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Huntsville Realtors launch new mobile app

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ValleyMLS, the new mobile app from the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors, gives users the ability to find property listings nearby and directly contact the Realtor who listed the property. (Kristen Hwang | al.com)

The Huntsville Area Association of Realtors (HAAR) launched its new home-finding mobile app Wednesday as part of the first Huntsville Realtor technology expo.

ValleyMLS, the GPS-enabled app, allows consumers to find homes, rental properties, commercial properties and land for sale near by. The app gives users the ability to directly call the Realtor listing a property. Users can also save, favorite and share searches.

HAAR wanted to host a technology expo and launch the app because technology, social media and online real estate databases like Zillow have changed the market for Realtors, said HAAR CEO Kipp Cooper.

“We’re among the highest per capita PhD’s in the nation,” Cooper said. “Realtors are dealing with tech savvy buyers and sellers, and we need to find a better way to communicate with them.”

Mobile apps and online software have allowed Realtors to close transactions with military personnel overseas or people in other states, Cooper said.

Nobu Hata, director of digital engagement from the National Association of REALTORS, encouraged attendees of the expo to revamp their websites and share as much information as possible with buyers and sellers.

Google and online real estate data base websites like Zillow have made Realtors’ jobs harder because buyers and sellers can look up an abundance of information online, Hata said.

Realtors need to start providing that information on their websites because if they don’t, people will move on, Hata said.

“You’ve got literal rocket scientists moving here,” he said. “Do you think that they’re calling you? No.”

Hata also said that Realtors need to emphasize how they are different from websites like Zillow, which often have false or misleading information on them.

“Technology should make it easier for clients to reach you,” Hata said.

via Huntsville Realtors association launches new mobile app | al.com.

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Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales up 33% in July; YTD sales up 11%

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Huntsville/Madison County residential sales are 33.8% higher than last July. Inventory is 8.5% below July 2010 peak. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Huntsville/Madison County residential sales totaled 554 units for the month of July. There were 38 more housing units sold compared to the prior month. Residential sales improved 33.8 percent compared to July 2012. Year-to-date sales through July are 11.0 percent ahead of 2012.

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

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 3,124 units, an increase of 4.6 percent from last July led by an increase in new home inventory of 23.6 percent. The inventory-to-sales ratio in July stood at 5.6 months of housing supply (3.6 months for new construction), reflecting a decrease of 21.8% from 7.2 months in July 2012. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 6 months. July inventory in Huntsville experienced a .2 percent (7 units) increase when compared to the prior month which is consistent with an expanding market with increased buyer demand. Historical data trends during downturn indicate July inventory on average (’08-’12) increased from the month of June by 3.6 percent. Until the market establishes multiple-month 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 73 percent (up from 71% in July’12) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 24 percent (down from 26% in July’12) while condos were 3 percent of sales (same as July’12).

Residential sales in July increased by 7.4 percent from the prior month. June sales were considered lackluster by most due to the abruptness of recent uptick of interest rates in May/June. Real estate sales volume is seasonal and historical Huntsville data reflects that July sales, on average (’08-’12), decrease from the month of June by 5.4 percent.

Pricing: The Huntsville median selling price in July was $180,000, an increase of 1.4 percent from July 2012. This figure is up 7.1 percent from last month. Historical data (’08-’12) indicates that the July median selling price traditionally increase from the month of June by 3.0 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. Unlike prior years, a wild card this year is how the market responds to sequestration.

Regarding Interest Rates. “Consumers have taken the interest-rate rise in stride,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “Expectations for continued improvement in housing persist, and sentiment toward the current buying and selling environment is back on track from its dip last month. These results are consistent with our own analysis of previous housing cycles, which finds that interest rates and home prices are not strongly correlated.”

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 33% in July; YTD sales up 11% | al.com.

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Alabama Residential Mid-Year Report: YTD Sales up 9%; 80% of local markets show sales improvement from 2012

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Alabama home sales up 7.7% from June 2012. Infograph courtesy of ACRE. All rights reserved.

Alabama residential sales in June continued to gradually improve, up 7.7 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. Midway through 2013, sales are up 9.3 percent year-over-year and eighty percent of local markets report positive sales growth compared to 2012.

Click here to view or print June’s full report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.
 
Supply: The statewide housing inventory in June was 33,886 units, a decrease of 1.7 percent from June 2012 and 18.5 percent below the month of June’s peak in 2010 (41,597 units). There were 8.2 months of housing supply (6 months considered equilibrium) in June 2013 versus 9.0 months of supply in June 2012, a solid decline of 8.7 percent. June inventory has increased by 1.5 percent over the prior month. This trend is consistent with historical data indicating that June inventory on average (’08-’12) traditionally increases from the month of May by .2 percent. In contrast to reports of lack of inventory at the national level, Alabama still has a plentiful supply in most local markets. Only 11 of 25 or 44 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 are edging closer to equilibrium with 7.4 months of supply.
 
Demand: June statewide residential sales slipped 4.5 percent from the prior month. This movement contrast with seasonal trends & recent historical data that indicates that June sales, on average (’08-’12), increase from the month of May by 4.9 percent. At first blush, it appears recent upward movement in interest rates may have impacted short-term demand to a small degree.
 
Pricing: The statewide median selling price in June was $138,270, an increase of 9.8 percent from last June. Pricing can fluctuate from month-to-month as the sample size of data (closed transactions) is subject to seasonal buying patterns. Historical data (’08-’12) reflects that the June median selling price traditionally increase from the month of May by 1.2 percent. 16 of 25 or 64 percent of local markets experienced positive growth in sales price growth from June 2012. Small markets (only 4 of 10 reported favorable YTD pricing trends) continue to experience pricing pressures.
 
Local Results: 21 out of the 25 local reporting associations (84% – this is up from 76% in May) reflect sales gains from last June. Year-to-date through June, sales in metro markets (up 10% from last year) outperformed both midsize markets(up 9%) and small markets (4%). All 5 major metro areas, representing 70% of Alabama sales, have positive sales growth for both June and the first six 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.

Regaining Equity. According to the June edition of CoreLogic’s Marketpulse“Since the last quarter of 2011, 2.4 million underwater borrowers have benefited from the gain in housing prices. Regaining equity creates options for those who might now consider selling their homes because they can close a transaction with enough cash to make a down payment on the next home. Higher prices (note: In Alabama since the beginning of the year, 56 percent of local markets have experienced an increase in the median sales price from the prior year) also attract the interest of builders who see opportunity in increased demand (see Alabama New Construction Report). In both cases, a broad supply brings inventory more in balance with demand.”
This monthly report is provided compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

via Alabama Residential Mid-Year Report: YTD Sales up 9%; 80% of local markets show sales improvement from 2012 | al.com.

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Huntsville/Madison County area residential sales up 12% in June; YTD sales up 7%

Huntsville/Madison County residential sales totaled 516 units for the month of June. There were 47 more housing units sold compared to the prior month. Residential sales improved 11.7 percent compared to June 2012. Year-to-date sales through June are 6.8 percent ahead of 2012.

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

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View full sizeHuntsville/Madison County residential sales are 11.7% higher than last June. Inventory is 6.4% below June 2010 peak. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 3,117 units, an increase of 3.3 percent from last June led by an increase in new home inventory of 15.6 percent. The inventory-to-sales ratio in June stood at 6.0 months of housing supply, reflecting a decrease of 7.5% from 6.5 months in June 2012. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 6 months. June inventory in Huntsville experienced a 2.0 percent (61 units) increase when compared to the prior month which is consistent with an expanding market with increased buyer demand. Historical data trends during downturn indicate June inventory on average (’08-’12) decreased from the month of May by 1.5 percent. Until the market establishes multiple-month 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 71% in June’12) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 22 percent (down from 27%% in June’12) while condos were 4 percent of sales (up from 2% in June’12).

Residential sales in June increased by 10.0 percent from the prior month. Real estate sales volume is seasonal and historical Huntsville data reflects that June sales, on average (’08-’12), increase from the month of May by 4.1 percent.

Pricing: The Huntsville median selling price in June was $168,000, a decrease of 4 percent from June 2012. This figure is unchanged from last month. Historical data (’08-’12) indicates that the June median selling price traditionally increase from the month of May by 3.0 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. Unlike prior years, a wild card this year is how the market responds to sequestration.

Regaining Equity. According to the June edition of CoreLogic’s Marketpulse“Since the last quarter of 2011, 2.4 million underwater borrowers have benefited from the gain in housing prices. Regaining equity creates options for those who might now consider selling their homes because they can close a transaction with enough cash to make a down payment on the next home. Higher prices (note: In Alabama since the beginning of the year, 68 percent of local markets have experienced an increase in the median sales price from the prior year) also attract the interest of builders who see opportunity in increased demand (see Alabama New Construction Report). In both cases, a broad supply brings inventory more in balance with demand.”

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 12% in June; YTD sales up 7% | al.com.

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Alabama Residential Report: May sales up 13%; 76% of local markets experience improvement from 2012

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Alabama home sales up 12.7% from May 2012. Infograph courtesy of ACRE. All rights reserved.

Alabama residential sales in May continued to “steadily” improve, up 12.7 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. Across Alabama in May, seventy-six percent of local markets reported positive sales growth compared to May 2012. May results are consistent with where the market closed in January, FebruaryMarch, and April.

Click here to view or print May’s full report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.
 
Supply: The statewide housing inventory in May was 33,390 units, a decrease of 3.2 percent from May 2012 and 18.6 percent below the month of May’s peak in 2008 (41,031 units). There were 7.7 months of housing supply (6 months considered equilibrium) in May 2013 versus 9.0 months of supply in May 2012, a solid decline of 14.1 percent. May inventory has increased by .5 percent over the prior month. This trend is consistent with historical data indicating that May inventory on average (’08-’12) traditionally increases from the month of April by 1.2 percent. In contrast to reports of a looming lack of inventory problem at the national level, Alabama still has ample housing supply that has yet to be absorbed. 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.
 
Demand: In May, Alabama residential sales were on par with the US market which showed an increase of 12.9 percent from the prior year, according to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). NAR also reported that the South region sales were up 16.1 percent from last May. Investors accounted for 18 percent of nationwide sales. 33 percent were all-cash sales and 28 percent were first-time home buyers (40% in typical market).

May statewide residential sales improved 11.6 percent from the prior month. This seasonal movement is consistent with recent historical data that indicates that May sales, on average (’08-’12), increase from the month of April by 10.2 percent. In comparison, US sales rose 4.2 percent from last month while the South region also improved by 4.0 percent from the prior month.

Pricing: The statewide median selling price in May was $126,266, a decrease of .7 percent from last May. Historical data (’08-’12) reflects that the May median selling price traditionally increase from the month of April by 1.8 percent. 14 of 25 or 56 percent of local markets experienced positive growth in sales price growth from May 2012. Small markets (only 3 of 10 reported favorable pricing trends) are the last to experience pricing improvements. Nationally, NAR states that distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 18 percent of May sales (11 percent were foreclosures and 7 percent were short sales), Foreclosures typically sold for an average 15 percent below market price in May, while short sales were discounted 12 percent.

Local Results: 19 out of the 25 local reporting associations (76% – this is up from 68% in April) reflect sales gains from last May. In May, sales in metro markets (up 16% from last year) outperformed both midsize markets(up 10%) and small markets (.3%). All 5 major metro areas representing 70% of Alabama sales have an overall positive year-over-year growth rate of 11.6 percent.

Seventy-six percent (19 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.

Real Estate is Still Local. Mark Fleming in the May edition of CoreLogic’s MarketPlus writes, “As the economy slowly marches forward, the forces contributing to the recovery have shifted…to recovering residential investment, a historically significant contributor to the U.S. economy. While residential investment doesn’t happen uniformly across the U.S., neither has the real estate price cycle. Some Census divisions were significantly more impacted by the housing crash, yet are recovering the fastest. Other Census divisions (ACRE note: believe it or not, this includes Alabama) fared much better through the downturn, but are moving much more slowly to recover lost ground. While home building and real estate markets are finally changing for the better, some things remain the same: Real estate still is a local phenomenon.”
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: May sales up 13%; 76% of local markets experience improvement from 2012 | al.com.

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Alabama Residential Report: April sales up 10%; 68% of local markets improve over 2012

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Alabama home sales up 10.5% from April 2012. Infograph courtesy of ACRE. All rights reserved.

Consistent with where the market closed in January, February, and March, Alabama residential sales in April continued to “steadily” improve, up 10.5 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. Across Alabama in April, sixty-eight percent of local markets reported positive sales growth compared to last April.

Click here to view or print April’s full report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet. 

Supply: The statewide housing inventory in April was 33,219 units, a decrease of 2.6 percent from April 2012 and 18.0 percent below the month of April’s peak in 2008 (40,535 units). There were 8.6 months of housing supply (6-7 months considered equilibrium) in April 2013 versus 9.8 months of supply in April 2012, a solid decline of 11.9 percent. April inventory has increased by 2.9 percent over the prior month. This trend is consistent with historical data indicating that April inventory on average (’08-’12) traditionally increases from the month of March by 1.9 percent. In contrast to reports of a looming lack of inventory problem at the national level, Alabama still has plenty of housing supply that has yet to be absorbed. Only 11 of 25 or 44 percent of local markets have single-digit months of housing supply so this is an area where more reduction would be welcome news.
 
Demand: In April, Alabama residential sales outperformed the US market which showed an increase of 9.3 percent from the prior year, according to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). NAR also reported that the South region sales were up 14.9 percent from last April. Investors accounted for 19 percent of nationwide sales. 32 percent were all-cash sales and 29 percent were first-time home buyers (40% in typical market).

April statewide residential sales improved 9.1 percent from the prior month. This movement is an improvement from recent historical data that indicates that April sales, on average (’08-’12), increase from the month of March by 1.6 percent. In comparison, US sales rose .6 percent from last month while the South region also improved by 2.0 percent from the prior month.

Pricing: The statewide median selling price in April was $121,892, an increase of .5 percent from last April. Historical data (’08-’12) reflects that the April median selling price traditionally increase from the month of March by 4.4 percent. 15 of 25 or 60 percent of local markets experienced positive growth in sales price growth from April 2012. Nationally, NAR states that distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 18 percent of March sales (11 percent were foreclosures and 7 percent were short sales), Foreclosures typically sold for an average 16 percent below market price in March, while short sales were discounted 14 percent.

Local Results: 17 out of the 25 local reporting associations (68% – this is slightly up from 64% in March) reflect sales gains from last April. In April, sales in metro markets (up 10% from last year) outperformed both midsize markets(up 8%) and small markets (2%). All 5 major metro areas representing 70% of Alabama sales have an overall positive year-over-year growth rate of 10 percent.

Sixty-eight percent (17 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.

Real Estate is Still Local. Mark Fleming in the May edition of CoreLogic’s MarketPlus writes, “As the economy slowly marches forward, the forces contributing to the recovery have shifted…to recovering residential investment, a historically significant contributor to the U.S. economy. While residential investment doesn’t happen uniformly across the U.S., neither has the real estate price cycle. Some Census divisions were significantly more impacted by the housing crash, yet are recovering the fastest. Other Census divisions (ACRE note: believe it or not, this includes Alabama) fared much better through the downturn, but are moving much more slowly to recover lost ground. While home building and real estate markets are finally changing for the better, some things remain the same: Real estate still is a local phenomenon.”
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: April sales up 10%; 68% of local markets show improvement over 2012 | al.com.

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Huntsville/Madison County residential home sales up 10% in March

Huntsville/Madison County residential sales totaled 377 units for the month of March. There were 34 more housing units sold compared to the same month a year earlier. Restated, residential sales improved by 9.9 percent in March. Year-to-date, sales are up a solid 13.4 percent.

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Huntsville/Madison County residential sales increased by 10% in March versus the same period last year. Infograph provided by ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: Huntsville housing inventory totaled 2,936 units, an increase of 5.0 percent from last March led by an increase in new home inventory of 20.8 percent. The inventory-to-sales ratio in March stood at 7.8 months of housing supply, reflecting an decrease of 4.4% from 8.1 months in March 2012. This figure still represents the best inventory balance between supply & demand in Alabama. March inventory in Huntsville experienced a 4.4 percent increase when compared to the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data trends that indicates March inventory on average (’08-’12) increases from the month of February by 2.9 percent.

Demand: Existing single family home sales accounted for 74 percent (compared to 72% in March’12) of total sales, new homes sales accounted for 24 percent (down from 27% in March’12) while condos were 2 percent of sales (up from 1% in March’12).

Residential sales in March increased by .3 percent from the prior month. Historical Huntsville data reflects that March sales, on average (’08-’12), increase from the month of February by 26.5 percent.

Pricing: The Huntsville median selling price in March was $156,500, an increase of .4 percent from last March. In contrast, this figure represents a decrease of 6.4 percent when compared to the prior month. Historical data (’08-’12) indicates that the March median selling price traditionally decreases from the month of February by 1.5 percent so this month’s wider gap from recent trends is an area to keep an eye on in the near term.

What’s the latest housing and economic outlook for 2013? In a March 2013 report, analysts at Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch concluded: “We believe that the gain in home prices can persist despite subpar economic growth this year…Absent a significant weakening in the economy with negative payrolls, we think the housing recovery can continue. The combination of low inventory (referring to nationwide level), high affordability and improving expectations for home prices provide powerful momentum for the housing sector.”

View the current monthly Huntsville Residential Report

via Huntsville/Madison County residential sales up 10% in March | al.com.

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