Huntsville Residential Sales Seasonally Slow In October

Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS Observations: Real Estate Market October 2011

October sales declined 25% to $99,006,068 vs. September at $132,619,446. This was 9% worse than last year at $108,938,422 (even with the tax incentive expiration). The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart is still poking up a bit.

Huntsville October Units SoldHuntsville October Units Sold

Total unit sales decreased to 636 in October vs. 831 in September a decrease of 195.

New sales decreased to117 homes this month vs. 164 last month, a decrease of 47.

Used sales decreased to 519 homes this month vs. 667 last month, a decrease of 148 (Sect E p.3).

Used inventory levels remain high this month at 14 months (see the chart Sect C p.1), with the situation particularly challenged in the higher price ranges. Used homes over $100,000 are still over 14 months of inventory and over $400,000 have two or more years of inventory.

New home absorption is 9 months of inventory overall, (with last month at 11 months), (E-1). The New Home inventory level in the $300,000-$500,000 is approximately 6 months.

There continue to be a large number ofhousingpermits issued in Huntsville city, given the market conditions. September increased to 87 (imputed by the Census dept) vs.97 in August (chart on the web site).

Total Active listings decreased this month to 8,711 compared to last month’s 9,408, which is barely below last year at this time at 9,613 (Sect A p.4 and Sect E p.3). Active New listings decreased from 1,552 last month to 1,277 in October, down 275. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased from 7,856 last month to 7,434 this month, down 422 and below last year’s amount at this time of 8,117. (Sect E p.3).

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 160 vs.152 days last month, with Used at 164 in October compared with 152 in September (Sect A p.18). Days on Market at or below 6 months, while the inventory numbers are way higher, indicates well priced homes are selling. Sellers, including bank owners, are not adjusting to the new price reality which contributes to inventory build-up.

Average sales price for Sold New homes was $231,540 vs. $229,595 last month. (Sect A p.2)

Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $138,566 vs. $142,378 last month. (Sect A p.2)

The Average price lines which were on a upwards slope for a while, turned down particularly for Used Homes. The fluctuation is mostly due to a changing mix of home sales with some more higher priced homes beginning to move as a proportion of the total market; prices for individual properties remain under pressure.

We have been doing some work to see how well we can predict overall residential sales as much as a year or two in advance and have some very encouraging results. Call me if you would like to discuss.

TWB 11/12/11

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