Wiregrass region home sales increase in March from one year ago
Sales: According to the Wiregrass Board of Realtors, March residential sales increased 9.7% year-over-year from 124 to 136 closed transactions. Following seasonal trends, sales increased 41.7% from February. Sales are now up 4.2% year-to-date. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.
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Inventory: Total homes listed for sale in March declined 58.6% year-over-year from 391 to 162 listings. Months of supply declined from 3.2 to 1.2, reflecting a market where sellers generally have elevated bargaining power.
Pricing: The area’s median sales price in March was $169,200, an increase of 12.8% from one year ago and an increase of 3.9% from February. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.
Homes sold in March averaged 80 days on the market (DOM), 16 days faster than March 2020.
Forecast: March sales were the same as Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 136 residential sales for the month, and actual sales mirrored this with 136 units sold. ACRE forecast a total of 348 sales in the area year-to-date, while there were 322 actual sales through March, a difference of 7.5%.
NAR commentary: According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales nationwide decreased for the second consecutive month in March, falling 3.7% from February (seasonally adjusted annual rate). However, sales did increase 12.3% year-over-year. The median sales price for existing homes hit a historic high of $329,100, rising 17.2% year-over-year, also a record gain. Rising home prices are largely a result of extremely low housing inventory. The 1.07 million units listed for sale represent a decline of 28.2% year-over-year, resulting in 2.1 months of supply.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, “Consumers are facing much higher home prices, rising mortgage rates, and falling affordability, however, buyers are still actively in the market. The sales for March would have been measurably higher, had there been more inventory. Days-on-market are swift, multiple offers are prevalent, and buyer confidence is rising."
Yun added that the economic outlook is encouraging and that mortgage rates are still historically low, even with the recent uptick.
ACRE commentary: Home sales in Alabama increased 23.4% year-over-year (Y/Y) in March, marking 10 consecutive months of Y/Y gains. The strong rebound in demand seen during the second half of 2020 has continued into the first quarter of 2021, with home sales rising 18.9% Y/Y during that period. Home sales prices continued to trend upwards in March, rising 16.6% Y/Y, mainly a result of market fundamentals (increased demand and continued reduction in supply). Housing inventory in the state reached another record low of 9,721 listings in March, falling 46.4% Y/Y, also a record decline.
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The Wiregrass Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Wiregrass Board of Realtors to better serve area consumers.
Editor's Note: All information in this article reflects data provided to the Alabama Center for Real Estate for the time period March 1 - 31, 2021. Thus, the performance represented is historical and should not be used as an indicator of future results.