Sales: According to the Multiple Listing Service of the Shoals Area Association of Realtors, Shoals area residential sales totaled 136 units during November, up 0.7 percent from the same month in 2016. Year-to-date sales increased 12.6 percent from the same period in 2016. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and the Annual Report.
For all Shoals-area real estate data, click here.
Forecast: November’s 136 home sales were 18 units or 15.3 percent above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s monthly forecast. ACRE’s 2017 sales forecast through November projected 1,532 closed transactions, and actual closed sales were at 1,614.
Supply: Shoals area housing inventory totaled 952 units, a decrease of 3.8 percent from November 2016. Inventory has declined 21.6 percent from the November peak of 1,215 units in 2010.
The inventory-to-sales ratio in November was 7 months of housing supply, down 4.5 percent from November 2016. Restated, at the November sales pace, it would take 7 months to absorb the current inventory for sale. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 6 months.
Demand: November sales decreased by 8.7 percent from the prior month’s total sales of 149. Historical data from 2012-16 indicate sales typically decrease 22.3 percent from October to November.
Pricing: The Shoals area median sales price in November was $132,000, a 0.8 percent decrease from $133,000 in November 2016. The median sales price was up 3.9 percent from the prior month. This direction contrasts with historical data indicating that the November median sales price on average (2012-16) decreases from October. Pricing can fluctuate from month to month as the sample size of data (closed transactions) is subject to seasonal buying patterns. For the year so far, the median sales price is up 5 percent from 2016. ACRE recommends contacting a local real estate professional for additional market pricing information.
Industry perspective: “The economy and real estate markets continue to show they are resilient. Regardless of the economic metric — GDP, monthly jobs or home prices — the dashboard registers an ‘all-systems-go’ economy,” said KC Conway, director of research and corporate engagement at the Alabama Center for Real Estate. “GDP started the year off with its best Q1 reading in several years and followed it up with above 3 percent readings for Q2 and Q3. (This year) will be the first year since the financial crisis that the economy registered an annual GDP greater than 2 percent. It was just plus 1.6 percent for 2016.
“Job growth is healthy as well. The first week of December the market received solid monthly jobs reports from both ADP (which measures private industry job formation) and the BLS (the government’s monthly jobs report produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics). ADP reported a healthy new 190,000 private-sector jobs for November and a monthly average of 210,000 jobs over the prior 12 months. The BLS reported November jobs at a higher-than-expected level of 228,000 jobs – and its year-to-date monthly average is 174,000. Unemployment remains low at 4.1 percent, and inflation was just reported on December 13th at 1.7 percent for the “core rate” (which excludes the more volatile food and energy components) and 2.2 percent overall annualized due to higher energy prices.
“The Federal Reserve is taking note of the expanding economy and followed up its prior two rate hikes earlier in 2017 with a 0.25 percent rate increase at its December 13th meeting. Housing conditions remain conducive to growth in new supply and more transaction activity. Single-family home inventories are below demand levels across the nation, Southeast and most Alabama markets. The national rate of appreciation is running above 6 percent on the heels of 5-plus percent in 2016. This is leading builders and lenders to be more receptive to adding inventory. New housing starts and permits will likely end 2017 at or above the 1.3 million units level, split 30 percent multifamily and 70 percent single-family. The outlook heading into 2018 is the best we have seen in a decade.”
Click here to generate more graphs from the Shoals November Housing Report, including Total Sales, Average Sales Price, Days on the Market, Total Inventory and Months of Supply.