Huntsville/Madison County residential sales totaled 377 units for the month of March. There were 34 more housing units sold compared to the same month a year earlier. Restated, residential sales improved by 9.9 percent in March. Year-to-date, sales are up a solid 13.4 percent.
Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 2,936 units, an increase of 5.0 percent from last March led by an increase in new home inventory of 20.8 percent. The inventory-to-sales ratio in March stood at 7.8 months of housing supply, reflecting an decrease of 4.4% from 8.1 months in March 2012. This figure still represents the best inventory balance between supply & demand in Alabama. March inventory in Huntsville experienced a 4.4 percent increase when compared to the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data trends that indicates March inventory on average (’08-’12) increases from the month of February by 2.9 percent.
Demand: Existing single family home sales accounted for 74 percent (compared to 72% in March’12) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 24 percent (down from 27% in March’12) while condos were 2 percent of sales (up from 1% in March’12).
Residential sales in March increased by .3 percent from the prior month. Historical Huntsville data reflects that March sales, on average (’08-’12), increase from the month of February by 26.5 percent.
Pricing: The Huntsville median selling price in March was $156,500, an increase of .4 percent from last March. In contrast, this figure represents a decrease of 6.4 percent when compared to the prior month. Historical data (’08-’12) indicates that the March median selling price traditionally decreases from the month of February by 1.5 percent so this month’s wider gap from recent trends is an area to keep an eye on in the near term.
What’s the latest housing and economic outlook for 2013? In a March 2013 report, analysts at Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch concluded: “We believe that the gain in home prices can persist despite subpar economic growth this year…Absent a significant weakening in the economy with negative payrolls, we think the housing recovery can continue. The combination of low inventory (referring to nationwide level), high affordability and improving expectations for home prices provide powerful momentum for the housing sector.”