Home sales last month were up nearly 6 percent over January in the Athens/Limestone County area, according to the Alabama Center for Real Estate. However, the number of homes sold was down 11.4 percent from last February and fell eight short of ACRE’s monthly forecast of 62 homes.
“Historical data indicates that February residential sales on average (2009-13) increase from the month of January by 18.1 percent,” ACRE said in its monthly report. “February 2014 sales increased 5.9 percent from the prior month.”
The average selling price took a nosedive from a year ago. The average price of $141,902 for a home in Athens in February was a 19.7 percent drop from $176,737 in February 2013.
“Historical data indicates that February average sales prices on average (2009-13) increase by 2.5 percent from the month of January,” the report said. “The February 2013 average price increased by 0.1 percent from the prior month.”
The report said there were 690 homes available for sale in February, a 7.8 percent decrease from February 2013 but unchanged from January.
“This is consistent with historical data indicating that February inventory on average (2009-13) increases from the month of January by only 1 percent,” ACRE said. “Inventory levels remain elevated. The inventory-to-sales ratio in February remains higher than desired at 12.8 months of housing supply but did shrink from the prior month.” This means, at the February sales pace, it would take 12.8 months to absorb the current inventory for sale. This is an increase from 11 months of supply in February 2013.
Existing single-family home sales accounted for 80 percent (up from 68 percent in February 2013) of total sales and new homes sales accounted for 20 percent (down from 32 percent last February).
The area median selling price in February was $130,000, a slip of 2.3 percent from the prior month. ACRE said this contrasts with historical seasonal data where the February median selling price typically increases from January by 12.6 percent.
ACRE did not say if the unseasonably cold weather in February, which included icy and snow-covered roads, affected the numbers.