Huntsville-area home sales up 5.3% in 2021

Sales: According to ValleyMLS.com, December home sales in the Huntsville area decreased 2.3% year-over-year (Y/Y) from 867 to 847 closed transactions. Sales increased 11.7% from November. Sales for 2021 were up 5.3% through December. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all Huntsville-area housing data, click here.

Inventory: December listings (601) decreased 14.1% from November and 21.3% from one year ago. At the current sales pace, all the active inventory on the market would sell in 0.7 months, down from 0.9 months in November and the same as last December. The equilibrium point where buyers and sellers have roughly equal bargaining power is 6 months of supply.

Pricing: The median sales price in December was $315,000, a record high and an increase of 19.8% from one year ago and 3.9% from November. 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 December averaged 10 days on the market, selling seven days faster than in December 2020.

Forecast: December sales were 26 units, or 3.1%, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 821 sales for the month, while actual sales were 847 units. ACRE forecast a total of 10,000 sales in the area during 2021, while there were 9,569 actual sales through December, a difference of 5.3%.

New construction: The 274 new homes sold represent 32.3% of all residential sales in the area in December. Total sales decreased 5.5% year-over-year. The median sales price in December was $342,740, a decrease of 1.3% from November and an increase of 9.4% from one year ago.

NAR commentary: According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales decreased 4.6% month-over-month in December, breaking three consecutive months of gains (seasonally adjusted annual rate). However, the 6.12 million home sales in 2021 represent an increase of 8.5% from 2020 and the highest annual level since 2006. The median sales price for all housing types was $358,000, rising 15.8% year-over-year and marking 118 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Rising home prices are largely a result of low housing inventory amid sustained demand. Supply dropped to an all-time low of 910,000 listings in December, down 18% from November and down 14.2% from one year ago. December’s 1.8 months of supply decreased from 2.1 months during the prior month and 1.9 one year ago.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, said, “December saw sales retreat, but the pull back was more a sign of supply constraints than an indication of a weakened demand for housing. Sales for the entire year finished strong, reaching the highest annual level since 2006.”

Yun added that future home sales are likely to slow somewhat because of rising mortgage rates, but he forecasts rates will stay below 4% by the end of 2022.

Yun also said he expects home price growth to moderate. “This year, consumers should prepare to endure some increases in mortgage rates. I also expect home prices to grow more moderately by 3% to 5% in 2022, and then similarly in 2023 as more supply reaches the market.”

ACRE commentary: Home sales in Alabama grew again in December, rising 4.6% from one year ago and bringing the annual gain to 10.5%. Twelve of the 24 markets reporting sales data to ACRE reported sales gains from one year ago.

The statewide median sales price gained 20.6% Y/Y in December, well above the average of 12.3% Y/Y during 2021. Price growth has accelerated as supply retreated significantly in December. Properties listed for sale declined 13% from November and 27.4% from one year ago. Unsold inventory is at 1.3 months of supply, down from 1.6 in November and down from 1.9 months in December 2020.

Click here to view the entire monthly report.

The Huntsville Area Residential Monthly Report is developed in connection with the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors.

Editor’s note: All information in this article reflects data provided to the Alabama Center for Real Estate for Dec. 1-31. Thus, the performance represented is historical and should not be used as an indicator of future results.

Related Stories