Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS January 08 Comments

The Huntsville area still appears to be somewhat immune to the malaise in the rest of the country. However the sales in the last two months have underperformed, just meeting 2006 levels, well below the record pace of 2007. (Section a page 4). Total dollar sales in January were $110,895,559 19% lower than last year’s $136,204,110; this now represents two consecutive months of substantially lower year to year comparisons. A trend? We think maybe particularly with the national background. But keep in mind that January is typically a slow month. That’s why we do the month over month graph. (Section a page 4).

There are 24% more houses active than in January of 2006. against the lower dollar sales cited above. (Chart section A page 4). Inventory continues to build but mostly in the higher price ranges. The “rolling over ” of the 12 month moving average on the overall sales graph is a big concern (section a page 1).

We do see inventory build-up for all price ranges with the situation being quite acute for higher priced houses for new and used houses over $300,000 we see fairly rapidly rising inventory levels of over a year. (Page E-1). Over $500,000; new house inventory levels are generally over 24 months and generally getting worse.

Total active listings increased from 7,504 in December* to 7,593 in January an increase of 89 or 1.2%. See page E-3. There were 405 new house new listings (an increase from 359 last month), while sales of new houses declined to 152 for the month from 199 in December. New houses new listings ran to 2.7 times the rate of sales (section B page 1). The bulk of the increase in new house new listings was in the $100,000 to $300,000 range and fairly widely dispersed geographically (section A page 18).

Active New listings decreased from 2,252 last month to 2,203 this month, a decrease of 49 (page E-3). Active Used listings increased from 5,252 last month to 5,390 this month, an increase of 138 (page E-3).

Total unit sales declined from 753 in December to 664 in January a decrease of 143 units.

New sales declined from 199 homes last month to 152 this month, a decrease of 47.

Used sales declined from 554 homes last month to 512 this month, a decrease of 42 (sect E page 3).

Absorption for new homes remained at 9.5 months of inventory in January vs. 9.6 last month. This is still an increase of about 2 months over last year at this time, see Section E page 8. Absorption for used homes remained at 6.7 months of inventory in January vs. 6.5 last month. This is a deterioration of 1.5 months from last year’s level at this time see Section E pg 8.

Average Days on Market for sold houses for new houses was 144 days vs. 113 days last month, used was 109 vs. 99 last month. See section A page 18.

Average sales prices for sold new homes were $223,468 vs. $255,666 last month. (Chart sect A p2)

Average sales prices for sold used homes were $147,383 vs. $139,652 last month. (Chart sect A p2)

I continue to be impressed by the dramatic increase in over $500,000 new houses listed. Inventory in all those price categories is over two year’s supply. Used houses show over 1 year of inventory going up to 4 years worth of inventory in the over $900,000 category. New listings have begun to moderate slightly for new houses in the higher price ranges and for the used houses in most price ranges.

TWB 2/18/08

*All references to last month numbers are revised, to pick up late entries (made after our prior publication date) to the MLS system.


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