The Huntsville, Alabama Real Estate market area still appears to be somewhat immune to the malaise in the rest of the country. This month showed a seasonal increase in sales that was lackluster compared with prior years. This is consistent with what we have seen in each of the areas we cover. It is too early to declare a bottom. We don’t know how long it will take for inventory levels to drop, which is necessary for prices to really stabilize. The sales in the last four months have underperformed 2007; exactly tracking 2006 levels except that this month was quite a bit lower than 2006. (Section a page 4). Total dollar sales in March were $146,377,494, 9% higher than last month’s $134,366,536 and 20% below last years’ level; this now represents four consecutive months of lower year to year comparisons. (Section A page 4).
There are 25% more houses active than in March of 2007 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 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). Last month we began to see a moderation of this trend which continues this month.
Total active listings increased from 7,706 in February* to 7,825 in March an increase of 119 or 1.5%. See page E-3. There were 324 new house new listings (an increase from 308 last month), while sales of new houses decreased to 184 for the month from 189 in February. New houses new listings ran to 1.8 times the rate of sales (section B page 1). The bulk of the increase in new house new listings continued to be in the $200,000 to $300,000 range and fairly widely dispersed geographically (section A page 18).
Active New listings decreased from 2,162 last month to 2,124 this month, a decrease of 38 (page E3). Active Used listings increased from 5,544 last month to 5,701 this month, an increase of 157 (page E-3).
Total unit sales improved from 809 in February to 815 in March an increase of 6 units.New sales declined from 189 homes last month to 184 this month, a decrease of 5.Used sales improved from 620 homes last month to 631 this month, an increase of 11 (sect E page 3).
Absorption for new homes was 9.4 months of inventory in March vs. 9.4 last month. This is still an increase of 1.6 months over last year at this time, see Section E page 8. Absorption for used homes was 7.4 months of inventory in March vs. 7.0 last month. This is a deterioration of 2.2 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 154 days vs. 14 days last month, used was 102 vs. 106 last month. See section A page 18.
Average sales prices for sold new homes were $257,319 vs. $239,062 last month. (Chart sect A p2)Average sales prices for sold used homes were $149,520 vs. $139,631 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 over $300,000 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.