Sales: Lake Martin area residential sales totaled 38 units during December, down 26.9 percent from 52 sales in the same month a year earlier. December sales were down 25.5 percent compared to 51 sales in November. Results were 7.3 percent below the five-year December average of 41 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and the Annual Report.
For all of Lake Martin’s area housing data, click here.
Inventory: Homes listed for sale in the Lake Martin area during December totaled 401 units, an increase of 35.9 percent from December 2017’s 295 units, and a decrease of 11.5 percent from November 2018’s 453 units. December months of supply totaled 10.6 months, an increase of 86 percent from December 2017’s 5.7 months of supply. December months of supply also increased 18.8 percent from November’s 8.9 months of supply.
Pricing: The Lake Martin area median sales price in December was $254,500, an increase of 81.8 percent from one year ago and an increase of 69.7 percent from November’s median sales price of $150,000. This direction is inconsistent with historical data (2013-17) indicating that the December median sales price on average decreases from November by 0.4 percent. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends contacting a local real estate professional for additional market pricing information. The average number of days on the market (DOM) for homes selling in December was 143 days, an increase of 0.3 percent from 142 days in December 2017 and an increase of 20.2 percent from 119 days in November.
Forecast: December sales were six units, or 13.6 percent, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 44 sales for the month, while actual sales were 38 units. ACRE forecast a total of 684 residential sales year-to-date, while there were 675 actual sales through December.
ACRE’s statewide perspective: After 10 consecutive months of gains, statewide residential sales in December decreased 1.6 percent year-over-year from 4,371 to 4,303 closed transactions. For the entire year, statewide residential sales increased 6.3 percent from 57,427 in 2017 to 61,062 in 2018. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in December increased 4.7 percent year-over-year from $151,667 to $158,772. The median sales price for all of 2018 was up 4.6 percent from 2017. Although nationwide inventory levels are trending upwards, Alabama’s residential inventory decreased 6.9 percent from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a major factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018. With low inventory, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during December spent an average of 102 days on the market, an improvement of 11 days from 2017.
NAR’s national perspective: During December, total existing-home sales nationwide declined 11.7 percent from approximately 427,000 one year ago to 377,000 currently. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says current housing numbers are partially due to higher interest rates during most of 2018. “The housing market is obviously very sensitive to mortgage rates. Softer sales in December reflected consumer search processes and contract signing activity in previous months when mortgage rates were higher than today. Now, with mortgage rates lower, some revival in home sales is expected going into spring.”
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The Lake Martin Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors to better serve area consumers.