Category Archives: Real Estate for Everyone

Alabama residential median sales price continues to improve in August

Click here to view or print the entire August report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

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View full size Alabama home sales in August slipped 2.1 percent compared to last August. YTD sales up 1.2%. August sales are now up 38% from its August bottom in 2010. Infograph courtesy of ACRE. All rights reserved.

Alabama residential sales totaled 4,139 units in August, a decrease in sales growth of 2.1 percent from the same period a year earlier and 210 units shy of our monthly forecast. Nationally, sales were off 5.3 percent in August from the prior year. See more details of how Alabama compares to the broader US market here.

The YTD Alabama sales forecast through August projected 31,414 closed transactions while the actual sales were 30,212 units, a 3.8 percent cumulative variance. YTD sales through August have been sluggish in most markets across the State but remain 1.3 percent above the 2013. Sales were up 2.3 percent in the second quarter compared to 2013.

Across Alabama, 64 percent of local markets reported positive sales growth compared to last August. It was 48 percent in July. This figure also remains at 64 percent when taking into account total YTD sales compared to 2013.

Pricing: The lead story in 2014 relates to pricing. The Center shared in earlier reports that pricing represents the primary indicator that still had the greatest upside in the future. At least through August, this has come to fruition as prices are up in 16 of 25 or 64 percent of local markets. While this is good news for the market, as prices increase, sales (the typical lead story) attributable to investors bargain hunting will diminish the ability of this “buyer profile” to push the sales growth needle in the future. Distressed sales continue to significantly diminish as a percentage of total sales across the US, a trend most market watchers content will continue in the future.

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View full size Alabama median home sales price in August 2014 improved 12.8% from prior year and now up 21% from the month of August price bottom in 2004. Infoigraph courtesy of ACRE. All rights reserved.

The median sales price improved by approximately 12.8 percent over last August and 6.3 percent when comparing the year-to-date (Jan-August) average for a broader perspective. Still, Alabama remains below the nation’s recent pace of appreciation but the Center prefers gradual increases in pricing over spikes seen in many parts of the country (typically in markets hardest hit by the recession). Keep in mind that pricing can fluctuate from month-to-month due to sampling size of data and seasonal buying patterns. The median price increased 1.7 percent from the prior month. This direction contrast with historical data (09-13) that reflects that the August sales price traditionally decrease from the month of July by 1.1 percent.

Supply: The statewide housing inventory in August was 33,561 units, a decrease of .6 percent from August 2013 and 20.4 percent below the month of August peak in 2007 (42,149 units). There was 8.1 months of housing supply (7 months considered equilibrium during month of August) in August 2014 versus 8.0 months of supply in August 2013, a 1.5 percent unfavorable increase. August inventory also decreased by 1.5 percent from the prior month. This direction contrast with historical data that indicates August inventory on average (09-13) traditionally increases from the month of July by 4.5 percent.

Demand: As anticipated, August statewide residential sales declined 5.4 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with seasonal trends & recent historical data that indicates August sales, on average (09-13), decrease from the month of July by 1.1 percent.

The fact that there are fewer distressed properties (attracting bargain hunting investors – typically cash buyers) changing hands when compared to last year has also narrowed the favorable percentage change associated with sales growth.

Seeking Balance: Six or 24 percent of local markets are considered near or in balance where buyer and seller enjoy equal bargaining power. More markets are inching closer so this is encouraging news.

In contrast to reports of lack of inventory at the national level, Alabama still has above the needed levels of supply in most local markets (13 of 25 markets or 52 percent still have 10+ months of supply) but the supply of “quality” inventory is limiting sales according to local professionals with boots on the ground. Only 12 of 25 or 48 percent of local markets have single-digit months of housing supply so this is an area where more reduction would be welcome news. Last month this figure stood at 44 percent. With that offered, metro markets representing 70 percent of statewide transactions, are edging closer and closer to equilibrium with 7.2 months of supply.

Industry Perspective: “The August National Housing Survey results lend support to our forecast that 2015 will likely not be a breakout year for housing,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The deterioration in consumer attitudes about the current home buying environment reflects a shift away from record home purchase affordability without enough momentum in consumer personal financial sentiment to compensate for it. To date, this year’s labor market strength has not translated into sufficient income gains to inspire confidence among consumers to purchase a home, even in the current favorable interest rate environment. Our third quarter Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey results, to be released later this month, are expected to show whether mortgage demand from the lender perspective is in line with consumer housing sentiment.” For full report, go HERE.

This monthly report is provided compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet. 

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Heritage Brook by Legacy Homes

Located on Old Railroad Bed Road just a mile north of Hwy 72 (University Drive) in Madison, Heritage Brook provides the best of both worlds. The private wooded lots, raised foundations and gently rolling topography provide an established neighborhood feel with brand new homes. This unique combination combined with the convenient proximity to Redstone Arsenal, Madison Hospital and The Shops of Madison; make Heritage Brook a natural choice for your new home.

Looking for a new home? I work with every builder in every new community and school district in Madison county.

Buy your new home with me and I’ll sell your current home for FREE!

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Kelly Cove Community by Woodland Homes

What Is Your Idea of Refuge, A Resort Or Home?
At Kelly Cove, We Say… Both!

This magnificent community features all of the amenities that have made Woodland Homes so popular with North Alabama home buyers.

Located in the heart of Monrovia, you will find the diamond we call Kelly Cove.  Part of the original Kelly Farm, Kelly Cove was master-planned to enhance the living experience from the moment you pass between the infinity waterfalls and begin to ride through the tree lined streets.  Featuring both side-sidewalks, underground utilities, public sewer and soft light lamp post, Kelly Cove “feels” like home.  Our new Amenity package featuring a Clubhouse with fireplace and full kitchen, workout facility with elliptical machines and LED TV’s on the walls, Outdoor grilling area, HUGE in-ground pool with Sprinkler Park for the children to enjoy will be opening 2nd Quarter 2015.  Kelly Cove also features a private stocked lake for our residents to enjoy a relaxing day of fishing.  Kelly Cove has it all…Great Location, Great Schools and Great Homes.  Stop by for a visit today and see why Kelly Cove is the fastest selling community in Monrovia.  Homes starting from the $290’s.

Looking for a new home? I work with every builder in every new community and school district in Madison county.

Buy your new home with me and I’ll sell your current home for FREE!

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River Ridge Community by Jeff Benton Homes

Located in Big Cove, River Ridge is one of those special communities that offers nature at your doorstep and convenience right down the road. The homes of River Ridge have access to many great amenities including a pool, clubhouse, pavilion, water play features, playground, two community lakes, and much more!

Looking for a new home? I work with every builder in every new community and school district in Madison county.

Buy your new home with me and I’ll sell your current home for FREE!

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Huntsville/Madison County residential median sales price establishes new peak

Click here to view or print the full quarterly report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

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View full sizeHuntsville/Madison County median sales price up 8% from 2nd Quarter 2013. Infograph courtesy of North Al MLS & ACRE. All rights reserved.

Pricing: According to the North Alabama Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the median sales price in the Huntsville/Madison County reached a new peak during the 2nd quarter at $175,633 which is also 8.0 percent from the same quarter in 2013. Historical data indicates that second quarter median price in 2014 increased by 4.9 percent from the most recent 3-year average and 4.0 percent from the 5-year quarterly average (’09-’13).

Supply: The housing inventory average during the second quarter was 3,215 units, an increase of 4.8 percent from the same period in 2013 and .8 percent below the second quarter peak in 2010 (3,240 units). There was 7.1 months of housing supply (6 months considered equilibrium during 2nd quarter) in the second quarter 2014 versus 6.6 months of supply last year, an increase of 7.1 percent. Historical data indicates that the second quarter inventory-to-sales ratio in 2014 decreased 1.4 percent from the 5-year average (7.2 months – best market performance in Alabama during this window) and decreased 2.8 percent from the 3-year average.

Demand: Residential sales during the second quarter by Huntsville standards can only be described as sluggish, a small slip of 2.4 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. The second quarter sales remain 28.7 percent off the peak experienced in 2003 when 1,912 units were sold. Historical data indicates that second quarter sales in 2014 increased by 6.6 percent from the most recent 3-year average (’11-’13) and 5.5 percent from the 5-year quarterly average (’09-’13).

The Huntsville/Madison Residential Quarterly Report is provided compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

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The Huntsville/Madison County Residential Quarterly Report is work product developed in conjunction with the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS to better serve North Alabama consumers. The ACRE monthly report is provided to illustrate the “general” market direction & trends when comparing prior periods with the most current available data. Real estate is local and statistics will fluctuate between areas within a city including subdivisions. ACRE recommends that you consult a local real estate professional for “specific” advice associated with your market.

About ACRE. ACRE was founded in 1996 by the Alabama Real Estate Commissionthe Alabama Association of REALTORS and the Office of the Dean, UA Culverhouse College of Commerce. ACRE is not a state-funded entity, rather its operates in part because of the goodwill & generosity of our statewide ACRE Partners.

Alabama real estate resources & news, please visit our website and our ACRE blog. You can also follow ACRE from our facebook page, just “like” http://www.facebook.com/acreua and/or follow on twitter at @uaacre.

 Huntsville/Madison County Residential Quarterly Report: “2nd quarter median sales price establishes new peak” | AL.com.

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Huntsville/Madison County residential median sales price in June improves 10% from prior year

Click here to view or print the entire June report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales in June slipped 1.7 percent from the same period a year earlier. Year-to-date sales are virtually the same as 2013 (-1.0%) through the month of June. Total sales of 507 units were 15 units or 2.7 percent shy of our monthly forecast.

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View full sizeHuntsville/Madison County residential sales slip 1.7% from last June. Inventory has decreased 2.2% from the month of June peak in 2010. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 3,259 units, an increase of 142 units from last June and 5.3 percent above the 5-year June average of 3,095 units. New home inventory is down 9.1 percent year-over-year while existing single family is up 6.9 percent. The inventory-to-sales ratio in June was 6.4 months of housing supply (3.9 months for new construction – down from 4.2 months in May 2013). The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 6 months during June. Huntsville remains one of Alabama’s most balanced markets in 2014. June inventory in Huntsville/Madison County experienced a 2.5 percent (79 units) increase when compared to the prior month. This movement contrast with seasonal & historical data trends that indicate June inventory on average (€™09-€™13) remained unchanged from the month of May.

Demand: New home sales improved 5.3 percent from last June after a weak May but a strong sales surge in April. New home sales spur economic growth and job creation so this is encouraging news. Existing single family home sales accounted for 73 percent (down from 74% in June’13) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 14 percent (up from 12% in June’13) while condos were 3 percent of sales (down from 4% in June’13).

Residential sales in June improved 10.7 percent from the prior month. Real estate sales volume is seasonal and historical Huntsville data reflects that June sales, on average (€™09-€™13), increase from the month of May by 6.1 percent.

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View full sizeHuntsville/Madison County residential median sales prices rises 10% from last June. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Pricing: The Huntsville median sales price in June was $184,900, an increase of 10.1 percent from June 2013 and 10.7 percent from the prior month. Historical data (09-13) indicates that the June median selling price traditionally increases from the month of May by 3.0 percent. It’s important to note that pricing can fluctuate from month-to-month as the sample size of data (closed transactions) is subject to seasonal buying patterns so a broader lens as to pricing trends is appropriate. ACRE recommends contacting a local real estate professional to discuss pricing at the neighborhood level.

Industry Perspective: According to Fannie Mae’s June National Housing Survey: Americans’ Attitudes Toward the Housing Market Reflect Steady but Slow Recovery, “Normal” Housing Levels Still a Ways Off. Click HERE for report.

View the current monthly Huntsville Residential Report here.

The Huntsville Residential Monthly Report is work product developed in conjunction with the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS to better serve North Alabama consumers. The ACRE monthly report is provided to illustrate the “general” market direction & trends when comparing prior periods with the most current available data. Real estate is local and statistics will fluctuate between areas within a city including subdivisions. ACRE recommends that you consult a local real estate professional for “specific” advice associated with your market.

About ACRE. ACRE was founded in 1996 by the Alabama Real Estate Commissionthe Alabama Association of REALTORS and the Office of the Dean, UA Culverhouse College of Commerce. ACRE is not a state-funded entity, rather its operates in part because of the goodwill & generosity of our statewide ACRE Partners.

Alabama real estate resources & news, please visit our website and our ACRE blog. You can also follow ACRE from our facebook page, just “like” http://www.facebook.com/acreua and/or follow on twitter at @uaacre.

Huntsville/Madison County residential median sales price in June improves 10% from prior year | AL.com.

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Huntsville newcomers share what brought them to the Rocket City

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He’s a computer systems analyst for one of the world’s largest defense contractors by day. By night, he works over a hot grill serving up fresh tacos for the masses.

Like many Huntsville transplants, Armando Guerrero migrated to the Rocket City from Austin five years ago for a job. Since then, he and wife Priscilla have launched Crave Heat, a Tex Mex food truck that has become a staple at street food gatherings and a sight for sore eyes among Huntsville’s homeless community.

It’s been hard for the couple with three young sons to live more than 800 miles from the only home they’ve ever known, but Armando Guerrero, a Texas native who never imagined he would one day live in Alabama, believes his family unit is stronger because of it.

“We’ve faced many challenges here without family, but it’s been a great place to strengthen our family as a family,” he said. “Our faith has increased a good bit, as we miss family and feel distant at times.”

Using 2010-11 Internal Revenue Service data, AL.com is taking a look at where residents are moving from into the state, and where Alabamians are going when they leave. A year after Guerrero landed a job in Huntsville, 16 people from the Austin area moved into Madison County and brought $523,000 in income with them.

Another high migration area was Fairfax, Va., which lost 209 people and more than $10 million in income to Madison County. During that same time frame, King County, Wash. lost 33 people and $1 million to the Huntsville area, San Diego County 93 people and $1.9 million and El Paso County, Colo. 90 people and $2.9 million.

Unlike other metro counties across the state, Madison County’s per capita income of newcomers is $1,790 higher than the people who are leaving. Mobile, Jefferson, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa and Shelby counties all have a negative per capita income relationship between comers and goers.

‘A commonality of culture’

Lucia Cape, vice president of economic development for the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, wasn’t surprised by the IRS migration data. Cape said the Chamber launched an aggressive recruitment campaign through the Base Realignment and Closure period from late 2006 through 2011.

The Chamber spent a lot of time in the Washington, D.C. and Fairfax area recruiting newcomers during BRAC, a process that brought 4,600 government positions to Huntsville.

Col. John Hamilton, who migrated from Fairfax into Madison County in 2010, didn’t come to Huntsville for BRAC. Instead, he was offered the garrison commander post at Redstone Arsenal.

Hamilton, who admits Huntsville “was kind of an unknown place” before moving here, said the city has grown on him and his family.

“When you get into a town like this, if you’re someone like me who moves around a lot, this is a town you can just step right into and be comfortable in,” he said. “If you go around to cities like these that have a significant military presence, they all tend to have similar characteristics – a comfort level, a commonality of culture.”

Hamilton retired last year after a long military career to assume the role of Huntsville’s city administrator. Hamilton, who is raising two young children in Huntsville’s medical district, said the transition was easy for his family.

As Remington prepares to take over the former Chrysler building near Huntsville International Airport and Verizon brings in 300 new workers to its call center in Thornton Research Park, Hamilton said infrastructure and acceptance will be vital for continued growth in the community.

AL.com reported earlier this year that 45 percent of Madison County’s population is made up of residents who are not natives of the state, while the area is also on a short list of Alabama counties where more than 5 percent of the population was born outside the United States.

With the promise of 2,000 new Remington jobs in Madison County, Cape said that migration pattern is likely to continue in the years ahead.

“That kind of trend is strong,” she said. “It shows you can organically support workforce growth but you also have the characteristics to bring people in from outside, which continues to strengthen us a community.”

Southern perceptions

Curse, a gaming information company that moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Huntsville in 2013, is expanding this year with 20 new jobs at its downtown office. The business grew 60 percent in 2013, which was in part fueled by “the great talent” Curse has found in the Rocket City.

“It’s a pleasant mix of technical minds, and people that really understand our products and are all members of the new digital age,” said Vice President of Marketing Donovan Duncan.

Justin Sacks and David Cho, two young professionals from out west, packed their bags and left sunny southern California to take full-time jobs with Curse.

Sacks, who came directly from San Diego, was operating a small business in the competitive gaming industry when an opportunity to work for Curse came available last spring. Now a sales and business development manager for Curse, Sacks said he has been “pleasantly surprised” by Huntsville at every turn.

“I definitely had a perception on what the South and specifically Alabama would look like,” he said. “Huntsville has blown those away. … San Diego is probably the most amazing place in the world to live, so it would be hard to beat that, but it’s been pretty awesome here. I definitely have no plans to leave anytime soon.”

Cho, who is from Huntington Beach, said Curse offered to fly him out to Huntsville before offering him the job so he could take a look at the city. He declined.

It’s taken some time for the video editor to get acclimated to Alabama, but Cho said the environment and housing market for young people “have been much better than expected.”

“I definitely had some preconceived notions coming in to be perfectly honest, but once you actually come to Huntsville, physically speaking it’s not what you expected – in a good way,” he said. “It really is a thriving city, and it’s just great to be a part of the growth.”

Huntsville newcomers share what brought them to the Rocket City | AL.com.

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