Local housing market improving

Published 1:10 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015


The local housing market remains positive, with sales volume increasing, Realtors said this week.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stats for Covington County from July 31, 2014, to July 31, 2015, there were 290 homes on the market, an increase from only 233 homes on the market between July 31, 2013, and July 31, 2014.

“Buying prospects and sales activity continues to be steady,” Realtor Tripp Bass said.

The number of days on the market has increased slightly with 180 for the 2013-2014 time frame, while 204 for the most current 12-month period.

Total residential home sales volume increased from $26,135,828 for the 2013-2014 year to $28,671,215 for the 2014-2015 time frame.

“That’s about a 10 percent increase in volume and an increase in the total number of home sales,” he said. “The local trend the past two years or so have been positive improvement with the real estate market. We are hopeful interest rates will remain low and allow improvement to continue.”

Local trends follow state trends.

Alabama residential sales totaled 5,293 units in July, which reflects a 19.8 percent growth from the same time period in 2014.

The last time Alabama home sales hit 5,000 in July was in 2007.

According to the Alabama Center for Real Estate, statewide sales in July were 15.4 percent or 712 units above the forecast.

In July there were 33,863 units on the market, a decrease of .3 percent from July 2014 and 21.4 percent below the month of July peak in 2008, which was 43,057 units.

According to housingpredictor.com, the following factors have influenced the housing market this year:

• Home appreciation rates for Alabama real estate have risen 3 percent in the past year;

• Zillow shows a home value index of $122,000 for the state of Alabama. Housing market predictions show a 3.6 percent increase for the upcoming year.

• Alabama has a median list price of $169,000, and a median sales price of $157,000. Alabama in large part is a buyer’s market.

• Houses spend an average of 101 days on the market, down from 142 days back in January of this year.

• According to websites like Zillow, Trulia and Craiglist, Alabama has a median rent price around $900.

• Alabama has a foreclosure rate of 5.8 homes per 1,000, which is higher than the national average of 3.8 per 1,000.