Huntsville Times (click for whole story) Real estate news and notes from the week:
Here’s where both the local Realtor’s association and Brander agree: The bulk of current sales are for lower-priced, used homes. Indeed, in Madison County alone, more than 85 percent of the homes sold in May were under $300,000, as more first-time buyers take advantage of the tax credit to buy homes in their price range. Higher-priced homes typically are purchased by homeowners who are “moving up” into a larger, more expensive home and have equity in their first home.
Monday’s report on home sales was good news to local Realtors, who saw a 26 percent jump in home sales between April and May. One month does not a trend make, but any uptick is good news in a national market that continues to languish.
One real estate expert agrees the Huntsville market is faring better than others, but he also offers a cautionary note.
Tom Brander, a principal in Birmingham-based Rudulph/Brander Real Estate Statistical Reports (tombrander.com), collects data from multiple-listing services throughout Alabama, including the Huntsville-area MLS, which includes eight counties in North Alabama and a small part of southern central Tennessee. Rudulph/Brander supplies market data to the banking and building industries.
Brander says he’s surprised by the level of new home construction going on in the market, particularly in Madison County, when inventory levels remain high. According to the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors, 111 new homes were sold in Madison County last month; builders pulled permits for 187 new homes (reported by the Huntsville/Madison County Builders Association), making the construction rate for new homes about 1.7 times that of the sales rate.
Brander’s numbers differ slightly: He reports 82 new homes sold in Madison County, making the construction rate about 2.3 times the sales rate.
We were pleased to work with Gina Hannah on this story: