Sales: According to ValleyMLS.com, Athens/Limestone County residential sales totaled 202 units during August, an increase of 8% from 187 sales in the same month a year earlier. August sales were up 6.9% compared to 189 sales in July. Results were 49.2% above the five-year August average of 135 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 August totaled 332 units, a decrease of 33.2% from August 2018’s 497 units and a decrease of 3.2% from July 2019’s 343 units. August’s months of supply totaled 1.6 months, a decrease of 38.2% from August 2018’s 2.7 months of supply. August’s months of supply decreased 9.4% from July’s 1.8 months of supply.
Pricing: The Athens median sales price in August was $221,161, an increase of 8.5% from one year ago and an increase of 0.8% from the prior month. This direction is inconsistent with historical data (2014-18) indicating that the August median sales price on average decreases from July by 1%. 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 August spent an average of 41 days on the market (DOM), a decrease of 10.9% from 46 days in August 2018 and an increase of 7.9% from 38 days in July.
Forecast: August sales were 10 units, or 5.2%, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 192 sales for the month, while actual sales were 202 units. ACRE forecast a total of 1,334 residential sales in the Athens area year-to-date, while there were 1,404 actual sales through July.
ACRE’s statewide perspective: A strong late-summer buying season continued in August as total residential sales increased 7.5% year-over-year from 5,862 to 6,302 closed transactions. Year-to-date, sales are up 3.8% from 2018, a record year for residential sales. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in August increased 8.1% year-over-year, marking 22 consecutive months of gains. The statewide median sales price is up 4.7% year-to-date. While nationwide inventory levels (active listings) decreased 2.6% year-over-year, Alabama’s residential listings continue to tighten, decreasing 12.6% from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018 and in the summer buying season of 2019. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling at a slightly quicker pace than one year ago. Homes selling in Alabama during August spent an average of 86 days on the market, a decrease of nine days from August 2018.
NAR’s national perspective: After a 3.3% gain in July, existing home sales decreased 0.9% year-over-year in August from approximately 539,000 closed transactions one year ago to 534,000 currently. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 4.7% in August, marking 90 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “As expected, buyers are finding it hard to resist the current (mortgage) rates. The desire to take advantage of these promising conditions is leading more buyers to the market.” He continued, “Sales are up, but inventory numbers remain low and are thereby pushing up home prices. Homebuilders need to ramp up new housing, as the failure to increase construction will put home prices in danger of increasing at a faster pace than income.”
Click here to view the entire monthly report.
The Athens-Limestone Monthly report is developed in conjunction with the Athens-Limestone Association of Realtors to better serve its area consumers.