Morgan County home sales decline 6.8% year-over-year in October

Sales: According to the Morgan County Association of Realtors, October residential sales in the Decatur area (Morgan and Lawrence Counties) decreased 6.8% year-over-year (Y/Y) from 132 to 123 closed transactions. Sales decreased 19.6% from September. Sales are now up 3.0% 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 October increased 51.3% year-over-year from 193 to 292 listings. Months of supply rose from 1.5 to 2.4, reflecting a market where sellers generally have elevated bargaining power.

Pricing: The area’s median sales price in October was $225,000, an increase of 9.8% from one year ago and a decrease of 2.1% from September. 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 October averaged 23 days on the market (DOM), 9 days slower than October 2021. 

Forecast: October sales were 42 units, or 25.3%, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 165 sales for the month, while actual sales were 123 units. ACRE forecast a total of 1,631 sales in the area year-to-date, while there were 1,549 actual sales through October, a difference of 5.0%.  

Statewide Summary: Home sales in the state declined in October as escalating mortgage rates softened buyer demand. Sales declined 23.4% year-over-year and are down 8.9% year-to-date. Buyer demand has pulled back to below pre-covid levels with October sales down 12.6% from the 5-year average. Additional declines are likely in the months ahead, with a 10-15% slowdown expected from last year’s pace. 

Home sales price growth moderated in October with the statewide median sales price rising 11.4% Y/Y, down from an average of 14.6% from January-September 2022. The statewide median sales price increased 1.7% from September. Going forward, slowing sales and rising inventory are likely to result in home price growth moderating to the 8-10% range by year end. 

Inventory increased slightly from September but is up significantly (40.1%) from October 2021 when elevated demand drove inventory down to a near record low. However, inventory is still relatively scarce as the 14,370 properties listed for sale is 20.9% below the 5-year average. Unsold inventory was at 3.1 months of supply, below the equilibrium point of 4-5 months of supply.  

National Summary: According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales declined 5.9% from September (seasonally adjusted annual rate), marking the ninth consecutive month of slowing sales activity. All four regions reported year-over-year declines and home sales slowed 28.4% from October 2021’s pace. 

The median sales price for all housing types increased 6.6% Y/Y to $379,100, the 128th consecutive Y/Y gain. However, home prices retreated somewhat over the last four months from a record high of $413,800 in June. 

Properties sold in an average of 21 days, 2 days slower than one year ago. Inventory is slowly trending upwards from the lows seen during the post-pandemic housing boom. The 1,220,000 listings at the end of October represent a decrease of 0.8% from September and October 2021. October’s 3.3 months of supply (MOS) was up from 3.1 in September and up from 2.4 one year ago.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, “More potential homebuyers were squeezed out from qualifying for a mortgage in October as mortgage rates climbed higher. The impact is greater in expensive areas of the country and in markets that witnessed significant home price gains in recent years.”

Yun added that inventory remains tight and contributed to almost one-fourth of October listings selling above list price. He said, “”Inventory levels are still tight, which is why some homes for sale are still receiving multiple offers. In October, 24% of homes received over the asking price. Conversely, homes sitting on the market for more than 120 days saw prices reduced by an average of 15.8%.”

All-cash sales represented 26% of all closed sales in October, up from 22% in September and 24% one year ago. Second-home buyers and individual investors purchased 16% of October home sales, up from 15% in September but down from 17% one year ago. 

Foreclosures and short sales accounted for approximately 1% of October transactions, down from 2% in September and unchanged 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.