Sales: According to the ValleyMLS.com, Athens/Limestone County residential sales totaled 149 units during October, up 9.6 percent from 136 sales in the same month a year earlier. October sales were down 12.4 percent compared to 170 sales in September. Results were 48.7 percent above the five-year October average of 100 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all Athens/Limestone County area housing data, click here.
Inventory: Homes listed for sale in the Athens area in October totaled 465 units, a decrease of 23.3 percent from October 2017’s 606 units, and a decrease of 5.1 percent from September 2018’s 490 units. October months of supply totaled 3.1 months, a decrease of 30 percent from October 2017’s 4.5 months of supply. October’s months of supply increased from September’s 2.9 months of supply.
Pricing: The Athens median sales price in October was $232,199, an increase of 25.5 percent from one year ago and an increase of 19.1 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (2013-17) indicating that the September median sales price on average increases from September by 1.4 percent. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE highly recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss pricing trends, as they will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The homes selling in October spent an average of 57 days on the market (DOM), a decrease of 32.9 percent from 85 days in October 2017, and an increase of 46.2 percent from 39 days in September.
Forecast: October sales were 12 units, or 7.4 percent, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 161 sales for the month, while actual sales were 149 units. ACRE forecast a total of 1,617 residential sales in the Athens area year-to-date, while there were 1,565 actual sales through October.
ACRE’s statewide perspective: While nationwide sales declined during September, residential sales in Alabama continued to grow during the early fall of 2018. Total residential sales in Alabama increased 8.5 percent year-over-year from 4,678 to 5,074 closed transactions. Year-to-date through September, statewide residential sales are up 6.8 percent from 44,272 one year ago to 47,283 currently. Home price appreciation in the state grew but at a slower pace than in previous months. The median sales price in September increased 0.6 percent from $161,480 to $162,482 while the year-to-date median sales price is up 4.4 percent from 2017. Although nationwide inventory levels are starting to stabilize, Alabama’s residential inventory decreased 8.9 percent from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a major factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during September spent an average of 90 days on the market, an improvement of 18 days from 2017.
NAR’s national perspective: During September, nationwide sales volume for existing homes decreased 9.1 percent year-over-year from 462,000 to 420,000 closed transactions. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, rising interest rates played a significant role in September sales declines in markets across the nation. “This is the lowest existing home sales level since November 2015,” he said. “A decade’s high mortgage rates are preventing consumers from making quick decisions on home purchases. All the while, affordable home listings remain low, continuing to spur underperforming sales activity across the country.”