By ACRE Research
Sales: According to the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors, waterfront-area residential sales totaled 37 units during June, up 5.7% from 35 sales in the same month a year earlier. Results were down 7.5% from the previous month and 10.2% below the five-year average of 41 closed transactions.
Inventory: Homes listed for sale in the waterfront area during June totaled 306 units, an increase of 10.5% from June 2018’s 277 units and a decrease of 3.5% from May 2019’s 317 units.
Pricing: The Lake Martin waterfront median sales price in June was $598,000, an increase of 31.4% from one year ago and an increase of 20.3% from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (2014-18) indicating that the June median sales price on average increases from May by 2.9%. 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. The average number of days spent on the market (DOM) by waterfront homes that sold during June was 131 days, a decrease of 5.8% from 139 days in June 2018 and a decrease of 2.2% from 134 days in May.
Forecast: June sales were two units, or 5.7%, above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 35 sales for the month and actual sales were 37 units. ACRE forecast a total of 140 residential sales in the waterfront area year-to-date in 2019, while there were 159 actual sales in 2019 so far.
ACRE’s statewide perspective: Statewide residential sales increased slightly in May, extending the streak to five consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains. Statewide residential sales increased 1.4% from 6,306 closed transactions in May 2018 to 6,392 in May 2019. Year-to-date, sales are up 3.2% from 2018. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in May increased 4.3% year-over-year from $165,688 to $172,864. The statewide median sales price is also up 3.4% year-to-date. Although nationwide inventory levels are trending upward, Alabama’s residential listings decreased 11.6% from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018 and in the spring buying season of 2019. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during May spent an average of 88 days on the market, an improvement of 12 days from May 2018.
NAR’s national perspective: Existing home sales rebounded in May, posting their first year-over-year gain since August 2018. Nationwide sales increased 0.9% from approximately 535,000 closed transactions one year ago to 540,000 currently. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 4.8% in May, marking 87 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding.”