Sales: Alabama statewide home sales totaled 5,116 units during December, up 18.9% from 4,303 sales in the same month a year earlier. December sales were up 10.4% compared to 4,635 sales in November. Results were 28.1% above the five-year December average of 3,995 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
For all statewide housing data, click here.
Inventory: Homes listed for sale statewide during December totaled 18,562 units, a decrease of 13.5% from December 2018’s 21,463 units and a decrease of 7.3% from November 2019’s 20,024 units. December’s months of supply totaled 3.6 months, a decrease of 27.3% from December 2018’s 5 months of supply. December’s months of supply also decreased from November’s 4.4 months of supply.
Pricing: The statewide median sales price in December was $166,391, an increase of 4.8% from one year ago and a decrease of 1.8% from the prior month. The homes selling in December spent an average of 84 days on the market (DOM). Homes sold 18 days faster than one year ago and eight days faster than the previous month. This indicator can fluctuate from month to month because of the sampling size of data and seasonal buying patterns.
Forecast: December sales were 666 units or 14.5% above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 4,450 sales for the month, while actual sales were 5,116 units. ACRE forecast a total of 60,385 residential sales in 2019, while there were 64,278 actual sales through December, a difference of 6.5%.
ACRE’s statewide perspective: Residential sales growth was especially strong in December as total residential sales increased 18.9% year-over-year from 4,303 to 5,116 closed transactions. Total 2019 sales were up 5.3% from 2018, making 2019 the strongest year for residential sales on record. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in December increased 4.8% year-over-year, marking 26 consecutive months of gains. The statewide median sales price was up 5.7% for 2019. While properties listed for sale nationwide decreased 8.5% year-over-year, Alabama’s residential listings continued to tighten, decreasing 13.5% from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018 and continued into the fourth quarter 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 December spent an average of 84 days on the market, a decrease of 18 days from December 2018.
NAR’s national perspective: Existing home sales increased significantly in December, rising 15.1% year-over-year from approximately 377,000 closed transactions one year ago to 434,000 currently. Total 2019 sales were equal to 2018 sales. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 7.8% in December, marking 94 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “I view 2019 as a neutral year for housing in terms of sales. Home sellers are positioned well, but prospective buyers aren’t as fortunate. Low inventory remains a problem, with first-time buyers affected the most.” Properties listed for sale nationwide declined 8.5% in December from approximately 1.53 million listings one year ago to 1.4 million currently.
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The Alabama Residential Monthly Report is developed in connection with the Alabama Association of Realtors.