North Alabama Slow Real Estate Sales In October

Huntsville is the largest city in North Alabama

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

October dollar sales decreased 6% from September’s weak result. October sales were $106,703,942 vs. September $113,074,458. This was 26% below last year of $144,652,426. This is disappointing as we are now entering 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 slant at the end.

Total unit sales decreased from 666 in September to 626 in October, a decrease of 40. New sales decreased from 161 homes last month to 154 this month, a decrease of 7. Used sales decreased from 505 homes last month to 472 this month, a decrease of 33 (Sect E p.3).

Used inventory levels remain high at 14 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 close to 7 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 17 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 99 new single family housing permits issued in September, up from 98 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. Total Active listings decreased by 9% this month to 9,196 compared to last month’s 10,057, but 10% greater than last year at this time, at 8,379 (Sect A p.4 and Sect E p.3). (This will increase when reported next month.) New homes 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 1,637 last month to 1,421 in October, down 216. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased from 8,420 last month to 7,775 this month, down 645. This is above last year’s amount at this time (6,831) (Sect E p.3). Absorption for New homes was 9 months of inventory in October. This is better than 12 months last year at this time (Sect E p.8).

Absorption for Used homes was 14 months of inventory in October, 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 homes was 161 vs. 151 days last month, with Used at 148 in October compared with 136 in September (Sect A p.18).

Average sales price for Sold New homes was $220,620 vs. $226,709 last month. (Sect A p.2)

Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $154,086 vs. $151,632 last month. (Sect A p.2)

Until we see some signs of normalcy return after 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 11/13/10


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