Sales: According to the Wiregrass Board of Realtors, December residential sales increased 40% year-over-year from 90 to 126 closed transactions, marking 7 consecutive months of Y/Y gains. Sales increased 14.6% from November, and are now up 24.9% 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 December declined 36.7% year-over-year from 417 to 264 listings. Months of supply declined from 4.6 to 2.1, reflecting a market where sellers generally have elevated bargaining power.
Pricing: The area’s median sales price in December was $154,250, an increase of 7.3% from one year ago and a decrease of 3.9% from November. 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 December averaged 74 days on the market (DOM), 9 days faster than December 2019.
Forecast: December sales were 46 units, or 57.5%, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 80 residential sales for the month, while actual sales were 126 units. ACRE forecast a total of 1,157 residential sales in the area year-to-date, while there were 1,453 actual sales through December, a difference of 25.6%.
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NAR commentary: According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales nationwide increased 0.7% from November (seasonally adjusted annual rate), reaching the highest annual level since 2006. Sales increased significantly from one year ago, rising 22.2%. Sales prices continued to grow at higher rates than before the pandemic, rising almost 13% year-over-year.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, “Home sales rose in December, and for 2020 as a whole, we saw sales perform at their highest levels since 2006, despite the pandemic. What’s even better is that this momentum is likely to carry into the new year, with more buyers expected to enter the market. Although mortgage rates are projected to increase, they will continue to hover near record lows at around 3%. Moreover, expect economic conditions to improve with additional stimulus forthcoming and vaccine distribution already underway.”
ACRE commentary: Home sales in Alabama increased for the seventh consecutive month in December, rising 24.2% year-over-year. The strong rebound in sales activity during the summer months has extended into early winter, with all metro areas in the state recording year-over-year gains in home sales during 2020. Buyers are incentivized by low mortgage rates, increasing their buying power during a time of rising sales prices, which increased 15% Y/Y in December. 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 35.3% in December.
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 December 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.