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.