North Alabama/Huntsville Real Estate Market Off to a Slow Start in February

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

February sales improved by 13% to $94,049,657 vs. January at $83,222,776. This was off 15%
from last year’s $110,841,443. This is a bigger year to year decline than we saw last month.
The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart has turned slightly down. This month’s results were again somewhat lower than expectations. Hopefully, sales will improve with the upcoming spring season.

Total unit sales improved 9% to 621 in February vs. 568 in January, a increase of 53. This was 11% lower than last year at 698. I expect that sales should return to more normal levels as the weather improves.

I have changed the way ACRE and Brander Real Estate projections for 2014 are compiled. This year we are using the ACRE data which differs slightly from the data in this report. I am now dependent on ACRE for the timing of data availability (for the projections only) and report release. Our projections for the Huntsville market for 2014 are for an increase of 0.9% over the 2013 level, essentially flat with 2013.

New sales increased to 90 this month vs. 83 last month, up 7 and compared with 150 last year. Used sales increased to 531 this month vs. 485 last month, up 46, and compared with 548 last year (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 (E­1). The New Home inventory level in the $300,000­-$500,000 is approximately 5­-6 months (Not bad!).

January housing permits issued were 66 compared with 40 in December (chart on the web site).

Total Active listings decreased this month to 8,251 compared to last month’s 8,667, and about even with last year at this time at 8,586, 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 1,228 this month from 1,510 in January, down 282. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased to 7,023 this month from 7,157 in January, down 134 and slightly below last year’s amount at this time of 7,185. (Sect E p.3).

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 206 vs. 174 days last month, with Used at 175 in February compared with 150 in January (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes was $249,100 vs. $235,258 last month. (Sect A p.2) Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $134,898 vs. $131,333 last month. (Sect A p.2) The average price line for Used homes is headed modestly down. The New home average price seems to be showing positive direction.

TWB 3/9/14


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