Sales: According to ValleyMLS.com, Huntsville-area home sales totaled 524 units during December, down 7.9 percent from 569 sales in the same month a year earlier. December sales were down 11.2 percent compared to 590 sales in November. Results were 12.8 percent above the five-year December average of 465 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all Huntsville-area housing data, click here.
Inventory: Homes listed for sale in the Huntsville area during December totaled 1,408 units, a decrease of 25.7 percent from December 2017’s 1,894 units, and a decrease of 9.3 percent from November 2018’s 1,552 units. Huntsville also experienced a year-over-year decline in months of supply. December months of supply totaled 2.7 months, a decrease of 19.3 percent from December 2017’s 3.3 months of supply. However, December’s months of supply increased 2.1 percent from November’s 2.6 months of supply.
Pricing: The Huntsville median sales price in December was $215,000, an increase of 4.9 percent from one year ago and a decrease of 0.9 percent from the prior month. 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 December spent an average of 49 days on the market (DOM), a decrease of 30 percent from 70 days in December 2017 and an increase of 8.9 percent from 45 days in November.
Forecast: December sales were 34 units, or 6.1 percent, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 558 sales for the month, while actual sales were 524 units. ACRE forecast a total of 7,212 residential sales in the Huntsville area year-to-date, while there were 7,622 actual sales through December.
ACRE’s statewide perspective: After 10 consecutive months of gains, statewide residential sales in December decreased 1.6 percent year-over-year from 4,371 to 4,303 closed transactions. For the entire year, statewide residential sales increased 6.3 percent from 57,427 in 2017 to 61,062 in 2018. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in December increased 4.7 percent year-over-year from $151,667 to $158,772. The median sales price for all of 2018 was up 4.6 percent from 2017. Although nationwide inventory levels are trending upwards, Alabama’s residential inventory decreased 6.9 percent from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a major factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018. With low inventory, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during December spent an average of 102 days on the market, an improvement of 11 days from 2017.
NAR’s national perspective: During December, total existing-home sales nationwide declined 11.7 percent from approximately 427,000 one year ago to 377,000 currently. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says current housing numbers are partially due to higher interest rates during most of 2018. “The housing market is obviously very sensitive to mortgage rates. Softer sales in December reflected consumer search processes and contract signing activity in previous months when mortgage rates were higher than today. Now, with mortgage rates lower, some revival in home sales is expected going into spring.”
Click here to view the entire monthly report.
The Huntsville-Madison County Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors and ValleyMLS.com to better serve its area consumers.