Sales: According to ValleyMLS.com, Athens/Limestone County residential sales totaled 166 units during March, up 16.1 percent from 143 sales in the same month a year earlier. March sales were up 13.7 percent compared to 146 sales in February. Results were 47.4 percent above the five-year March average of 113 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 March totaled 340 units, a decrease of 26.1 percent from March 2018’s 460 units and a decrease of 7.1 percent from February 2019’s 366 units. March months of supply totaled 2 months, a decrease of 36.3 percent from March 2018’s 3.2 months of supply. March’s months of supply decreased 18.3 percent from February’s 2.5 months of supply.
Pricing: The Athens median sales price in March was $212,262, an increase of 1.1 percent from one year ago and a decrease of 2.3 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (2014-18) indicating that the March median sales price on average decreases from February 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 March spent an average of 70 days on the market (DOM), a decrease of 4.1 percent from 73 days in March 2018 and an increase of 25 percent from 56 days in February.
Forecast: March sales were five units, or 3.1 percent, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 161 sales for the month, while actual sales were 166 units. ACRE forecast a total of 398 residential sales in the Athens area year-to-date, while there were 432 actual sales through March.
ACRE’s statewide perspective: While nationwide residential sales dropped 8 percent in March, demand for housing in Alabama remained strong. Statewide residential sales increased slightly (0.02 percent) from 5,341 closed transactions in March 2018 to 5,342 in March 2019. Year-to-date, sales increased 3.6 percent from 2018. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb but at a slower pace as the median sales price in March increased 2.6 percent year-over-year from $158,617 to $162,759. The statewide median sales price is also up 3.6 percent year-to-date. Although nationwide inventory levels are trending upward, Alabama’s residential listings decreased 11.3 percent from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018 and in the spring buying season of 2019. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during March spent an average of 99 days on the market, an improvement of 19 days from March 2018.
NAR’s national perspective: During March, total existing-home sales nationwide declined 7.8 percent from approximately 434,000 closed transactions one year ago to 400,000 currently. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 3.8 percent in March, marking 85 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “It is not surprising to see a retreat after a powerful surge in sales in the prior month. Still, current sales activity is underperforming in relation to the strength in the jobs markets. The impact of lower mortgage rates has not yet been fully realized.”
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The Athens-Limestone Monthly report is developed in conjunction with the Athens-Limestone Association of Realtors to better serve its area consumers.