Overview: Nationwide, residential inventory increased 1.1 percent from 1,860,000 to 1,880,000 listings. This is significant because it marks only the second year-over-year inventory gain in 3 years. This recent shift in listing activity suggests that nationwide inventory will trend upwards during the fourth quarter of 2018. With more listings on the market, it is likely that home price appreciation nationwide will cool off to some degree, creating an opportunity for more first-time homebuyers to enter the market.
In Alabama, however, inventory levels continue to decline as residential listings decreased 8.9 percent from one year ago. Only seven of 24 markets witnessed year-over-year inventory gains during September. The Lake Martin area led the way with a 32 percent increase in residential listings from one year ago. The remaining six markets with year-over-year inventory gains include: Baldwin County (4.7 percent), Gadsden (3.4 percent), Lee County (8.6 percent), Covington County (3.8 percent), Monroe County (11 percent), and Phenix City (4 percent). Inventory shortages were most extreme in the north Alabama region with Huntsville having only 2.5 months of supply (MoS) and Athens with 2.9 MoS. These were the only markets across the state to have less than 3 months of supply during September. Other strong seller’s markets across the state include Lee County (3.8 MoS) and Decatur (3.4 MoS) The statewide average during August was 4.7 months of supply, while it was 4.4 nationwide.
Home price appreciation in Alabama, however, cooled off somewhat during September. The statewide median sales price increased 0.6 percent year-over-year from $161,480 to $162,842. The nationwide median sales price also saw growth but to a greater degree as it increased 4.2 percent year-over-year from $247,600 to $258,100. Year-to-date, median sales prices are up 4.4 percent in Alabama and 5 percent nationwide. While nationwide inventory is trending in a different direction than Alabama’s, it will be interesting to see how this impacts home price appreciation in the final months of 2018.
Significant Statistics from Alabama’s September Residential Sales
Average number of days on the market (DOM) statewide during September, second lowest statewide average DOM in ACRE’s database which goes back to January 2000
Percentage growth of September residential sales (5,074) versus the 5-year average (4,301)
Median sales price of a home in Alabama during September, an increase of $1,002 (0.6 percent) from one year ago ($161,480)
Decrease in September residential listings statewide (23,672) versus one year ago (25,989)
Statewide months of supply during September, down from 5.6 one year ago