Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS Observations: Real Estate Market March 2014
March sales improved by 18% to $119,454,774 vs. February at $101,343,374. This was off 3% from last year’s $122,589,755. This is a lesser year to year decline than we saw last month hopefully pointing to more positive comparisons as the season progresses to the stronger months. The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart has turned slightly down. Total unit sales improved 11% to 740 in March vs. 667 in February, an increase of 73. This was 7% lower than last year at 797.
The way ACRE and Brander Real Estate projections for 2014 are compiled has changed. 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 130 this month vs. 117 last month, up 13 and compared with 145 last year.
Used sales increased to 610 this month vs. 550 last month, up 60, and compared with 652 last year (Sect E p.3).
Inventory levels remain stubbornly high. Used inventory levels remain high this monthat11 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 8 months of inventory overall, and this has been climbing, 10 months last month. (E-1). The New Home inventory level in the $300,000-$500,000 is approximately 5-6 months (Not bad!).
February housing permits issued were 66 compared with 40 in January (chart on the web site).
Total Active listings decreased this month to 8,444 compared to last month’s 8,572, and lower than last year at this time at 8,981, 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 1,172 this month from 1,435 in February, down 263. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased to 7,272 this month from 7,317 in February, down 45 and slightly below last year’s amount at this time of 7,487. (Sect E p.3).
Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 179 vs. 206 days last month, with Used at 163 in March compared with 175 in February (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes was $245,360 vs. $237,398 last month. (Sect A p.2) Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $143,540 vs. $133,760 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.