ALABAMA REAL ESTATE JOURNAL

Wiregrass region home sales up for the fifth consecutive month in October

Sales: According to the Wiregrass Board of Realtors, October residential sales increased 35.1% year-over-year from 94 to 127 closed transactions, marking 5 consecutive months of Y/Y gains. Sales decreased 5.9% from September, and are now up 21.9% year-to-date. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all of Wiregrass’s housing data, click here.

Inventory: Total homes listed for sale in October declined 42.3% year-over-year from 480 to 277 listings. Months of supply declined from 5.1 to 2.2, reflecting a market where sellers generally have elevated bargaining power.

Pricing: The area’s median sales price in October was $167,000, an increase of 28% from one year ago and an increase of 1.2% from September. 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.

Homes sold in October averaged 76 days on the market (DOM), 23 days faster than October 2019.

Forecast: October sales were 33 units, or 35.1%, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 94 residential sales for the month, while actual sales were 135 units. ACRE forecast a total of 993 residential sales in the area year-to-date, while there were 1,217 actual sales through October, a difference of 22.6%.

Click here to view the entire monthly report.

NAR commentary: According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales nationwide increased 4.3% from September (seasonally adjusted annual rate), rising for the fifth consecutive month, and increased 26.6% from one year ago. Sales prices continued to grow at higher rates than before the pandemic, rising almost 16% year-over-year.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, “Considering that we remain in a period of stubbornly high unemployment relative to pre-pandemic levels, the housing sector has performed remarkably well this year. The surge in sales in recent months has now offset the spring market losses. With news that a COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available, and with mortgage rates projected to hover around 3% in 2021, I expect the market’s growth to continue into 2021.”

ACRE commentary: Home sales in Alabama increased for the fifth consecutive month in October, rising 32.2% year-over-year. Sales usually begin to slow in the fall months, but low mortgage rates and demand for more housing space has resulted in significantly elevated sales activity. For additional context, year-over-year sales gains in October averaged 6.7% during the last 5 years, and it is unlikely that the large gains seen in recent months will continue long-term. Sales prices continue to grow at a faster rate than before the pandemic, which could motivate more potential sellers to list their homes going forward. Tight inventory has played a large role in driving sales prices upwards, with total listings down 32.3% in October.

The Wiregrass Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Wiregrass Board of Realtors to better serve area consumers.

Editor’s Note: All information in this article reflects data provided to the Alabama Center for Real Estate for the time period October 1 – 31, 2020. Thus, the performance represented is historical and should not be used as an indicator of future results, particularly considering the impact of COVID-19 on the housing market.

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