Alabama’s housing inventory reaches another record low in March

Sales: According to the Alabama Association of REALTORS, March home sales in the state increased 23.4% year-over-year (Y/Y) from 5,690 to 7,027 closed transactions, marking 10 consecutive months of Y/Y gains. Following seasonal trends, sales increased 35.2% from February. Sales are now up 18.9% year-to-date. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all statewide housing data, click here.

Inventory: Homes listed for sale decreased 46.4% from 18,122 listings one year ago to 9,721 in March, a record low. The state’s housing inventory has declined year-over-year for 73 consecutive months. Months of supply (inventory to sales ratio) dropped from 3.2 to 1.4, also a record low, reflecting a market where sellers generally have elevated bargaining power.

Pricing: The statewide median sales price in March was $204,798, an increase of 16.6% from one year ago and an increase of 7% from February. 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 March averaged 65 days on the market (DOM), 21 days faster than one year ago.

Forecast: March sales were 253 units, or 3.7%, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 6,771 sales for the month, while actual sales were 7,027 units. ACRE forecast a total of 17,087 sales in the state year-to-date, while there were 17,050 actual sales through March, a difference of 0.2%.

New Construction: The 1,082 new homes sold represent 15.4% of all residential sales in the area in March. Total sales increased 20.6% year-over-year, extending the state’s streak of Y/Y gains in new home sales to 21 consecutive months. The median sales price in March was $276,583, an increase of 9.4% from one year ago and an increase of 7.7% from February. New homes sold in an average of 57 days, 19 days faster than March 2020.

NAR commentary: According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales nationwide decreased for the second consecutive month in March, falling 3.7% from February (seasonally adjusted annual rate). However, sales did increase 12.3% year-over-year. The median sales price for existing homes hit a historic high of $329,100, rising 17.2% year-over-year, also a record gain. Rising home prices are largely a result of extremely low housing inventory. The 1.07 million units listed for sale represent a decline of 28.2% year-over-year, resulting in 2.1 months of supply.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, “Consumers are facing much higher home prices, rising mortgage rates, and falling affordability, however, buyers are still actively in the market. The sales for March would have been measurably higher, had there been more inventory. Days-on-market are swift, multiple offers are prevalent, and buyer confidence is rising.”

Yun added that the economic outlook is encouraging and that mortgage rates are still historically low, even with the recent uptick.

ACRE commentary: Home sales in Alabama increased 23.4% year-over-year (Y/Y) in March, marking 10 consecutive months of Y/Y gains. The strong rebound in demand seen during the second half of 2020 has continued into the first quarter of 2021, with home sales rising 18.9% Y/Y during that period. Home sales prices continued to trend upwards in March, rising 16.6% Y/Y, mainly a result of market fundamentals (increased demand and continued reduction in supply). Housing inventory in the state reached another record low of 9,721 listings in March, falling 46.4% Y/Y, also a record decline.

Click here to view the entire monthly report.

The Alabama Residential Monthly Report is developed in connection with the Alabama Association of Realtors.

Editor’s Note: All information in this article reflects data provided to the Alabama Center for Real Estate for the time period March 1 – 31, 2021. Thus, the performance represented is historical and should not be used as an indicator of future results.

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