September Real Estate Sales Fall Off In North Alabama

Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS Observations: Real Estate Market September 2012

September sales declined sharply by 25% to $119,846,425 vs. August at $159,361,673. This was 10% below last year’s $133,398,396. This is a sharp contrast to last month’s strong results. The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart is barely heading up.

Total unit sales declined 22% to 736 in September vs. 941 in August, a decrease of 205. This was 12% unfavorable to last year at 840.

Note that our projection for September was 776 sales, so the actual results were 5% unfavorable for the month and .1% unfavorable year to date. Full spreadsheets and projections, (a joint project between ACRE and Brander Real Estate), are available at .

New sales declined with 164 this month vs. 185 last month, decreasing 21.
Used sales decreased to 736 this month vs. 941 last month, decreasing 205 (Sect E  p.3).

Used inventory levels remain high this month at 12 months (see the chart Sect C p.1), with the situation particularly challenged in the higher price ranges. Used homes over $200,000 are still over 12 months of inventory and over $500,000 have about three or more years of inventory.

New home absorption is 8 months of inventory overall, (with last month at 10 months) (E-1). The New Home inventory level in the $300,000-$400,000 is approximately 6 months. (Not bad!).

There continues to be a large number of housing permits issued in Huntsville city given the market conditions. For August there were 118 (census estimate), up from 95 in July (chart on the web site).

Total Active listings decreased this month to 8,555 compared to last month’s 9,217, which is below last year at this time at 9,246, with the reduction exaggerated due to month-end expirations.
(Sect A p.4 and Sect E p.3).  The reduction in inventory is a good thing. But we must note that the inventory level has remained constant over the last few months, stopping the decline.

Active New listings decreased from 1,442 last month to 1,211 in September, down 231. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased from 7,775 last month to 7,344 this month, down 431 and below last year’s amount at this time of 7,859. (Sect E p.3).

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 191 vs. 162 days last month, with Used at 167 in September compared with 147 in August (Sect A p.18). Sellers, including bank owners, who do not adjust to the new price reality, contribute to the buildup of inventory.

Average sales price for Sold New homes was $223,886 vs. $250,541 last month. (Sect A p.2)
Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $145,331 vs. $149,486 last month. (Sect A p.2)

The average price lines for Used homes are once again showing some stability. New home average price seems to be showing some positive direction. Prices for individual properties remain under pressure.

TWB 10/13/12


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