ALABAMA REAL ESTATE JOURNAL

Alabama’s Fastest Selling Markets (December 2019)

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

  1. Birmingham: 38 days
  2. Huntsville: 39 days
  3. Athens: 43 days
  4. Talladega County: 55 days
  5. Mobile: 58 days

Statewide Average: 94 days

National Average: 72 days

Birmingham– With an average DOM of 38 days, the Birmingham area was Alabama’s fastest selling market in December. Residential markets in the area now have 37 consecutive months of Y/Y improvement in average DOM, a streak that goes back to December 2016. Mirroring statewide trends but to a lesser degree, inventory was tight during December as listings declined 6.4% 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 3.8%. With a strong finish in December, sales are up 2.4% on the year. Median sales price growth was especially strong in December as increased 19.9% from one year ago, and the market is now up 7% versus 2018. With 3.6 months of supply, Birmingham is a seller’s market, a factor contributing to rising home prices. Dollar volume also posted a large gain as it increased 17.8% in December from $271.5 million one year ago to $319.7 million currently.

Huntsville– With an average DOM of 39 days, the Huntsville area was Alabama’s second fastest selling market in December. The area now has 40 consecutive months of Y/Y improvement in average DOM, an impressive streak that began in December 2016. The area’s YTD DOM average improved from 57 in 2018 to 43 in 2019, making it the second fastest selling market in the state during 2019, second only to Birmingham. Mirroring statewide trends but to a greater degree, residential listings in the Huntsville metro area during December were down 29.5% from one year ago. Demand for housing was especially strong as closed sales increased 30.3% from 524 to 683 closed transactions. While the area has, arguably, the tightest inventory in the state, and continued sales growth (up 6.9% YTD), it was not surprising to see home price appreciation in the area continue to trend upwards. Huntsville’s median sales price increased 10% during December, and is now up 9.1% on the year. Dollar volume continues to rise as it increased 37.7% from $131.8 million in December 2018 to $181.5 million in December 2019.

Athens– With a robust new construction market, Athens was Alabama’s third fastest selling market in December with a DOM average of 43 days. While the monthly DOM average was unchanged from one year ago, the year-to-date average improved by 14 days from 2018. This indicator has now improved for 26 consecutive months, a streak that began in December 2017. Mirroring trends seen across the north Alabama region, inventory declined 23.5% versus one year ago, extending the streak of Y/Y inventory declines to 53 months. Demand rebounded in December as closed sales improved 22.4%, and sales are up 8.3% on the year. Home price appreciation continued to rise as well, gaining 11.3% in December and 9.1% on the year. Dollar volume increased 31.7% from $33.2 million one year ago to $43.7 million during December.

Talladega County– One of the faster selling non-metro areas in the state, Talladega County was the fourth fastest selling market in December when properties sold in an average of 55 days. Properties sold much faster in 2019 than 2018 as the area’s year-to-date DOM average improved by 34 days. Going against statewide trends, inventory (properties listed for sale) in the area is rising, gaining 12.4% in December. The area now has 6 consecutive months of inventory gains. Demand was especially strong in December as closed sales increased 62.1% from one year ago, bringing year-to-date sales growth to 14%. Dollar volume increased 57.9% from $4.6 million in December of last year to $7.3 million currently.

Mobile– Alabama’s fifth fastest selling market averaged 58 days on the market during December, an improvement of 12 days from one year ago. Year-to-date, properties in the area are selling 14 days faster than in 2018. Following statewide trends, total listings in the area declined 10.7% in December, extending the area’s streak of inventory declines to 74 months, the longest in the state. On the demand side, sales rebounded significantly in December gaining 19.7% versus December 2018, and sales are up 5.3% on the year. Home price appreciation was especially strong in December as the median sales price gained 9.3%, while the YTD median sales price is up 5.1% from last year. With rising sales activity and price gains, dollar volume gained an impressive 36.1% from $57.4 million one year ago to $78.1 million currently.

**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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