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Huntsville/Madison County residential home sales up 16% in April; YTD up 9%

By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)  Follow on Twitter
on May 20, 2015 at 11:35 AM, updated May 20, 2015 at 11:36 AM

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

Sales: According the North Alabama MLS, Huntsville/Madison County residential sales totaled 465 units in April, an increase in sales growth of 16.5 percent or 66 units from the same period last year. This represents the best sales results for the month of April since 2007. Year-to-date sales through April are 9.1 percent above 2014.

Forecast: Closed transactions in April were 68 units or 17.1 percent above the Center’s monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through April projected 1,395 closed transactions while the actual sales were 1,562 units, a favorable cumulative variance of 11.9 percent.

Historical sales.jpg
Huntsville/Madison County residential sales improve 16% from last April. Inventory is 5% below monthly peak established in 2014. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 3,061 units, a decrease of 4.5 percent or 144 units from last April and 1.3 percent above the 5-year April average of 3,102 units. New home inventory is up 5.1 percent year-over-year while existing single family inventory is down 6.5 percent.

The inventory-to-sales ratio in April was 6.6 months of housing supply (4.6 months for new construction – up 31.4% from April’14 when it stood at 3.5 months). The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 7.0+/- months during April (NSA). Huntsville was again one of Alabama’s most balanced markets in April. The market in April experienced a 2.3 percent (68 units) increase in inventory when compared to the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data indicating April inventory on average (‘1€0-’14) increases by 4.0 percent from the month of March.

Demand: Residential sales in April slipped .6 percent from the prior month which was much stronger than normal. This direction contrast with seasonal patterns and historical data indicating that April sales, on average (’10-‘€14), increase from the month of March by 5.2 percent. New home sales remain somewhat soft, down 20.6 percent from April 2014. Existing single family home sales accounted for 75 percent (up from 65% in April’14) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 21 percent (down from 32% in April’14) while condos were 4 percent of sales (up from 3% in April’14).

Pricing: The Huntsville median sales price in April was $171,000, a slip of 2.3 percent from April 2014 but 7.9 percent above the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (’10-’14) indicating that the April median sales price on average increases from the month of March by .3 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: “The spring and summer home buying season has gotten off to a stronger start, reflected in some of the improvement in consumer housing sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The share of consumers who intend to own rather than rent their next home rebounded after a two-month slide. Meanwhile, home price growth expectations strengthened to the strongest pace since last October. Nevertheless, consumers continue to express concerns about the recent weakening economic conditions…When we consider both the continued caution of consumers and the positive start to the year, we believe that these results support our expectation that 2015 will be a year of modest growth in housing activity.” For full report, go HERE.

Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales up 16% in April; YTD sales up 9% | AL.com.

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Village of Providence tapped in Fortune Magazine article

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Village of Providence in Huntsville. (Bob Gathany | bgathany@al.com)

 

Lucy Berry | lberry@al.comBy Lucy Berry | lberry@al.com  Follow on Twitter

The Village of Providence in Huntsville got a shoutout Wednesday in a Fortune Magazine article on new home trends for 2015.

The live-work-play development off U.S. 72 was praised for being a walkable community with a mix of uses. The mention comes after the Village of Providence was named the 2014 Community of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders.

Village of Providence, developed by brothers David and Todd Slyman, also won the Platinum Award for Best Mixed-Use Community.

” … The award highlights the growing awareness of not only the financial, but the social and even emotional benefits of living in a community with walkable streets, multiple modes of transportation, and a mix of uses,” said Fortune writer Marianne Cusato.

Click here to read the article.

The Village of Providence hosted a ribbon cutting last month for its new Phase VIII expansion, which represents a $25 million investment and will create 52 custom homes.

Only one-third of the Village has been built, and more than $350 million has been invested since its inception. The Village of Providence now has more than 200 homes, 226 apartments, two national hotels, several restaurants and businesses, and over 450 workers.

Cusato said demand for homes in walkable communities like Village of Providence is growing, but the supply is short.

“We’ll see this trend continue — and more and more builders and developers will follow the lead of the Village of Providence,” she said.

Village of Providence tapped in Fortune Magazine new home trends article | AL.com.

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Huntsville’s History and Mystery 2015 Tour

The History & Mystery Tour is a downtown stroll on Sunday, May 17

2:004:30

Proceeds go to the restoration efforts at the Historic Maple Hill Cemetery.

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This Month in Real Estate – May 2015

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Huntsville/Madison County March residential sales up 21% from last year

Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)
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Click here to view or print the entire March report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

Sales: Huntsville/Madison County residential sales totaled 468 units in March, an increase in sales growth of 21.2 percent or 82 units from the same period last year. This represents the best sales results for the month of March since 2007. Year-to-date sales through March are 6.2 percent above 2014.

Forecast: Closed transactions in March were 89 units or 23.5 percent above the Center’s monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through March projected 998 closed transactions while the actual sales were 1,097 units, a favorable cumulative variance of 9.9 percent.

Historical sales.jpg

Huntsville/Madison County residential sales improve 21% from last March. Inventory is 4% below monthly peak established in 2011. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) 

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 2,993 units, a decrease of .5 percent or 16 units from last March and only .5 percent above the 5-year March average of 2,983 units. New home inventory is up 21.5 percent year-over-year while existing single family inventory is down 3.5 percent.

The inventory-to-sales ratio in March was 6.4 months of housing supply (5.3 months for new construction – up 35.9% from March’14 when it stood at 3.9 months). The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 7.5 months during March (NSA). Huntsville was one of Alabama’s most balanced markets in March. The market in March experienced a 8.6 percent (81 units) decrease when compared to the prior month. This movement favorably contrast with historical data that indicate March inventory on average (‘1€0-’14) typically increases by 3.4 percent from the month of February.

Demand: Residential sales in March also increased 41.8 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with seasonal patterns and historical data indicating that March sales, on average (’10-‘€14), increase from the month of February by 23.4 percent. New home sales remain soft, down 12.9 percent from March 2014. Existing single family home sales accounted for 76 percent (up from 70% in Mar’14) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 20 percent (down from 28% in Mar’14) while condos were 4 percent of sales (up from 2% in Mar’14).

Pricing: The Huntsville median sales price in March was $158,432, a slip of 3.9 percent from March 2014 and 5.6 percent decrease from the prior month. This direction unfavorably contrast with historical data (’10-’14) indicating that the March median sales price traditionally increases from the month of February by .2 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: “Consumers are being patient prior to entering the housing market. Our March survey results emphasize how critical attitudes about income growth are to consumers’ outlook on housing,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “We’ve seen modest improvement in total compensation resulting from a strengthened labor market. However, income growth perceptions and personal financial expectations both eased off of recent highs, consistent with Friday’s weak jobs report. Simultaneously, the share of consumers expecting to buy on their next move has declined. We believe the recent setback in consumer sentiment should be short lived if early signs of income growth bear out and occur in proportion to expected interest rate increases. Meanwhile, the wait for housing expansion continues.” For full report, go HERE.

Huntsville/Madison County residential sales in March increase 21% from prior year | AL.com.

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New Homes in Downtown Meridianville

Yes…there is a downtown Meridianville. The corner of North Memorial Parkway and Patterson Lane is bustling with new development. Legacy Homes is developing an affordably priced new home community with full brick construction, fully sodded lawns, three car garages and many plans to choose from with prices starting under $200,000. Colonial Pointe is taking shape and now is a great time to pick your plan.

Give me a call or shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to go over the selections and options being offered at Colonial Pointe, Meridianville’s new address.

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North Alabama housing market ‘one of the most stable’ in Southeast

Rob Hale, president of MarketGraphics Southeast, speaks to Huntsville-area realtors and home builders April 2 at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. (Lucy Berry | lberry@al.com)

Rob Hale, president of MarketGraphics Southeast, speaks to Huntsville-area realtors and home builders April 2 at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. (Lucy Berry | lberry@al.com)

Lucy Berry | lberry@al.comBy Lucy Berry | lberry@al.com
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More residents in the Huntsville area are seeking apartment communities with higher-end amenities as the housing market recovers.

That was one of the talking points Thursday during a 2015 north Alabama housing forecast presentation by MarketGraphics Southeast President Rob Hale at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. The annual breakfast event for area realtors and homebuilders was sponsored by BancorpSouth.

Hale said the recession sparked a shift in the number of north Alabama millennials, retirees and move-down buyers interested in new apartment projects.

“The recession started it because people lost their homes,” he said. “They were able to rent, but not buy, and I think that started a trend of new apartment construction and it built on that.”

Nationwide trend

The movement toward apartments isn’t just affecting Huntsville, Hale said, but the entire U.S. He said the developments are especially attractive to the under-30 crowd that’s not as interested in purchasing a new or existing home as past generations were.

Apartments are also a good option for retirees who need smaller housing, but still want luxury, an audience member pointed out.

“There’s the pool, there’s somebody else mowing the grass, there’s really great amenities with these new developments,” Hale said. “It’s attractive to people who at some point might have been first-time homebuyers.”

The local market, which includes Madison, Limestone, Morgan and Marshall counties, is the picture of stability, Hale told the crowd. The four-county area had 2,470 building permits last year, down slightly from 2,501 the previous year and 2,518 in 2011.

Market vibrancy

While north Alabama led the Southeast for several years in market vibrancy (new home permits divided by total population), Hale said that’s no longer the case today. Markets like Jacksonville, Fla., Nashville and Charleston, S.C., are experiencing more vibrant housing markets right now.

Huntsville hasn’t always followed the national trend, he said, and the market doesn’t encounter the same peaks and valleys as other places sometimes do.

“You did not experience the wave of destruction that took place in a lot of places in the Southeast,” he said. “The coastal Florida market was devastated by the recession. This just illustrates how stable the market is in north Alabama.”

The area had 15,000 vacant developed lots in February 2011. Since then, that figure has declined to roughly 11,500. There are 546 homes under construction in the four-county area, Hale said.

With companies like Polaris and Remington Outdoor promising thousands of jobs in Huntsville over the next several years, Hale hopes the local housing market enters a phase when new jobs have a direct link to the construction of new houses.

Jobs equals housing

Hale said the market needs about 1.25 new jobs for every building permit issued in order to sustain healthy housing activity.

“Of all the markets in the Southeast over the years, the Huntsville market has been one of the most stable, even through the recession,” he said. “Our hope is that as new jobs arrive in Huntsville, it will result in an improvement in the new home housing market.”

Hale praised the area’s public leadership in attracting new companies and diversifying the economy. “That’s certainly not true everywhere,” he added.

Penny Billings, division president for BancorpSouth, said her biggest takeaway from Thursday’s event was “location and where you’re building.”

“We have seen some pretty good vibrancy right now in new home sales,” she said. “Some of our builders are reporting that their sales are a lot higher than they’ve been.”

North Alabama housing market ‘one of the most stable’ in Southeast, even through recession | AL.com.

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