February home sales in Lee County up from one year ago

Sales: According to the Lee County Association of Realtors, February residential sales in the Auburn-Opelika area increased 11.9% year-over-year from 168 to 188 closed transactions, marking nine consecutive months of Y/Y gains. Following seasonal trends, sales increased 6.8% from January. Sales are now up 23% year-to-date. 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 decreased 23.6% year-over-year from 645 to 493 listings. Months of supply decreased from 3.8 to 2.6, reflecting a market where sellers generally have elevated bargaining power.

Pricing: The area’s median sales price in February was $274,950 an increase of 9.7% from one year ago and an increase of 0.7% from January. 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 February averaged 69 days on the market (DOM), 30 days faster than February 2020.

Forecast: February sales were 6 units, or 3.0%, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 194 sales for the month, while actual sales were 188 units. ACRE forecast a total of 364 sales in the area year-to-date, while there were 364 actual sales through February, a difference of 0%.

New Construction: The 60 new homes sold represent 31.9% of all residential sales in the area in February. Total sales increased 15.4% year-over-year. The median sales price in February was $306,709, a decrease of 2.2% from January and a decrease of 9.1% from one year ago.

NAR commentary: According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales nationwide decreased in February, falling 6.6% from January (seasonally adjusted annual rate). However, sales did increase year-over-year, rising 9.1% from February 2020. Sales prices continue to grow at higher rates than before the pandemic, rising 15.8% year-over-year. Rising home prices are largely a result of housing inventory remaining at a record low of 1.03 million listings in February, representing a record decline of 29.5% year-over-year.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, “Despite the drop in home sales for February – which I would attribute to historically-low inventory – the market is still outperforming pre-pandemic levels. I still expect this year’s sales to be ahead of last year’s, and with more COVID-19 vaccinations being distributed and available to larger shares of the population, the nation is on the cusp of returning to a sense of normalcy. Many Americans have been saving money and there’s a strong possibility that once the country fully reopens, those reserves will be unleashed on the economy.”

Yun also cautioned that home sales could slow in the months ahead as higher prices and rising mortgage rates decrease home affordability.

ACRE commentary: Home sales in Alabama increased 14.7% year-over-year (Y/Y) in February, marking nine consecutive months of Y/Y gains. The strong rebound in demand seen during the second half of 2020 has extended into 2021. Year-over-year growth rates, however, have moderated somewhat since reaching a peak of 26.6% in the fourth quarter of 2020. Home sales prices continued their upward trend in February, rising 13.1% Y/Y, mainly a result of market fundamentals (increased demand and continued reduction in supply). Housing inventory in the state reached a record low of 9,950 listings in February, falling 44% Y/Y, a record decline.

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.

Editor’s Note: All information in this article reflects data provided to the Alabama Center for Real Estate for the time period February 1 – 28, 2021. Thus, the performance represented is historical and should not be used as an indicator of future results.

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