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Alabama Residential Report Reveals Positive Climb with February Sales

The Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) released its monthly findings this week for residential sales in the state of Alabama, further displaying positive signs of growth for our region. All five major metro areas, including Birmingham, represent 70 percent of Alabama’s positive year-over-year growth rates.

Compared to last February 2012, residential sales this past month improved by 12.6 percent overall in Alabama, outperforming the overall US market which rose 10.2 percent. This growth affirms that a healthy recovery is underway in the housing market, specifically in Alabama.

According to the National Association of REALTORS, February sales were at their highest level since the tax credit period of November 2009. The Alabama metro market has risen 11 percent YTD over last year and statewide residential sales are up 16.4 percent from January with the median selling price for homes rising 8.4 percent from last February.

“Across the nation, most local housing markets have room for sustainable growth, particularly in home construction and sales. As the broader economy heals, expect to see more good news with home prices continuing their recent upward trend, and home sales and housing starts continuing to post strong growth rates,” said Freddie Mac vice president & chief economist, Frank Nothalt.

Sales in the South and West both performed positively in February, compared to February 2012, but all four regions of the US reveal overall annual growth compared to last year. Specifically in the southern regions, sales rose 14.9 percent from February 2012. Of those sales, 22 percent were comprised of nationwide investors, 32 percent represented all-cash sales and 30 percent were made up of first-time home buyers. The average days on market decreased by 5.5 percent in February.

“Job growth in the improving economy and pent-up demand are causing both home sales and rental leasing to rise. Though home prices are rising much faster than rents, historically low mortgage rates are still making home purchases affordable,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “The only headwinds are limited housing inventory, which varies greatly around the country, and credit conditions that remain too restrictive.”

The Alabama Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Alabama Association of REALTORS and local associations. For additional information visit, acre.cba.ua.edu.