ALABAMA REAL ESTATE JOURNAL

Alabama’s Fastest Selling Markets (August 2019)

The Alabama Center for Real Estate created the following rankings based on average days on market (DOM) for closed transactions during August.

  1. 1. Birmingham: 32 days
  2. 2. Athens: 41 days
  3. 3. Huntsville: 43 days
  4. 4. Tuscaloosa: 45 days
  5. 5. Decatur: 47 days

Statewide Average: 86 days

National Average: 62 days

Birmingham– With an average DOM of 32 days, the Birmingham area was Alabama’s fastest selling market in August. Residential markets in the area now have 33 consecutive months of Y/Y improvement in average DOM, an impressive streak that started in December 2016. Mirroring statewide trends, inventory was tight during August as listings declined 8.9% from one year ago. Inventory shortages in Alabama’s largest residential market, however, are quite different from the second largest market, the Huntsville area. Inventory declines of 25-30% are the new normal in the Huntsville area and larger north Alabama region. On the demand side, total residential sales in the Birmingham area increased 5.7% Y/Y, building upon the growth seen in 2018, a record year for residential sales activity in the state. After a strong August, sales are now up 2.2% year-to-date (YTD). Home price appreciation regained momentum as the median sales price in the Birmingham area increased 7.4% Y/Y, and the market is now up 5.8% YTD. With 3.4 months of supply, Birmingham is a strong seller’s market, a factor contributing to rising home prices. Dollar volume is on the rise as it increased 13.8% in August from $365.5 million one year ago to $416 million currently.

Athens– Driven in part by a strong new construction market, Athens was Alabama’s second  fastest selling market in August with a DOM average of 41 days. Properties selling in August closed 5 days faster than one year ago, while the area’s year-to-date DOM average declined from 66 in 2018 to 54 in 2019. Average DOM in the Athens area has improved Y/Y for 22 consecutive months, a streak that began in November 2017. Mirroring trends seen across the north Alabama region, inventory declined 33.2% Y/Y, extending the streak of Y/Y inventory declines to 49 months. Similar to nearby Huntsville, demand for housing in the area remained especially strong as August sales increased 8% from one year ago. Sales are now up 12.7% YTD, the second strongest sales growth thus far in 2019 behind the Phenix City Area. With tight inventory and growing demand for housing in the area, it was not surprising to see the area’s median sales price increase 8.5% Y/Y. Year-to-date, the area has the second fastest home price appreciation in the state (8.3%), with the Montgomery area leading with 9.2% YTD. Dollar volume was up an impressive 14% from $42.3 million one year ago to $48.3 million during August, extending the streak of Y/Y dollar volume gains to 44 months, a trend that began in January 2016.

Huntsville– Residential properties sold in August averaged 43 days on the market, an improvement of 4 days from one year ago. The area’s YTD DOM average improved from 61 in 2018 to 47 in 2019, making it the second fastest selling market in the state YTD behind Birmingham. With August’s improvement, the Huntsville area now has 36 consecutive months of Y/Y improvements in average DOM, a streak that began in September 2016. Mirroring statewide trends but to a greater degree, residential listings in the Huntsville metro area during August were down 28.4% from one year ago. Demand for housing was especially strong as sales increased 8.3% Y/Y from 746 to 808 closed transactions. While the area has, arguably, the tightest inventory in the state, and continued sales growth (up 4.5% YTD), it was not surprising to see home price appreciation in the area continue to trend upwards. Huntsville’s median sales price increased 16% Y/Y during August, well ahead of the statewide average of 8.1%. Dollar volume is rising fast as it increased 18.7% Y/Y from $169 million in August 2018 to $200.6 million in August 2019.

Tuscaloosa– Alabama’s fourth fastest selling market averaged 45 days on the market during August, an improvement of 22 days from one year ago. Year-to-date, properties in the area are selling eight days faster than in 2018. After 3 months of slight inventory gains in April, May and June, the Tuscaloosa area’s residential listings decreased 4.9% Y/Y in July and 0.7% in August. Of Alabama’s 14 metro areas*, only two experienced inventory gains in August (Lee County up 8.6%, Baldwin County up 0.9%). On the demand side, sales rebounded in August by posting a significant gain of 22.2% Y/Y. With the surge of sales activity, sales are now up on the year as they increased 1.9% from 2018. The area’s median sales price increased 6% from $169,700 to $179,900, while the YTD median sales price is up 5.4% from last year. Dollar volume is also on the rise as it increased 9.9% from $52.7 million one year ago to $57.9 million currently.

Decatur– Residential properties sold in August averaged 47 days on the market, an improvement of 20 days from one year ago. Year-to-date, properties in the Decatur area are selling 21 days, or 24.8%, faster than one year ago. Mirroring regional trends, inventory is also short in the area as listings declined 24.9% Y/Y. Total residential sales increased slightly (0.5%) in August,but the market is still down slightly on the year (-0.1% YTD). Median sales price in the area declined 7.6% Y/Y, however the area’s median sales price is up 8.3% YTD, well ahead of the statewide average of 4.7%. Dollar volume decreased 4.8% Y/Y from $30.1 million in August 2018 to $28.6 million in August 2019.

**Includes Phenix City as a part of the Columbus, GA metropolitan statistical area. Includes Athens as a sub market of the larger Huntsville metropolitan statistical area.
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