Alabama statewide home sales up 8.5 percent in September from 2017
Sales: Alabama statewide home sales totaled 5,074 units during September, up 8.5 percent from 4,678 sales in the same month a year earlier. However, September sales were down 13.5 percent compared to 5,862 sales in August. Results were 18 percent above the five-year September average of 4,678 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
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Inventory: Homes listed for sale statewide during September totaled 23,762 units, a decrease of 8.9 percent from September 2017’s 25,989 units, and a decrease of 2 percent from August 2018’s 24,165 units. September months of supply totaled 4.7 months, a decrease of 16 percent from September 2017’s 5.6 months of supply. However, September’s months of supply increased from August’s 4.1 months of supply.
Pricing: The statewide median sales price in September was $162,482, an increase of .6 percent from one year ago and a decrease of .1 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (2013-17) indicating that the September median sales price on average decreases from August by 1.4 percent. The homes selling in September spent an average of 90 days on the market (DOM), a decrease of 16.8 percent from 108 days in September 2017, and a 5.5 percent decrease from 95 days in August. This indicator can fluctuate from month to month because of the sampling size of data and seasonal buying patterns.
Forecast: September sales were 201 units, or 4.1 percent, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 4,873 sales for the month, while actual sales were 5,074 units. ACRE forecast a total of 44,783 residential sales statewide year-to-date, while there were 47,326 actual sales through September.
ACRE’s statewide perspective: While nationwide sales declined during September, residential sales in Alabama continued to grow during the early fall of 2018. Total residential sales in Alabama increased 8.5 percent year-over-year from 4,678 to 5,074 closed transactions. Year-to-date through September, statewide residential sales are up 6.8 percent from 44,272 one year ago to 47,283 currently. Home price appreciation in the state grew, but at a slower pace than in previous months. The median sales price in September increased 0.6 percent from $161,480 to $162,482, while the year-to-date median sales price is up 4.4 percent from 2017. Although nationwide inventory levels are starting to stabilize, Alabama’s residential inventory decreased 8.9 percent from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a major factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during September spent an average of 90 days on the market, an improvement of 18 days from 2017.
NAR’s national perspective: During September, nationwide sales volume for existing homes decreased 9.1 percent year-over-year from 462,000 to 420,000 closed transactions. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, rising interest rates played a significant role in September sales declines in markets across the nation. “This is the lowest existing home sales level since November 2015,” he said. “A decade’s high mortgage rates are preventing consumers from making quick decisions on home purchases. All the while, affordable home listings remain low, continuing to spur underperforming sales activity across the country.”