Alabama’s housing inventory reaches another record low in April

Sales: According to the Alabama Association of REALTORS, April home sales in the state increased 33.4% year-over-year (Y/Y) from 5,300 to 7,068 closed transactions, marking 11 consecutive months of Y/Y gains. Following seasonal trends, sales increased 0.6% from March. Sales are now up 22.8% 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 46.6% from 17,956 listings one year ago to 9,582 in April, a record low. The state’s housing inventory has declined year-over-year for 74 consecutive months. Months of supply (inventory to sales ratio) dropped from 3.4 to 1.4, also a record low, reflecting a market where sellers generally have elevated bargaining power.

Pricing: The statewide median sales price in April was $201,723, an increase of 10.5% from one year ago and a decrease of 1.5% from March. 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 April averaged 59 days on the market (DOM), a record low and 40 days faster than one year ago.

Forecast: April sales were 328 units, or 4.9%, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 6,740 sales for the month while actual sales were 7,068 units. ACRE forecast a total of 23,827 sales in the state year-to-date, while there were 24,118 actual sales through April, a difference of 1.2%.

New Construction: The 977 new homes sold represent 13.8% of all residential sales in the area in April. Total sales increased 20% year-over-year, extending the state’s streak of Y/Y gains in new home sales to 22 consecutive months. The median sales price in April was $284,048, an increase of 15.5% from one year ago and an increase of 2.7% from March. New homes sold in an average of 43 days, 47 days faster than April 2020.

NAR commentary: According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales nationwide decreased for the third consecutive month in March, falling 2.7% from March (seasonally adjusted annual rate). However, sales did increase 33.9% year-over-year. The median sales price for existing homes hit a historic high of $341,600, rising 19.1% year-over-year, also a record gain. Rising home prices are largely a result of extremely low housing inventory. The 1.16 million units listed for sale represent a decline of 20.5% year-over-year, resulting in 2.4 months of supply (4.0 in April 2020).

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, “home sales were down again in April from the prior month, as housing supply continues to fall short of demand. We’ll see more inventory come to the market later this year as further COVID-19 vaccinations are administered and potential home sellers become more comfortable listing and showing their homes. The falling number of homeowners in mortgage forbearance will also bring about more inventory.”

Yun added that housing demand has increased significantly from one year ago as home sales are up 20% year-to-date.

ACRE commentary: Home sales in Alabama increased 33.4% year-over-year (Y/Y) in April, marking 10 consecutive months of Y/Y gains. The year-over-year growth rate was higher than usual due to the onset of the pandemic one year ago. The statewide median sales price continued to trend upwards in April but at a slower rate, rising 10.5% Y/Y, the lowest rate of growth since 9.6% Y/Y in June 2020. Housing inventory in the state continued to tighten, reaching another record low of 9,582 listings in April, down 1.4% from March and 46.6% from one year ago, 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 April 1 – 30, 2021. Thus, the performance represented is historical and should not be used as an indicator of future results.

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