Athens Begins 2020 with Large Gain in Residential Sales

Sales: According to the Athens-Limestone Association of Realtors, January residential sales increased 20% year-over-year from 120 to 144 closed transactions. Following seasonal trends, sales decreased 17.7% from December. Results were 34% above the 5-year January average of 95 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all of the Athens (Limestone County) housing data, click here.

Inventory: Total homes listed for sale in January declined 23.6% year-over-year from 390 to 298 listings. The market currently has 1.8 months of supply, down 44.6% from 3.3 months of supply in January 2019.

Pricing: The area’s median sales price in January was $234,935, a decrease of 1.0% from one year ago and a decrease of 0.7% from the prior month. This direction is inconsistent with historical data (2015-2019) indicating that the January median sales price on average increases from December by 7.1%. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The average number of days on the market (DOM) for homes sold during January was 43 days, down 17.3% from 52 days one year ago and the same as December 2019.

Forecast: January sales were 32 units, or 22.2%, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 112 sales for the month, while actual sales were 144 units.

ACRE’s statewide perspective: Residential sales growth was especially strong in January as total residential sales increased 23.2% year-over-year from 3,347 to 4,122 closed transactions. Markets across the state have plenty of momentum as 2019 was a record year for residential sales in Alabama. Home price appreciation continued to climb as the median sales price in January increased 11.8% year-over-year, marking 27 consecutive months of gains. While properties listed for sale nationwide decreased 10.7% year-over-year, Alabama’s residential listings continued to tighten, decreasing 17% from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2019 and continued into January. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling at a slightly quicker pace. Homes selling in Alabama during January spent an average of 92 days on the market, a decrease of 15 days from January 2019.

NAR’s national perspective: Existing home sales increased significantly in January, rising 11.6% year-over-year from approximately 285,000 closed transactions one year ago to 318,000 currently. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 6.8% in January, marking 95 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “The trend line for housing starts is increasing and showing steady improvement, which should ultimately lead to more home sales. Mortgage rates have helped with affordability, but it is supply conditions that have driven price growth.” Properties listed for sale nationwide declined 10.7% in January from approximately 1.59 million listings one year ago to 1.42 million currently.

Click here to view the entire monthly report.

The Athens (Limestone County) Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Athens-Limestone Association of Realtors to better serve area consumers.

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