Huntsville-area home sales decline 3.1% from one year ago

Huntsville-area home sales decline 3.1% from one year ago
The Huntsville-area median home sales price in April was $246,640, an increase of 17.8% from the same month last year. (iStock)

Sales: According to ValleyMLS.com, April home sales in the Huntsville area decreased 3.1% year-over-year from 688 to 667 closed transactions. Following seasonal trends, sales increased 0.6% from March. Sales are now up 9.5% year-to-date, but sales activity is likely to slow in the months ahead because of the growing economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all Huntsville-area housing data, click here.

Inventory: Homes listed for sale increased 2.5% from 1,157 to 1,186 listings. Months of supply increased from 1.7 months to 1.8, reflecting a seller’s market in the area.

Pricing: The median sales price in April was $246,640, an increase of 17.8% from one year ago and an increase of 1.9% from March. This indicator can fluctuate from month to month because of the sampling size of data and seasonal buying patterns. Homes sold in April averaged 33 days on the market (DOM), selling 10 days faster than April 2019.

Forecast: April sales were 69 units, or 9.4%, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 736 sales for the month, while actual sales were 667 units. ACRE forecast a total of 2,532 residential sales year-to-date, while there were 2,468 actual sales through April, a difference of 2.5%.

Click here to view the entire monthly report.

NAR commentary: According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales nationwide fell 17.8% during April (seasonally adjusted annual rate). This represents the second month of declining sales activity caused by the pandemic, and the largest month-over-month drop since July 2010. Sales prices, however, remained somewhat stable. The nationwide median sales price for existing homes increased 7.4% year over year, extending the streak of year-over-year price gains to 98 straight months.

When addressing slowing economic activity, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said, “The economic lockdowns – occurring from mid-March through April in most states – have temporarily disrupted home sales. But the listings that are on the market are still attracting buyers and boosting home prices.”

Yun added that “Record-low mortgage rates are likely to remain in place for the rest of the year, and will be the key factor driving housing demand as state economies steadily reopen. Still, more listings and increased home construction will be needed to tame price growth.”

ACRE commentary: Closed sales data from April shows that total statewide residential sales declined 8.9% year-over-year. Statewide sales prices, however, increased 13.9% Y/Y in April, a sizable gain. Inventory (properties listed for sale) was tight before the pandemic, and inventory continues to be constrained as listings declined 16% from one year ago. As expected, sales activity for the foreseeable future when compared to the prior year is likely to decline because of the growing economic impact of the pandemic. For additional context, April sales are up 5.2% when compared to the month’s five-year average. Sales prices are likely to remain stable or decline slightly later in the year if demand continues to soften. Pricing dynamics driven by the law of supply and demand are always at work moving toward or away from market equilibrium (6 months of supply), where buyer and seller have equal bargaining power. In April months of supply was at 3.4.

The Huntsville Area Residential Monthly Report is developed in connection with the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors.

Editor’s Note: All information in this article reflects data provided to the Alabama Center for Real Estate for April 1-30, 2020. Thus, the performance represented is historical and should not be used as an indicator of future results, particularly considering the upcoming impact of COVID-19 on the housing market.

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