a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the forecast,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “The list of uncertainties now extends beyond the geopolitical and legislative, as the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will require time to untangle. Historically, natural disasters that hit heavily populated areas led to substantial near-term declines in economic activity but meaningful rebounds in subsequent quarters due to rebuilding efforts. Thus, economic growth in the second half of 2017 could still average a slightly stronger pace than the first half. Unfortunately, we continue to expect home sales to be flat during the second half of the year compared to the first half due to strong home price appreciation and lean inventories.”

Click here to generate more graphs from the Tuscaloosa August Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply. 

The Tuscaloosa Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors to better serve West Alabama consumers.

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