Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS Observations: Residential Real Estate Market December 2010
December sales increased 8% to $103,514,720 vs. November $95,630,730. This was 3% below last year of $106,300,979. The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart once again has an ugly downward slant. 2010 sales finished at $1,403,278,017, off 4% from 2009 at $1,465,573,417.
Total unit sales were 8,488 for 2010 off 5% from 2009 at 8,959.
Total unit sales increased from 592 in November to 613 in December, an increase of 21.
New sales increased from 141 homes last month to 155 this month, a increase of 14.
Used sales increased from 451 homes last month to 458 this month, a increase of 7 (Sect E p.3).
Used inventory levels remain high at 13 months with the situation particularly challenged in the higher price ranges. Used homes over $100,000 are now over a year of inventory, and in$700,000-$800,000 price range 9 years of inventory. Prices continue to be pressured.
New homes are at 9 months of inventory overall, and homes priced under $100,000, are at 16 months of inventory. Greater than $500,000 are over two year’s worth of inventory. (E-1).
There continue to be a large number of housing permits issued, given the market conditions. There were 74 new single family housing permits issued in November, down from 102 in October in Huntsville City, according to the Census Department. This permit level is way above the sales level for the comparable area. New home inventory remains high and climbing.
Total Active listings decreased by13% this month to 8,258 compared to last month’s 9,541, but 3% greater than last year at this time, at 8,012 (Sect A p.4 and Sect E p.3). (This will increase when reported next month. A larger than usual number of listings expire at yearend, and many have not yet been renewed). New homes sales were greater than New home New listing for the 1st time in a while. (Sect B p.1).
Active New listings decreased from 1,671 last month to 1,334 in December, down 337. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased from 7,870 last month to 6,924 this month, down 946. This is above last year’s amount at this time of 6,475. (Sect E p.3).
Absorption for New homes was 9 months of inventory in December. This is better than 10 months last year at this time (Sect E p.8). Absorption for Used homes was 13 months of inventory in December, which is about even with last month at 14. This is slightly worse than last year’s level of 11 months (Sect E p.8).
Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 152 vs. 143 days last month, with Used at 160 in December compared with 151 in November (Sect A p.18).
Average sales price for Sold New homes was $227,988 vs. $229,150 last month. (Sect A p.2)
Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $148,857 vs. $140,400 last month. (Sect A p.2)
The North Alabama market seems to be having a harder time recovering after the tax incentive expiration than some of the other markets we report on. The mix of higher and lower priced homes is jumping around quite a bit, so it’s hard to read too much into average prices.