Mobile-area home sales decline 11.7% year-over-year

You go out: According to the Mobile Area Association of Realtors, September home sales in the area decreased 11.7% year-over-year (Y/Y) from 487 to 430 closed transactions. Sales decreased 8.1% from August. Sales are down 7.8% year-to-date. Two more resources to review: quarterly report and annual report.

For all Mobile-area housing data, click here.

inventory: September listings (769) decreased 0.4% from August and increased 18.5% from one year ago. At the current sales pace, all the active inventory on the market would sell in 1.8 months, up from 1.6 months in August and 1.3 months in September 2021. The equilibrium point where buyers and sellers have roughly equal bargaining power is 4-5 months of supply.

Pricing: The median sales price in September was $216,975, an increase of 8.5% from one year ago and 8.5% from August. 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 September averaged 33 days on the market, 17 days longer than in September 2021.

Forecast: September sales were 85 units, or 16.5%, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 515 sales for the month, while actual sales were 430 units. ACRE forecast a total of 4,860 residential sales year-to-date, while there were 4,232 actual sales through September, a difference of 12.9%.

New build: The 41 new homes sold represent 9.5% of all residential sales in the area in September. Total sales increased 78.3% year-over-year. The median sales price in September was $294,000, an increase of 5.8% from one year ago and an increase of 0.3% from August.

Statewide summary: Home sales in Alabama declined in September as escalating mortgage rates softened buyer demand. Sales declined 15% year-over-year and are down 7.4% year-to-date. Buyer demand has pulled back to pre-COVID levels with September sales up slightly (2.3%) from the five-year average. Additional declines are likely in the months ahead, with a 10-15% slowdown expected from last year’s pace.

Home sales price growth moderated in September with the statewide median sales price rising 10.5% Y/Y, down from an average of 15.2% from January to August. The statewide median sales price increased 0.4% from August. Going forward, slowing sales and rising inventory are likely to result in home price growth moderating to the 8-10% range by year end.

Inventory increased slightly from August but is up significantly (30.1%) from September 2021, when elevated demand drove inventory down to a near-record low. However, inventory is still relatively scarce as the 14,370 properties listed for sale is 25.5% below the five-year average. Unsold inventory was at 2.4 months of supply, well below the equilibrium point of 4-5 months of supply.

National summary: According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales declined 1.5% from August (seasonally adjusted annual rate), marking the eighth consecutive month of slowing sales activity. Three of four regions reported year-over-year declines and home sales slowed 23.8% from September 2021’s pace.

The median sales price for all housing types increased 8.4% Y/Y to $384,800, the 127th consecutive Y/Y gain. However, home prices retreated somewhat over the last two months from a record high of $413,800 in June.

Properties sold in an average of 19 days, two days faster than one year ago. Inventory is slowly trending upward from the lows seen during the post-pandemic housing boom. The 1,250,000 listings at the end of September represent a decrease of 2.3% from August and a slight increase (0.8%) from September 2021. September’s 3.2 months of supply was unchanged from August and up from 2.4 one year ago.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, said, “The housing sector continues to undergo an adjustment due to the continuous rise in interest rates, which eclipsed 6% for 30-year fixed mortgages in September and are now approaching 7%. Expensive regions of the country are especially feeling the pinch and seeing larger declines in sales.”

Yun added that inventory remains tight, historically speaking, saying, “Despite weaker sales, multiple offers are still occurring with more than a quarter of homes selling above list price due to limited inventory. The current lack of supply underscores the vast contrast with the previous major market downturn from 2008 to 2010, when inventory levels were four times higher than they are today.”

All-cash sales represented 22% of all closed sales in September, down from 24% in August and 23% one year ago. Second-home buyers and individual investors accounted for 15% of September home sales, down from 16% in August but up from 13% one year ago.

Foreclosures and short sales accounted for approximately 2% of September transactions, a slight increase from 1% in the previous month and one year ago.

Click here to view the entire monthly report.

The Mobile Residential Monthly Report is developed in connection with the Mobile Area Association of Realtors to better serve area consumers.

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