Across Alabama in 2013, 80 percent of local markets reported positive sales growth compared to last year. This is also an improvement from 2012 when 72 percent of local markets experienced positive year-over-year sales growth. In 2011, 56 percent of local markets improved from the prior year.
The ACRE 2013 forecast for Alabama projected 41,799 closed transactions - actual closings were 43,160 units or 3.3 percent above forecast.
SUPPLY: The statewide housing inventory in December was 31,441 units, an increase of 1.9 percent from December 2012 but 17.3 percent below the month of December peak in 2007 (37,916 units).
DEMAND: December statewide residential sales improved 5.3 percent from the prior month. This movement is consistent with seasonal trends & recent historical data that indicates December sales, on average (’08-’12), increase from the month of November by 3.3 percent. Real estate transactions that need to close on or before year-end for tax-purposes provide a small boost to December sales each year.
PRICING: Pricing represents the primary indicator that still has the greatest upside in the future. The median sales price did improve 1.9 percent across Alabama but remains below the nation's pace of increase. ACRE prefers gradual increases in pricing over spikes seen in many parts of the country, typically in markets hardest hit by the recession. The statewide median selling price for the month of December was $129,229, a decrease of 4.0 percent from last December. Pricing can fluctuate from month-to-month as the sample size of data (closed transactions) is subject to seasonal buying patterns. The median price actually improved 1.5 percent from the prior month. This movement is consistent with historical data ('08-'12) reflects that the December median selling price traditionally increase from the month of November by 3.2 percent. 11 of 25 or 44 percent of local markets experienced positive movement in median sales price growth from December 2012.
LOCAL: 19 out of the 25 local reporting associations (76% - this is an improvement from 52% in November) reflect sales gains from last December. For 2013, sales in metro markets (up 11% from last year) has outperformed both midsize markets (up 10%) and small markets (up 6%). All 5 major metro areas representing 70% of Alabama sales, have positive sales growth in 2013 led by Montgomery with year-over-year sales growth of 14.6%. Baldwin County led midsize markets with sales growth of 17.6% while Talladega County led small markets with sales growth of 80.7%.
ACRE's 2014 housing forecast will be released the week beginning February 10th.
This monthly report is provided compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.
The Alabama Residential Monthly Report is work product developed in conjunction with the Alabama Association of REALTORS and its local associations.
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