Huntsville-area home sales rise sharply in April

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Spurred by rock-bottom interest rates, higher housing affordability levels and dramatically better weather than a year ago, among other things, home sales in Huntsville and Madison County rose strongly in April, the Alabama Center for Real Estate reports.

Huntsville home sales increased 31.8 percent from March, according to ACRE. It’s also a 19 percent rise over April’s five-year sales average.

It’s the fifth-consecutive month that Huntsville and Madison County’s home sales have improved over the same month a year ago, ACRE said.

Grayson Glaze, ACRE’s executive director, says Huntsville’s sales are “consistent” with increases around the state. He says the range of increases throughout Alabama is about 10 to 13 percent.

“Homes accurately priced will sell in today’s market,” Glaze said. “The highlight in Huntsville’s new home market in 2012 is an inventory absorption rate of 20 percent from a year ago, despite new home sales that remain on par with last year’s pace.”

Late last April, Huntsville and much of Alabama was recovering from the tornadoes of April 27. ACRE says sales here increased 68.7 percent compared with this past April, when 268 homes were sold.

This April, said ACRE, 452 homes were sold here. Glaze cited “gradually improving labor markets marked by lower unemployment rates” as another factor that has led to “less uncertainty and greater consumer confidence.”

“Due to the natural disaster of April 27, ACRE strongly recommends that Huntsville/Madison County, along with other markets such as Tuscaloosa, place more weight on the statistical results from the entire second quarter than a specific month,” Glaze said. “Because of the storm, these markets can anticipate greater distortion in comparative housing figures in the short-term.”

Home sales traditionally increase in the second quarter – late spring and early summer.

“As the market transitions through the second quarter of 2012, statistical volatility is anticipated,” Glaze said. “With that said, most of the local and statewide housing statistics reflect a real estate market that is gradually improving, and that is good news for Alabama consumers, as well as our state’s real-estate community.”

via Huntsville-area home sales rise sharply in April, more optimism forecast for second quarter | al.com.

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