Huntsville, North Alabama Real Estate Remains Very Slow

Huntsville is the largest city in North Alabama

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Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS
Observations Huntsville, Alabama Residential Real Estate Market August 2010:

August Dollar sales increased 1% from July’s weak result. August sales were $118,277,383 vs. July $116,933,482. This was 6% below last year $125,285,539. This result is disappointing as we now enter the seasonally weaker part of the year. The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart once again has an ugly downward hook at the end.

Total unit sales increased from 655 in July to 702 in August, an increase of 47.
New sales increased from 114 homes last month to 123 this month, a increase of 9.
Used sales increased from 541 homes last month to 579 this month, a increase of 38 (Sect E  p.3).

Used inventory levels remain high. Used homes are 13 months of inventory overall. The inventory situation remains even more 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 about 7 years of inventory. Prices continue to be pressured.

New houses are at 9 months of inventory overall, and homes priced under $100,000, are at 11 months of inventory. Greater than $500,000, are at over two year’s worth of inventory. (E-1).

There seem to be a large number of housing permits issued, given the market conditions. There were 80 new single family housing permits issued in July, down considerably from 130 in June 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.

In July there was a new all-time record of 8,432 Active Used listings. Total Active listings decreased by 6% this month to 9,446, compared to last months’ 10,037, but 9% greater than last year at this time, at 8,673 (Sect A p.4 and Sect E p.3). (This will increase when reported next month.) New houses New listings are once again about 2 times the rate of sales, which combined with the high number of building permits does not look encouraging. (Sect B p.1). Active New listings decreased from 1,605 last month to 1,375 in August, down 230. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased from 8,432 last month to 8,071 this month, down 361. This is above last year’s level at this time (7,092) (Sect E p.3).

Absorption for New homes was at 9 months of inventory in August. This is better than 12 months last year at this time (Sect E p.8). Absorption for Used homes was 13 months of inventory in August which is even with last month. This is slightly worse than last year’s level of 12 months (Sect E  p.8).

Average Days on Market for Sold New houses was 168 vs. 164 days last month, with Used at 137 in August compared with 139 in July (Sect A p.18).
Average sales price for Sold New homes was $226,150 vs. $235,512 last month. (Sect A p.2)
Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $156,236 vs. $166,516 last month. (Sect A p.2)

Until we see some signs of normalcy return in the wake of the tax incentive expiration, it is difficult to predict future results. 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.

TWB 9/11/10


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