According to the Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE), Alabama’s housing market is exceeding all expectations, and 80 percent of the state’s housing markets have improved over March 2014. Sales for the month exceeded the market forecast for March by 5.4 percent. Home sales in Alabama totaled 4,289 units for the month, which indicates growth of 19.3 percent over the previous year. These figures are 25.2 percent above the five-year March sales average of 3,426 units. Year-to-date sales are up 13 percent from 2014.
Alabama’s housing inventory for March was 32.225 units, which was 1 percent lower than inventory levels for March 2014, and 22.2 percent lower than the peak March numbers in 2008. The housing supply was 7.5 months, which is on par with the NSA-determined equilibrium. Supply levels have favorably dropped 17 percent from the previous year (9.1 months), but the March inventory marks a 1.5 percent increase over the February inventory. This increase is in line with historical expectations which denote a 2.3 percent inventory increase between February and March each year.
Residential home sales increased 33.4 percent over February’s rates, which increase is consistent with the historical trend of 30 percent average increase in sales from February to March. The numbers are also consistent with the projections of industry professionals in the Center’s 2015 Q2 Alabama real Estate Confidence Index (ARECI). There was a slight slowdown in the Days on Market (DOM) rate, as the average number of days a house spent on market is was 162, which is 2.6 percent longer than the March 2014 DOM. Alabama sales outstripped national sales for March, as the broader US market only showed an increase of 10.4 percent over March 2014.
The median home price in Alabama is up 7 percent over last year’s numbers, an increase of 17 percent over the rock-bottom prices of March 2011. Although some have characterized house pricing activity as softer than expected, the sales pricing improved 7.9 percent over February’s prices, and 7.5 percent over rates in March 2014. 64 percent of the state’s local real estate markets saw year-to-date price gains. This increase nearly doubled the historical expectations for the month, which usually sees a 4.2 percent price increase between February and March.