Sales: According to the Multiple Listing Service of the Shoals Area Association of Realtors, Shoals-area home sales totaled 141 units during December, up 29.4 percent from 109 sales in the same month a year earlier. Results were 18.3 percent above the five-year December average of 119 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all Shoals-area housing data, click here.
Inventory: Homes listed for sale in the Shoals area during December totaled 825 units, a decrease of 7.1 percent from December 2017’s 888 units. The Shoals area also experienced a year-over-year decline in months of supply. December months of supply totaled 6.2 months, a decrease of 29.3 percent from December 2017’s 8.1 months. However, December’s months of supply remained constant with November’s months of supply.
Pricing: The Shoals-area median sales price in December was $135,000, an increase of 14.4 percent from one year ago and the same as the prior month. This direction is inconsistent with historical data (2013-17) indicating that the December median sales price on average increases from November by 10.4 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 December spent an average of 80 days on the market (DOM), down 10.1 percent from December 2017 and down 5.9 percent from November 2018.
Forecast: December sales were 12 units, or 9.3 percent, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 129 sales for the month, while actual sales were 141 units. ACRE forecast a total of 1,688 residential sales in the Shoals area during 2018, while there were 1,956 actual sales.
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 Shoals Area Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Shoals Area Association of Realtors to better serve its area consumers.