Pent-up buyer demand led to new records for the North Alabama real estate market in the third quarter of 2020. Buyers and sellers across the nation are evaluating their housing needs due to the continued shift to a remote workforce. Additionally, the quarter experienced increasing consumer optimism coupled with historic low mortgage rates.
Huntsville made the news in the third quarter as a top housing market to watch in part for the real estate market’s growth. The numbers in the latest 3rd Quarter 2019 Report from the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors (HAAR) back Zillow’s ranking. The data reveals a sustained interest in north Alabama as a place to call home.
Huntsville real estate by the numbers
Some key figures from the third quarter of 2020:
- The number of homes sold reached 2,621, a new record and 12% higher than the total units sold in the same quarter in 2019.
- September’s actual sales exceeded the five-year average for September sales by 43%. August was 20% above and July 35% above their respective five-year averages.
- All three months reported higher median sales prices than 2019.
- Available inventory declined in every pricing band.
Quarter 3 breakdown
Inventory and home supply
While the number of homes sold reached record levels, inventory is not keeping pace with demand. Compared to September 2019, average new listings declined 336 units in September 2020.
Every price band experienced a drop in available inventory compared to the prior quarter. There were 5% fewer homes available in the $300,000-$350,000 price range and 8% fewer in the over $350,000 price range compared to Q3 2019.
The result of declining inventory and high buyer demand was a record low days on market, which averaged at 19 days during the third quarter for the greater Huntsville area. For comparison, the days on market averaged 38 in the same quarter of 2019.
The months’ supply of inventory stands at one month, favoring home sellers.
Home sales and prices
As mentioned, the 2,621 total homes sold exceeded the 2019 amount of 2,350. Reported home sales by the month were:
- September 874
- August 818
- July 929
Demand pushed median sale prices upward in the quarter. Median sale prices increased to $254,991, which is $33,193 above last year’s third-quarter amount.
Looking at pricing brands, home sales in the $300,000-$500,000 range rose by 50% compared to the same quarter last year. Sales for homes priced between $500,000 and $650,000 increased 113%. The report notes the largest percentage increase in sales price was in the number of homes sold priced above $800,000.
However, rising prices did not slow sales activity during the quarter.
What’s ahead in Q4 2020
The report finds trends suggest the sales activity may fall in the final quarter of 2020, partially because available new listings are not keeping pace with sales. The market is set for a potential gap between residential demand and supply.
Of course, any unanticipated changes to the economy, like another stringent shut down due to an uptick in pandemic cases, would have a ripple effect on local real estate activity. In these turbulent times, having a seasoned real estate professional monitoring local sales activity is crucial to achieve your goals successfully.
Amanda Howard Sotheby’s International Realty remains committed to serving as your trusted North Alabama and southwest Tennessee real estate resource. Our innovative brokerage utilizes the latest technology to continuously adapt and meet our client needs. Please reach out to us with any questions about buying or selling a home in the greater Huntsville area.