Alabama home sales increase slightly in January

Sales: According to the Alabama Association of REALTORS, January home sales in the state increased 1.6% year-over-year (Y/Y) from 4,829 to 4,907 closed transactions. Following seasonal trends, sales decreased 26.2% from December. Sales are up 1.6% year-to-date. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all statewide housing data, click here.

Inventory: January listings (7,452) decreased 14.5% from December 2021 and decreased 31.1% from one year ago. At the current sales pace, all the active inventory on the market would sell in 1.5 months, up from 1.3 in December and down from 2.2 months in January 2021. The equilibrium point where buyers and sellers have roughly equal bargaining power is 6 months of supply.

Pricing: The statewide median sales price in January was $222,377, an increase of 19.0% from one year ago and a decrease of 3.7% from December. 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 January averaged 52 days on the market (DOM), 15 days faster than one year ago.

Forecast: January sales were 184 units, or 3.9%, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 4,723 sales for the month while actual sales were 4,907 units. ACRE forecast a total of 4,723 sales in the state year-to-date, while there were 4,907 actual sales through January, a difference of 3.9%.

New Construction: The 671 new homes sold represent 10.1% of all residential sales in the state in January. Total sales decreased 40.7% from December 2021 and decreased 10.2% from one year ago. The median sales price was $319,487, a decrease of 0.5% M/M and an increase of 18.9% Y/Y. New homes sold in an average of 33 days, 16 days faster than January 2021.

NAR Commentary: According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales increased significantly in January, rising 6.7% from December (seasonally adjusted annual rate). All four regions of the country reported month-over-month gains. However, home sales declined 2.3% year-over-year. The median sales price for all housing types was $350,300, rising 15.4% year-over-year and marking 119 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Rising home prices are largely a result of low housing inventory amid sustained demand. Supply dropped to an all-time low of 860,000 listings in January, down 2.3% from December 2021 and down 16.5% from one year ago. January’s 1.6 months of supply (MOS) decreased from 1.7 during the prior month and 1.9 one year ago.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, “Buyers were likely anticipating further rate increases and locking-in at the low rates, and investors added to overall demand with all-cash offers. Consequently, housing prices continue to move solidly higher.”

Yun also said that the 860,000 properties listed for sale in January represent the lowest level on record. “There are more listings at the upper end – homes priced above $500,000 – compared to a year ago, which should lead to less hurried decisions by some buyers. Clearly, more supply is needed at the lower-end of the market in order to achieve more equitable distribution of housing wealth.”  

ACRE Commentary: Home sales in Alabama grew slightly in January, rising 1.6% from one year ago. Fourteen of the 24 markets reporting sales data to ACRE reported year-over-year sales gains. 

The statewide median sales price gained 19.0% Y/Y in January as the ongoing imbalance between supply and demand continued. Inventory declined to 7,452 listings, a record low and a decrease of 31.1% from one year ago. Unsold inventory is at 1.3 months of supply, down from 1.6 in December and down from 1.9 months in January 2021.  

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 January 1 – 31, 2021. Thus, the performance represented is historical and should not be used as an indicator of future results.

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