April Huntsville Real Estate Sales Very Slow

Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS Observations: Residential Real Estate Market April 2011

April sales fell 20% to $86,520,883 vs. March at $107,847,402. This was 38% below last year of $138,924,170. Keep in mind that last year we were seeing the impact of the tax credit. The month to month decrease was quite disappointing given the normally strong seasonal trend.The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart has taken a decided turn down which is a discouraging sign for the future.

Total unit sales decreased from 683 in March to 530 in April, a decrease of 153.

New sales decreased from 129 homes last month to 95 this month, a decrease of 34.

Used sales decreased from 554 homes last month to 435 this month, a decrease of 119 (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 still over a year of inventory.

New homes are at 9 months of inventory overall, and new homes priced under $100,000, are at 21 months of inventory. Greater than $500,000 are about two year’s worth of inventory. In the $100,000-$500,000 range inventories are fairly normal, ranging from 5-9 months(E-1).

There continue to be a large number of housing permits issued in Huntsville city, given the market conditions. March showed 103 vs. 86 in February.

Total Active listings decreased by 4% this month to 9,020 compared to last month’s 9,444, which is 3% below last year at this time at 9,326 (Sect A p.4 and Sect E p.3). New Homes New Listings are more than 3 times New Home Sales.  (Sect B p.1). Active New listings decreased from 1,502 last month to 1,339 in April, down 163. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased from 7,942 last month to 7,681 this month, down 261. This is below last year’s amount at this time of 7,872. (Sect E p.3). We have not yet seen the expected surge in Spring listings.

Absorption for New homes was 9 months of inventory in April. This is about the same as 10 months in March and 9 months last year at this time (Sect E p.8). Absorption for Used homes was 14 months of inventory in April, which is even with last month at 15, and last year at 13 months (Sect E  p.8).

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 171 vs. 183 days last month, with Used at 161 in April compared with 164 in March (Sect A p.18). Days on Market below 6 months, while the inventory numbers are higher, indicates well priced homes are selling. Sellers, including bank owners, are not adjusting to the new price reality which contributes to inventory build-up.

Average sales price for Sold New homes was $239,413 vs. $240,065 last month. (Sect A p.2)

Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $146,613 vs. $138,771 last month. (Sect A p.2)

The Average price lines have had a generally upwards slope for a while now but that is mostly due to a changing mix of home sales with some more higher priced homes beginning to move as a proportion of the total market; prices for individual properties remain under pressure.

TWB 5/16/11


3 thoughts on “April Huntsville Real Estate Sales Very Slow

  1. John Morley

    The numbers for April are artificially low because of the tornadoes on April 27.

    Many closings were delayed on the 27th because of the storms, and our entire metro area had no power the last 2 business days of April (the 28th and 29th), which means that no closings could happen at all. The last 3 days of the month make up a HUGE percentage of the closings for any month in our market.

    Sales during the first 26 days of the month were down 21% from last April. Sales from April 27 to April 30 were down 84% from last year.

    1. Tom Brander Post author

      I’m sure that the storms did impact the numbers.. Hopefully we will see the expected pick-up next month.. It was interesting however that the early reports across the country were also pretty slow. Your observations about the earlier part of the month being below last year also bear out that while the storms had a real effect things were still slow prior (down 21%) to the storm…
      Thank you for the observations and facts!

  2. Keith

    As disastrous as these sales numbers are and the over whelming inventory totaling out to 2 years or more, I’m seeing houses VERY over-priced in Northern Alabama, Huntsville area specifically. As far as we see, home sellers are being completely unrealistic about the home market and their asking prices! It’s no wonder that the inventory is so obscenely high.

    Out on the west coast in Orange County, very much like the Huntsville area regarding High Tech jobs availabilities for skilled higher education workers and up scale home types, even the weather is a sort of equivalent (Tornados vs Earthquakes and Tsunamis, 6 of 1 – half dozen of the other), home of less than 25 years of age have lost $200k to 300k in selling prices in just the last 16 months. Half of home owners are “under-water”. Yet the inventory is 3 -4 months.

    Not seeing that in AL, at that means the sellers are delusional about what their houses are worth now.

    What’s it going to take for AL seller to wake up to realistic selling prices??


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