Good news for potential home buyers, mortgage rates fell for the fourth week in a row. Freddie Mac reports the average 30 year fixed-rate is just over six and a quarter percent. Now the problem for would-be homebuyers is still low inventory.
"If you are seller it's the best time to put houses on the market; but if you're a buyer it's still tough," explained Mechelle Wilder, a partner at ARC Realty.
She recalls one house selling $100,000 over list price. Inventory in the south is down 35%.
Shelby County numbers look like this:
Total homes sold in 2022: 4,428
Compared to 2019: 4,971
But prices are up from just under $300,000 to over $400,000
In Jefferson County a more dramatic drop in home sales according to numbers Wilder provided:
The Alabama Association of Realtors now compiles a monthly snapshot of the market providing guidance to the public, consumers and policy makers. "The feeding frenzy we saw on every property, that has softened and buyers have more opportunities," remarked CEO Jeremy Walker.
Key takeaways from the association's February report comparing year to year:
Sales down 22%
Median sales price down 5.5%
Active listings though are up 68.7%
"In the long term we will be fine; in the short term we are going through a housing correction," says Walker.
SEE ALSO: ALDOT PLANS MAJOR WORK THIS SPRING
Another concern remains a low housing stock in Alabama which took a major hit in 2008 when so many homebuilders went bankrupt. "We've got a number industries coming to Alabama and their workers have nowhere to live. We believe this is a good opportunity to provide government incentives to encourage building," says Walker.
The housing market has also been tough on real estate agents. We're told many are getting second jobs until things pick back up.