The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

May 10, 2013

Home sales in Athens and Limestone County post 5 percent gain


For The News Courier

— April residential sales in the Athens/Limestone County area increased 5.1 percent compared to the same period in 2012, according to a report issued Friday by the Alabama Center for Real Estate.

Sales also improved 12.3 percent or 9 units when compared to the prior month. Year-to-date through April, closed transactions are 6.4 percent below last year's pace.

In terms of supply, the housing inventory in Athens and Limestone County totaled 801 units, an increase of 7.8 percent from April 2012. April inventory also increased by 5.5 percent from the prior month.

Historical data indicates that April inventory on average (’08-’12) increases from the month of March by 0.7 percent. Inventory levels remain at elevated levels. The inventory-to-sales ratio in April remains higher than desired at 9.8 months of housing supply.

Restated, at April's sales pace, it would take 9.8 months to absorb the current inventory for sale. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 6-7 months, so this represents an area where continued improvement would be welcome news.

In terms of demand, April residential sales were 12.3 percent above the prior month. Historical data indicates that April sales on average (’08-’12) typically decrease from the month of March by 14.9 percent. Real estate sales are seasonal typically begin to trend upward during the upcoming spring/early summer prime home buying period.

The median selling price for homes in Athens and Limestone County in April was $138,600, an increase of 6.6 percent from last April. This movement is consistent with historical seasonal data ('08-'12) reflects that the April median selling price typically increases from the month of March by 6.9 percent.