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Alabama residential sales in September increase 11%; 76% of local markets experience YOY sales gain!!

By Ashley

As Reported by Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)

Published: Friday, October 24, 2014, 10:48 AM     Updated: Friday, October 24, 2014, 10:53 AM

This is super news for our State. Please enjoy this read and call me for all of your Real Estate needs. Team Ashley looks forward to working for you!

Alabama residential sales totaled 3,957 units in September, an increase in sales growth of 11.1 percent from the same period a year earlier and 201 units above of our monthly forecast. September joins June and July as the only months in 2014 where sales have eclipsed last year. Nationally, sales were off 1.7 percent in September from the prior year. See more details of how Alabama compares to the broader US market here.

The YTD Alabama sales forecast through September projected 35,170 closed transactions while the actual sales were 34,169 units, a 2.8 percent cumulative variance. YTD sales through September have been sluggish in most markets across the State but remain 2.4 percent above the 2013. Sales were up 3.3 percent in the third quarter compared to 2013.

Across Alabama, 76 percent of local markets reported positive sales growth compared to last September. In comparison, this figure was 64 in August and 48 percent in July. This figure also remains at 54 percent when taking into account total YTD sales compared to 2013.

Pricing: While the return of more consistent year-over-year sales gains is encouraging news, the lead story in 2014 relates to pricing. The Center shared in earlier reports that pricing represents the primary indicator that still had the greatest upside in the future. At least through September, this has come to fruition as the YTD median sales price is up in 19 of 25 or 76 percent of local markets. While this is good news for the market, as prices increase, sales (the typical lead story) attributable to investors bargain hunting will diminish the ability of this “buyer profile” to push the sales needle in the future. Distressed sales continue to significantly diminish as a percentage of total sales across the US, a trend most market watchers content will continue in the future.

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Lee County area residential sales in August improve 25% from prior year; YTD sales up 6%

By Ashley No Comments


Please enjoy this exciting read on the real estate market improvement and call me TODAY for all of your Real Estate needs! Team Ashley welcomes the opportunity to work for you!

Reported By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) 
on September 25, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Monthly Sales: Lee County residential sales totaled 142 units in August, a significant improvement in sales growth of 24.6 percent from the same period a year earlier. August sales were 7 units above our monthly forecast. The year-to-date sales forecast through August projected 996 closed transactions while actual closings were 1,009 units.

Supply: The Lee County housing inventory in August was 820 units, a decrease of 7.4 percent from August 2013 and 40.8 percent from the month of August inventory peak in 2010 (1,385 units).

August inventory in Lee County also decreased by 1.8 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data indicating that August inventory on average (’09-’13) decreases from the month of July by 4.0 percent.

The inventory-to-sales ratio in August was 5.8 months of housing supply. Restated, at the August sales pace, it would take 5.8 months to absorb the current inventory for sale. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 7 months during the month of August. This represents the first local market in Alabama that can be officially labeled a seller’s market. The last time the market experience 5.2+/- months of housing supply was August 2006 when it was 5.3 months.

Demand: Residential sales decreased by 11.3 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with seasonal historical data indicating that August sales on average (’09-’13) decreases from the month of July by 30.0 percent.

Existing single family home sales account for 51 percent (down from 61% in Aug’13) of total sales while 25 percent (same as Aug’13) were new home sales and 24 percent (up from 13% in Aug’13) were condo buyers.

Pricing: The Lee County median sales price in August was $174,200, a 4.3 percent decrease from last August. The higher than normal of condo sales may have skewed, in this case, lowered the August median sales price. The August median price slipped 7.0 percent compared to the prior month. Historical data (’09-’13) indicates that the August median sales price traditionally decreases from the month of July by .1 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 and we recommend contacting a local real estate professional for additional market pricing information.

Industry Perspective: “The August National Housing Survey results lend support to our forecast that 2015 will likely not be a breakout year for housing,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The deterioration in consumer attitudes about the current home buying environment reflects a shift away from record home purchase affordability without enough momentum in consumer personal financial sentiment to compensate for it. To date, this year’s labor market strength has not translated into sufficient income gains to inspire confidence among consumers to purchase a home, even in the current favorable interest rate environment. Our third quarter Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey results, to be released later this month, are expected to show whether mortgage demand from the lender perspective is in line with consumer housing sentiment.”

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Alabama Residential Sales Improve by 6.7% in January!

By Ashley No Comments

By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)
on March 01, 2013 at 6:45 AM, updated March 01, 2013 at 6:54 AM

Picking up right where the market closed in 2012, Alabama residential sales in January improved by 6.7 percent from the same period a year earlier. Across Alabama in January, sixty percent of local markets reported on par or positive sales growth compared to last January. Click here to view or print the full report.

Supply: The statewide housing inventory in January was 30,863 units, a decrease of 4.1 percent from January 2012 and 17.6 percent below the month of January’s peak in 2008 (37,470 units). There were 12.2 months of housing supply (6 months considered equilibrium) in January 2013 versus 13.4 months of supply in January 2012, a favorable decline of 9.0 percent. January inventory remained on par with the prior month. This trend is just short of historical data indicating that January inventory on average (’08-’12) traditionally decreases from the month of December by 2.7 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.

Demand: In December, Alabama residential sales were outperformed by the US market which showed an increase of 9.1 percent from the prior year, according to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). NAR also reported that the South region sales were up 14.0 percent from last January. Investors accounted for 19 percent of nationwide sales while 28 percent were all-cash sales and 30 percent were first-time home buyers (40% in typical market).

January statewide residential sales dropped 11.4 percent from the prior month. This movement is lower than historical data that indicates that December sales, on average (’08-’12), decrease from the month of December by 17.3 percent. In comparison, US sales rose .4 percent from last month while the South region also improved by 1.0 percent from the prior month.

Pricing: The statewide median selling price in January was $103,342, a decrease of 10.1 percent from last January. Historical data (’08-’12) reflects that the January median selling price traditionally decreases from the month of December by 1.2 percent. Nationally, NAR states that distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 23 percent of January sales (14 percent were foreclosures and 9 percent were short sales), Foreclosures typically sold for an average 20 percent below market price in January, while short sales were discounted 12 percent.

Local Results: 13 out of the 25 local reporting associations (52% – this is up from 44% in December) reflect sales gains from last January. In January, sales in metro markets (up 8% from last year) outperformed both midsize markets(up 7%) and small markets (down 10%). 3 of 5 major metro areas representing 70% of Alabama sales have positive year-over-year growth rates except Mobile (down 4%) and Tuscaloosa (down 2.5%, primarily due to increased storm-related demand in 2011 & early 2012).

Real estate sales are seasonal and the sales pace slows during the winter months resulting in a higher degree of statistical volatility. With that said, seventy-two percent (18 of 25) of the local housing markets across the State experienced year-over-year sales growth in 2012 and that is welcome news for Alabama consumers as well our state’s real estate community.

To finish reading the full article, please click on the following link:


More great news for Alabama residents and Lee County citizens! Please feel free to contact me whether you are thinking of buying or selling – the time is right! I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Ashley S. Durham

Hottest Market Sales Going for a Premium Over List Price!

By Ashley No Comments

Real Estate Economy Watch – Insight and Intelligence on Residential Real Estate

Written by: Steve Cook  February 23, 2013

Now, in the markets where the recovery is hottest, sellers are increasingly experiencing multiple bid scenarios and buyers are pre-empting the competition with offers over list price that stir up memories of the boom years.

Last month 13 percent of all Realtors participating in the National Association of Realtors’ Realtors’ Confidence Index reported they had at least one sale above the asking price in the previous month. The percentage rose slightly from December, the first month that NAR asked its members about sales at a premium above asking price. Realtors reported some 12 percent reported sales with prices above list price.

According to Pro-Teck Valuation Service’s Home Value Forecast, median sales prices have overtaken list prices in at least one market, San Francisco, and are close to doing so in Sacramento and Seattle.

Reports from Realtors across the country confirm that sales at a premium over asking price are still very unusual and limited to hottest markets.

To finish reading this article, please click on the following link:

A Great Read! This is yet another positive sign for the housing market! Please feel free to call me for all of your Real Estate needs – I look forward to working with you!

Ashley S. Durham


Housing Economists: Limiting the MID to Mortgages Under $500,000 Won’t Hurt Most Prices!

By Ashley No Comments

Real Estate Economy Watch – Insight and Intelligence on Residential Real Estate

 Written by: Steve Cook   Wed, Dec 26, 2012

As the President and Congress attempt to avoid the “fiscal cliff” scheduled to take effect a week from today, most leading housing economists and housing experts believe only high end housing prices would suffer if the mortgage interest deduction were limited to mortgages of $500,000 or less and eliminated for interest paid on second mortgages for second homes, a possibility in the final negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff.

In a survey of 105 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists conducted by Pulsenomics LLC for Zillow, Inc. during the first two weeks of December, some 55 percent said cutting the deduction on mortgages over $500,000 and eliminating second home mortgage interest altogether would have little to no near-term impact on overall home prices and 42 percent said it would have a moderate impact.  Among higher priced homes, 84 percent said restricting the deduction to mortgages less than $500,000 would have a moderate or serious impact on prices.

The mortgage interest deduction saved taxpayers $82.7 billion in 2010, the latest data available. For the past two budgetary cycles, the Obama Administration has recommended limiting the MID to taxpayers making less than $250,000 a year. President Obama’s deficit commission proposed lowering the limit on mortgage principal eligible for a deduction to $500,000 from the current $1 million, removing any break for interest on a second home and turning the deduction into a tax credit capped at 12 percent of interest paid.

To read the article in it’s entirety, please click on the following link;

A welcome read, indeed! Please call me for all of your Real Estate needs! I would love to help sell your property or hand you the keys to your new home!

ACRE Report: YTD New Home Sales in Alabama Up 4.5%!

By Ashley, Residential No Comments
Published: Friday, November 02, 2012, 3:25 PM     Updated: Friday, November 02, 2012, 3:26 PM

Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)

Alabama new home sales in September slipped 3.7 percent from the same period in 2011. Year-to-date (YTD) through September, sales are up 4.5 percent from 2011.

September new home sales in Alabama’s five metro markets, representing approximately seventy percent of all statewide transactions, also experienced a 12.4 percent decrease from the prior month. Real estate sales are seasonal and September represents the annual transitional month when the market anticipates a slower pace in closed transactions, a trend that traditionally continues into the winter quarters.

Sixty percent of metro areas have experienced YTD increase in new home sales compared to 2011 with Montgomery (up 20%) posting the best results followed by Tuscaloosa (13%) and Birmingham (12%). YTD new home sales have declined in Mobile (down 14%) and Huntsville (down 3%).

Demand: In September, Alabama new home sales were outperformed by the US market which reflected an increase of 27.1 percent from September 2012 and 5.7 percent from the prior month, according to the US Census Bureau & HUD. The release also reported that the results from the South region were up 24.3 percent from September 2011 and 16.8 percent down from last month.

Supply: Statewide new construction inventory has declined by approximately 8.5 percent from last September which is consistent with US trend (down 9%). All metro markets have experienced reductions in inventory since September 2011 with the exception of Mobile (up 6%). Birmingham (down 15%) leads the state in inventory followed by Huntsville (-6%), Tuscaloosa (-3%) and Montgomery (-.5).

Alabama’s metro markets in September reflect 4.6 months of new home supply, an decrease from 4.9 months of supply in September 2011 and up from 3.9 months in August 2012. According to the US Census Bureau, the US inventory of new homes for sale increased to 145,000 homes or 4.5 months’ supply, also a big improvement from 6.3 months of supply in September 2011 (down 29%).

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Another Super Read. This is GREAT news for our state economy – Call me when you are ready to buy or list!

Alabama Home Sales Increase!

By Ashley No Comments
Alabama Home Sales Increase

Chart showing an increase in Alabama Home Sales.

November residential sales in Alabama experienced an 12.6 percent increase when compared to November 2010. The last time our state’s real estate market experienced positive sales growth in November when compared to the previous year was November 2009.

While this is favorable news, the market must be mindful that last November was the fifth month after the expiration of the home buyer tax credit and the comparative sales figures reflected the November cyclical low of 2,471 closed units.

November sales were again bolstered by a rebound in closed transactions from local markets that were previously disrupted by the natural disasters of April 27th. The bounce back is apparent when reviewing sales percent change from last November in these impacted areas: Tuscaloosa (sales up 55%), Athens-Limestone County (up 48%), Marshall County (up 15%) and Walker County (up 61%).

In November, Alabama residential sales were on par with the US market which showed an increase of 12.2 percent from the prior year (November), according to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). NAR also reported that the South region experienced an increase of 12.3 percent from last year. Investors accounted for 19 percent of nationwide sales while 28 percent were all-cash sales and 35 percent were first-time home buyers.

Demand: Residential sales are seasonal and typically peak during the summer and as anticipated, November statewide residential sales were 7.8 percent down from the prior month (October 2011). This movement is also consistent when compared to historical data indicating that November sales, on average (’06-’10), traditionally decrease from the month of October by 8.1 percent.

In comparison, US sales increased 4.0 percent while the South region reflected a 2.4 percent increase from the prior month (October 2011).

Year-to-date through November, Alabama residential sales were 1.6 percent ahead of last year’s pace. In October, this figure was .8 percent ahead of last year. If the recent trends continue in December, the year-end figures will reflect the first positive annual residential sales growth since 2005.

Information taken from: Alabama Center for Real Estate.

Thankful for Home Ownership in 2011

By Ashley No Comments

Hardest Hit AlabamaAs a REALTOR and a member of the National Association of REALTORS, I am constantly promoting and encouraging home ownership. But this year, as I reflect on the happenings of 2011, I am especially THANKFUL for home ownership.

I’m reminded of the storms across Alabama in April where people lost their homes and their lives in a split second. And I can’t help but think of the REALTORS who were immediately on the front lines, emptying their freezers to grill food for those who were without. Then, there were the REALTORS that jumped in their vehicles and drove across the state to help clean up, and still more REALTORS that joined forces to send thousands of dollars to the communities in need. The support of the REALTOR force amazes me, and I can’t help but mention the state associations of REALTORS from across the country that sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to Alabama within days of the storm, just out of the goodness of their hearts! Many thanks and honorable mentions to the people who helped re-build home ownership in times of need.

Secondly, I am reminded of the thousands and thousands of people across our country who have lost jobs this year, or have watched their personal business close its doors. Once again, home ownership is affected, and help is needed to advocate for these Americans who’s lives have been turned upside down. These hardships brought about a program in Alabama provided by the Alabama Finance and Housing Authority called Hardest Hit Alabama. This is an amazing opportunity that AHFA is offering to help Alabamians with their mortgage so they can focus on getting back to work. Thank you AHFA! Thank you for making home ownership a reality in tough times.

Lastly, in a time where home ownership is volatile, I am thankful for the political advocacy NAR offers to make home ownership an important privilege in the United States. We, Americans, are blessed to maintain the mortgage interest tax deduction for home owners and thankful that NAR uses its dollars to fight for this right! What a great incentive that NAR helped in the reinstatement of loan limits through 2013 that allow property purchasers to gain manageable financing for good homes.

At a time of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for home ownership, because home ownership matters to Americans!!!