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Huntsville among the best places for home ownership in the U.S.

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Financial literacy and consumer advocacy site NerdWallet has ranked Huntsville and Birmingham-Hoover among some of the best places for homeownership in the U.S.

NerdWallet, which studied 100 populous areas and categorized the winning metros by size, listed Huntsville as its No. 1 small metro and Birmingham-Hoover as its No. 9 large metro for homeownership, affordability and area growth.

The city of Huntsville was lauded for having a homeownership rate of 70.9 percent, median monthly household income of $4,534 and a 1.2 percent population growth from 2011-12. The analysis also found that homeownership costs are 26.6 percent of a resident’s monthly household income in Huntsville.

“Huntsville is located in northern Alabama where the Army’s Redstone Arsenal, Cummings Research Park and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center anchor the local economy in the technology, space and defense industries,” said Jaime Ortiz, an analyst for NerdWallet. “The area is also home to the University of Alabama in Huntsville where tech-focused programs like UAH’s College of Engineering train a highly skilled workforce. The deep talent pool of engineers attracts top employers like Boeing to Huntsville, providing local residents an abundance of job opportunities.

Other areas to make the small metro list were Fort Wayne, Ind., Myrtle Beach/North Myrtle Beach/Conway, S.C., Charleston, W. Va., Ocala, Fla., Naples/Marco Island, Fla., Columbus, Ga., Springfield, Mo., Fort Collins/Loveland, Colo., and Wilmington, N.C.

The NerdWallet analysis said Birmingham-Hoover has a homeownership rate of 70.1 percent, median monthly household income of $3,888 and a 0.4 percent population growth from 2011-12. The Jefferson County metro averages $1,264 in monthly homeownership costs.

The large metro list featured several other areas, including Raleigh/Cary, N.C.,
Charlotte/Gastonia/Rock Hill, N.C./S.C., Salt Lake City, Indianapolis/Carmel, Ind., Nashville/Davidson/Murfreesboro/Franklin, Tenn., San Antonio/New Braunfels, Texas, Jacksonville, Fla., Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky., and Denver/Aurora/Broomfield, Colo.

Do you live in one of Alabama’s Top 10 cities? Click here to find out.

via Which Alabama cities are the best places for homeownership? 2 state metros make national list | AL.com.

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Huntsville/Madison County February home sales up 6% from prior month

Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales in February improved 6.1 percent from the prior month. In contrast, sales totaling 333 units, represented a slip in sales growth of 11.4 percent from the same period a year earlier and 16 units shy of ourmonthly forecast.

Click here to view or print the entire January report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.
Historical Sales.jpg
View full sizeHuntsville/Madison County residential sales up 6% from prior month. Inventory is 6% below February 2011 peak. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 2,880 units, an increase of 68 units from last February. New home inventory is down 2.2 percent year-over-year while existing single family is up 4.1 percent. The inventory-to-sales ratio in February was 8.6 months of housing supply (5.5 months for new construction – down from 6.3 in January). The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 8 months during February. Huntsville and Baldwin County were Alabama’s most balanced markets in 2013. February inventory in Huntsville experienced a 2.0 percent (57 units) increase when compared to the prior month. This movement is consistent with historical data trends that indicate February inventory on average (€™09-€™13) increases from the month of January by 1.7 percent.

Demand: Existing single family home sales accounted for 71 percent (up from 64% in Feb’13) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 25 percent (down from 34% in Feb’13) while condos were 4 percent of sales (up from 2% in Feb’13).

Residential sales in February improved by 6.1 percent from the prior month. Real estate sales volume is seasonal and historical Huntsville data reflects that February sales, on average (€™09-€™13), increase from the month of January by 13.5 percent.

Pricing: The Huntsville median selling price in February was $156,400, a slip of 6.5 percent from February 2013. In contrast, the median price increased by 1.3 percent from last month. Historical data (09-13) indicates that the February median selling price traditionally decreases from the month of January by 2.2 percent. 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.

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 sales improve 6% from prior month | AL.com.

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Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales up 16% in January

Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales totaled 314 units in January, an improvement in sales growth of 16.3 percent from last January and 7 units above our monthly forecast.

Click here to view or print the entire January report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.
Historical Sales.jpgView full sizeHuntsville/Madison County residential sales up 16% from last January. Inventory is 6% below January 2011 peak. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 2,823 units, a decrease of 19 units from last January. New home inventory is up 4.4 percent year-over-year. The inventory-to-sales ratio in January was 9.0 months of housing supply (6.3 months for new construction – up from 4.3 in December). The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 8 months during January. Huntsville and Baldwin County were Alabama’s most balanced markets in 2013. January inventory in Huntsville experienced a 1.7 percent (48 units) decrease when compared to the prior month. Historical data trends indicate January inventory on average (’09-’13) increases from the month of December by 3.5 percent.

Demand: Existing single family home sales accounted for 72 percent (up from 68% in Jan’13) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 26 percent (down from 32% in Jan’13) while condos were 2 percent of sales (same as Jan’13).

Residential sales in January slipped by 18.2 percent from the prior month. Real estate sales volume is seasonal and historical Huntsville data reflects that January sales, on average (’09-’13), decrease from the month of December by 30.5 percent.

Pricing: The Huntsville median selling price in January was $154,332, a slip of 9.2 percent from January 2013. This figure also decreased by 18.2 percent from last month. Historical data (’09-’13) indicates that the January median selling price traditionally decrease from the month of December by 2.6 percent. 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.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®, who recently presented at ACREcon said “Direction wise I see the economy is expanding. I expect 2.5% GDP growth this year. In the 4th quarter growth was solid but that was one quarter. We need that rate to be consistent for four quarters.”  Assuming that growth and concurrent job creation, Yun still sees challenges for housing sales going forward. “Housing affordability is coming down. You have mortgage rates and prices rising in 2014 but it will take growth and job creation on the other side,” he said. “For the year as a whole I think it will be neutral on US housing prices.” Yun said “He is already seeing softness in housing readings for the first quarter, and hopes the remainder of the year will be strong enough to balance it out.”

More industry perspectives: “January 2014 sales of new and existing homes reflected the decline in the affordability rate in most regions, the widespread inclement weather and the rise in interest rates. The slowdown in year over year unit sales also reflects the absence of real growth in employment and household incomes,” said Steve Murray, editor of the REAL Trends Housing Market Report. “As we stated last month we believe that unit sales are nearing a normal level given employment, the number of households, mortgage rates and household income. We expect that year over year increases will continue to be only slightly improved on a year over year basis in the months ahead.”

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.

via Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales up 16% in January | AL.com.

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Huntsville/Madison County residential sales up 6% in December; 2013 sales up 8%

Huntsville/Madison County residential sales totaled 384 units for the month of December. Residential sales improved 6.1 percent compared to December 2012. For the year, the market experienced sales growth of 8.3 percent over last year.

Click here to read or print the entire report compliments of American Family Dream.

Historical Sales.jpgView full sizeHuntsville/Madison County residential sales up 6% from last December. Inventory is 4% below December 2010 peak. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 2,871 units, an increase of 159 units from last November, led by an increase in new home inventory of 15.6 percent. The inventory-to-sales ratio in December was 7.5 months of housing supply (4.3 months for new construction – up from 6.2 in November), the same figure as last December. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 7-8 months during December. Huntsville and Baldwin County are Alabama’s most balanced markets in 2013. November inventory in Huntsville experienced a 5.2 percent (159 units) decrease when compared to the prior month. Historical data trends indicate December inventory on average (’08-’12) decreased from the month of November by 7.4 percent.

Demand: Existing single family home sales accounted for 65 percent (same as Dec’12) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 32 percent (down from 33% in Nov’12) while condos were 3 percent of sales (up from 2% in Dec’12).

Residential sales in December increased by 12.0 percent from the prior month. Real estate sales volume is seasonal and historical Huntsville data reflects that December sales, on average (’08-’12), decrease from the month of November by 1.0 percent.

Pricing: The Huntsville median selling price in December was $183,500, a slip of .3 percent from December 2012. In contrast, this figure improved by 14.7 percent from last month. Historical data (’08-’12) indicates that the December median selling price traditionally increase from the month of November by 1.0 percent. 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.

Financing Alert – 2014 Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule takes effect on January 10th: “The 2014 QM rule has generated more news, commentary and debate than almost any other mortgage rule in history.” Qualified Mortgage has created a news page to help you keep up with developments in this area.”

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.

via Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales up 6% in December; 2013 sales up 8% | AL.com.

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Alabama October Home Sales Up 9%; YTD Sales Up 11%

Alabama residential sales in October continued to gradually improve, up 8.9 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. Through October, sales are up 10.6 percent year-over-year and sixty percent of local markets report positive sales growth compared to October 2012.

Click here to view or print July’s full report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.
 
Total Sales.jpgView full sizeAlabama home sales up 9% from October 2012. Infograph courtesy of ACRE. All rights reserved.
Supply: The statewide housing inventory in October was 33,352 units, an increase of 1.4 percent from October 2012 but 16.1 percent below the month of October peak in 2007 (39,745 units). There was 9.6 months of housing supply (7-8 months considered equilibrium during month of October) in October 2013 versus 10.3 months of supply in October 2012, a solid decline of 6.9 percent. It is also the first time the market has seen below 10 months in October since 2007 (9.8 months) which is progress. In contrast, October inventory decreased by 1.4 percent over the prior month. This is consistent with historical data that indicates October inventory on average (’08-’12) traditionally decreases from the month of September by 1.3 percent. In contrast to reports of lack of inventory at the national level, Alabama still has a plentiful supply in most local markets. Only 8 of 25 or 32 percent of local markets have single-digit months of housing supply so this is an area where more reduction would be welcome news. With that said, metro markets, representing 70 percent of statewide transactions, are edging closer to equilibrium with 8.5 months of supply.
 
Demand: As expected, October statewide residential sales slipped 2.3 percent from the prior month. This movement is consistent with seasonal trends & recent historical data that indicates October sales, on average (’08-’12), decrease from the month of September by 7.1 percent. Our YTD forecast for Alabama projected 35,749 closed transactions through October – actual closings were 3.1% above forecast or 36,855 units.
 
Pricing: The statewide median selling price in October was $130,643, an increase of 2.8 percent from last October. Pricing can fluctuate from month-to-month as the sample size of data (closed transactions) is subject to seasonal buying patterns. The median price also improved 5.4 percent from the prior month. Historical data (’08-’12) reflects that the October median selling price traditionally decrease from the month of September by 1.1 percent. 17 of 25 or 68 percent of local markets experienced positive movement in sales price growth from October 2012.
 
Local Results: 15 out of the 25 local reporting associations (60% – this is a slip from 72% in October) reflect sales gains from last October. Year-to-date through October, sales in metro markets (up 12% from last year) has outperformed both midsize markets (up 9%) and small markets (up 7%). For the fourth consecutive month, all 5 major metro areas representing 70% of Alabama sales, have positive sales growth for the current month and through the first tent months of the year. Eighty-eight percent (22 of 25) of the local housing markets across Alabama have experienced year-to-date sales growth when compared to 2012 and that is welcome news for Alabama consumers as well our state’s real estate industry. Last month, this figure stood at ninety-two percent.
 
They said it – Mortgage Bankers Association: “Our forecast for the increase in the purchase market is based on our expectations for ongoing improvements in the broader economy and the jobs market. We are projecting overall economic growth to be 2.4 percent in 2014 and 2.7 percent in 2015, supported mainly by increases in consumer spending and residential fixed investment. GDP growth will remain relatively weak through the end of 2013 and early 2014, at around 2 percent, due to a variety of uncertainties, particularly over US spending and tax policies linked to the debt limit debate. Our expectation is that the economy will grow somewhat faster in the second half of 2014 as some of these issues are resolved.”
This monthly report is provided compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

The Alabama Residential Monthly Report is work product developed in conjunction with the Alabama Association of REALTORS and its local associations.

Alabama Residential Report: October sales up 9%; YTD sales up 11% | AL.com.

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Huntsville/Madison County home sales up 13% in September; YTD sales up 11%

Huntsville/Madison County residential sales totaled 450 units for the month of September. Residential sales improved 12.8 percent compared to September 2012. Year-to-date sales through September are 10.8 percent ahead of 2012.

Click here to read or print the entire report compliments of American Family Dream.

Historical Sales.jpg
View full sizeHuntsville/Madison County residential sales are 13% higher than last September. Inventory is 10% below September 2010 peak. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 3,100 units, an increase of 108 units from last September leading to an increase in new home inventory of 3.6 percent. The inventory-to-sales ratio in September was 6.9 months of housing supply (4.9 months for new construction), a decrease of 8.1 percent from August September 2012. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 6-8 months during September. September inventory in Huntsville experienced a .1 percent (3 units) decrease when compared to the prior month. Historical data trends indicate September inventory on average (’08-’12) decreased from the month of August by .8 percent. While the market continues to establish definitive trend lines associated with the impact of sequestration, as it relates to housing demand, keeping an eye on levels of future supply will remain important for the market.

Demand: Existing single family home sales accounted for 74 percent (up from 68% in Sept’12) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 23 percent (down from 28% in Sept’12) while condos were 3 percent of sales (down from 4% in Sept’12).

As expected, residential sales in September decreased by 18.5 percent from the prior month. Real estate sales volume is seasonal and historical Huntsville data reflects that September sales, on average (’08-’12), increase from the month of August by 10.0 percent.

Pricing: The Huntsville median selling price in September was $178,500, an increase of 9.8 percent from September 2012. This figure is also up 3.1 percent from last month. Historical data (’08-’12) indicates that the September median selling price traditionally decrease from the month of August by 1.9 percent. 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. Unlike prior years, a wild card this year is how the market continues to respond to sequestration.

They said it – Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist: “The market may be experiencing a temporary peak (3rd quarter). Rising mortgage interest rates pushed more buyers to close deals (in August), but monthly sales are likely to be uneven in the months ahead.”

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.

For other 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.

via Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales up 13% in September; YTD sales up 11% | AL.com.

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Alabama August home sales up 9%; YTD up 11%

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Alabama home sales up 9.4% from August 2012. Infograph courtesy of ACRE. All rights reserved.

Alabama residential sales in August continued to gradually improve, up 9.4 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. Through August, sales are up 10.6 percent year-over-year and sixty-eight percent of local markets report positive sales growth compared to August 2012.

Click here to view or print July’s full report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.
 
Supply: The statewide housing inventory in August was 33,862 units, a decrease of .3 percent from August 2012 and 17.5 percent below the month of August peak in 2010 (40,906 units). There were 8.0 months of housing supply (6 months considered equilibrium) in August 2013 versus 8.8 months of supply in August 2012, a solid decline of 8.9 percent. It is also the first time the market has seen 8 months in August since 2007 (7.2 months) which is good news. August inventory also decreased by .5 percent over the prior month. Historical data indicates that August inventory on average (’08-’12) traditionally decreases from the month of July by 1.5 percent. In contrast to reports of lack of inventory at the national level, Alabama still has a plentiful supply in most local markets. 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. With that said, metro markets, representing 70 percent of statewide transactions, are edging closer to equilibrium with 7.0 months of supply.
 
Demand: August statewide residential sales slipped 1.3 percent from the prior month. This movement is consistent with seasonal trends & recent historical data that indicates August sales, on average (’08-’12), decrease from the month of July by 2.2 percent.
 
Pricing: The statewide median selling price in August was $125,783, a decrease of 1.3 percent from last August. Pricing can fluctuate from month-to-month as the sample size of data (closed transactions) is subject to seasonal buying patterns. The median price also slipped 6.4 percent from the prior month. Historical data (’08-’12) reflects that the August median selling price traditionally decrease from the month of July by 1.1 percent. 14 of 25 or 56 percent of local markets experienced positive movement in sales price growth from August 2012.
 
Local Results: 17 out of the 25 local reporting associations (68% – this is a slip from 76% in July) reflect sales gains from last August. Year-to-date through August, sales in metro markets (up 12% from last year) outperformed both midsize markets (up 9%) and small markets (up 4%). For the second consecutive month, all 5 major metro areas representing 70% of Alabama sales, have positive sales growth for both August and through the first eight months of the year. Eighty percent (20 of 25) of the local housing markets across the State have experienced year-to-date sales growth when compared to 2012 and that is welcome news for Alabama consumers as well our state’s real estate industry.
 
They said it – Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist: “The market may be experiencing a temporary peak. Rising mortgage interest rates pushed more buyers to close deals, but monthly sales are likely to be uneven in the months ahead.”
This monthly report is provided compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

The Alabama Residential Monthly Report is work product developed in conjunction with the Alabama Association of REALTORS and its local associations.

via Alabama Residential Report: August sales up 9%; YTD sales up 11% | al.com.

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