Lee County Residential Sales Up Again in February 2020

Editor’s Note: All information in this article reflects data provided to the Alabama Center for Real Estate for the time period February 1 – 29, 2020. Thus, the performance represented is historical and should not be used as an indicator of future results, particularly considering the upcoming impact of COVID-19 on the housing market. 

ACRE is posting coronavirus updates and commentary on the WIN, on our media platform exploRE and on our LinkedIn page.

Sales: According to the Lee County Association of Realtors, February residential sales in the Auburn-Opelika area increased 27.3% year-over-year from 132 to 168 closed transactions. Following seasonal trends, sales increased 31.3% from January. Sales are now up 17.9% year-to-date, but are likely to moderate amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all of the Lee County area’s housing data, click here.

Inventory: Total homes listed for sale in February increased 9.5% year-over-year from 589 to 645 listings. Lee County was the only metro area in the state with a Y/Y inventory gain during February. Months of supply dropped from 4.5 to 3.8, reflecting a continued seller’s market in the area.

Pricing: The area’s median sales price in February was $250,739, an increase of 3.2% from one year ago and a decrease of 9.4% from the prior month. Median sales price is now up 10.3% year-to-date. 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 February was 96 days, up 24 days from 72 in February 2019.

Forecast: February sales were 24 units, or 16.7%, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 144 sales for the month, while actual sales were 168 units. ACRE forecast a total of 266 residential sales in the area year-to-date, while actual sales were 296 units, a difference of 11.3%.

ACRE statewide perspective: While February sales results were very encouraging, up 7.2% year-over-year, they do not reflect the current turmoil in the stock market or the sizable hit to the global economy expected from the coronavirus and subsequent social quarantines. The statewide market is up 14.2% year-to-date, but sales are likely to moderate in the months ahead. Home price appreciation continued to climb as the median sales price increased 7.8% year-over-year, marking 28 consecutive months of gains. While properties listed for sale nationwide decreased 9.8% year-over-year, Alabama’s residential listings continued to tighten, decreasing 13.9%. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2019 and continued into February. With fewer listings, it is not surprising to see homes selling at a slightly quicker pace. Homes selling in Alabama during February spent an average of 93 days on the market, a decrease of 4 days from one year ago.

NAR’s national perspective: Existing home sales increased substantially in February, rising 7.7% year-over-year from approximately 311,000 closed transactions one year ago to 335,000 currently. Sales are up 9.4% year-to-date. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 8% in February, marking 96 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “ February’s sales of over 5 million homes were the strongest since February 2007. I would attribute that to the incredibly low mortgage rates and the steady release of a sizable pent-up housing demand that was built over recent years. These figures show that housing was on a positive trajectory, but the coronavirus has undoubtedly slowed buyer traffic and it is difficult to predict what short-term effects the pandemic will have on future sales.”

Click here to view the entire monthly report.

The Lee County Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Lee County Association of Realtors to better serve area consumers.

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