ALABAMA REAL ESTATE JOURNAL

Morgan County home sales hit record speed in May

Sales: According to the Morgan County Association of Realtors, May residential sales in the Decatur area (Morgan and Lawrence Counties) increased 8.1% year-over-year (Y/Y) from 136 to 147 closed transactions, marking eight consecutive months of Y/Y gains. Following seasonal trends, sales decreased 8.1% from April. Sales are now up 12.5% year-to-date. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all of Morgan County’s housing data, click here.

Inventory: Total homes listed for sale in May declined 39.2% year-over-year from 199 to 121 listings. Months of supply declined from 1.5 to 0.8, reflecting a market where sellers generally have elevated bargaining power.

Pricing: The area’s median sales price in May was $230,000, a record high, an increase of 40.5% from one year ago and an increase of 24.3% from April. 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 May averaged 19 days on the market (DOM), 40 days faster than May 2020.

Forecast: May sales were 33 units, or 18.5%, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 180 sales for the month, while actual sales were 147 units. ACRE forecast a total of 762 sales in the area year-to-date, while there were 704 actual sales through May, a difference of 7.6%.

NAR commentary: According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales nationwide decreased for the fourth consecutive month in April, falling 0.9% from April (seasonally adjusted annual rate). However, sales did increase 44.6% year-over-year. The median sales price for existing homes hit another historic high ($350,300), rising 23.6% year-over-year, also a record gain. Rising home prices are largely a result of extremely low housing inventory amid significantly elevated demand. The 1.23 million units listed for sale represent a decline of 20.6% year-over-year, resulting in 2.5 months of supply (4.8 in May 2020).

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, “Home sales fell moderately in May and are now approaching pre-pandemic activity. Lack of inventory continues to be the overwhelming factor holding back home sales, but falling affordability is simply squeezing some first-time buyers out of the market.”

Yun added that the market outlook is encouraging: “Supply is expected to improve, which will give buyers more options and help tamp down record-high asking prices for existing homes.”

ACRE commentary: Home sales in Alabama increased year-over-year (Y/Y) for the 12th consecutive month in May, rising 27.6%.The growth rate in home sales was higher than usual due to the pandemic-related lockdowns of May 2020. Home sales prices continue to rise but at slower rates, even amid record-low inventory. The statewide median sales price gained 11.6% Y/Y in May while it averaged 13% from January-April 2021 and 13.8% from June-December 2020. Housing inventory in the state continued to tighten, reaching another record low of 9,363 listings across the state in May, a decrease of 2.3% from April and down 45.1% from one year ago.

Click here to view the entire monthly report.

The Morgan County (Decatur) Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Morgan 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 May 1 – 31, 2021. Thus, the performance represented is historical and should not be used as an indicator of future results.

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