January North Alabama Sales Off To A Slow Start

Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS Observations: Real Estate Market January 2014

January sales declined by 34% to $79,903,130 vs. December at $121,842,236. This was off 9% from last year’s $88,136,964. The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart has turned flat and slightly down. This month’s results were somewhat lower than expectations. Total unit sales declined 4% to 545 in January vs. 703 in December, a decrease of 158. This was lower than last year at 571. I expect that sales should return to more normal levels as the year progresses.

New sales decreased to 75 this month vs. 143 last month, off 68.

Used sales decreased to 469 this month vs. 556 last month, off 87 (Sect E  p.3).

Inventory levels remain stubbornly high. Used inventory levels remain high this month at 10 months (see the chart Sect C p.1), with the situation continuing to be particularly challenged in the higher price ranges. Used homes over $500,000 have more than two years of inventory. New home absorption is 9 months of inventory overall, and this has been climbing)(E-1). The New Home inventory level in the $300,000-$500,000 is approximately 5-6 months. (Not bad!).

December housing permits issued were 40 compared with 48 in November (chart on the web site). This is the lowest level of starts since January 2009 (44).

Total Active listings decreased this month to 8,131 compared to last month’s 8,712, and about even with last year at this time at 8,280, with the reduction in the current month exaggerated due to month-end expirations. (Sect A p.4 and Sect E p.3).  Active New listings decreased to 1,286 this month from 1,509 in December, down 223. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased to 6,845 this month from 7,203 in December, down 358 and slightly below last year’s amount at this time of 6,891. (Sect E p.3).

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 174 vs. 159 days last month, with Used at 150 in January compared with 157 in December (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes was $235,167 vs. $254,331 last month. (Sect A p.2) Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $132,480 vs. $152,448 last month. (Sect A p.2) The average price line for Used homes is headed modestly down. New home average prices seems to be showing positive direction.

TWB 2/9/14


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