Sales: According to the Tuscaloosa Multiple Listing Service, Tuscaloosa-area residential sales totaled 187 units during December, down one unit from 188 sales in the same month a year earlier. December sales were up 3.9 percent compared to 180 sales in November. Results were 9 percent above the five-year December average of 172 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all Tuscaloosa-area home sales data, click here.
Inventory: Total homes listed for sale in the Tuscaloosa area during December were 795 units, a decrease of 2 percent from December 2017’s 811 units and a decrease of 6 percent from November 2018’s 846 units. December months of supply totaled 4.7 months, a decrease from December 2017’s 4.3 months of supply. December’s months of supply increased from November’s 4.7 months of supply.
Pricing: The Tuscaloosa median sales price in December was $185,000, an increase of 10.6 percent from one year ago and an increase of 5.2 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (2013-17) indicating that the December median sales price on average increases from November by 3.3 percent. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The average number of days on the market (DOM) for homes sold during December was 66 days, down from 75 days in December 2017.
Forecast: December sales were seven units, or 3.6 percent, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 194 sales for the month, while actual sales were 187 units. ACRE forecast a total of 2,724 residential sales in the Tuscaloosa area during 2018, while there were 2,671 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 Tuscaloosa Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors to better serve West Alabama consumers.