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In real estate, it takes at least a couple weeks before we can accurately report our findings in terms of home sales, both pending and actual, price averages, inventory levels and average days on market figures.  So each month, you will be seeing the previous months’ statistics as we steadily move forward in this real estate market, toward full rebound and recovery.  So without further ado, here is this month’s update with July numbers for Huntsville and Madison Counties.

Home Sales

Home sales increased a significant 23% this year, in comparison to last year’s sales with a current number of 437 for July 2011 versus 353 for July 2010.  This is a great sign as to our increasingly stable market though we are likely not completely out of the weather in terms of market fluctuation.

Looking at the previous month’s figures, we saw an increase of 3% in home sales from one month to the next – June 2011 to July 2011.  This is promising because we can see an upward trend moving into the summer months that is normal for this time of year.

Home Prices

Home prices experienced a notable increase at 7.5% in July 2011 as compared to June 2011 with the median home price in our area at $185,000 but by the same token we experienced a 7.5% decrease from last this to the current year as a result of the 2011 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit spike.

Inventory of Homes

We witnessed only a slight decrease of the available inventory of properties for July 2011 in comparison to the previous month this year.  Our numbers that compare last year’s inventory to this year are far more telling in that we saw a 9% increase in inventory in July 2011 versus July 2010.

On a national level, our region compares quite high with inventory levels lasting about 8 months.  This 8-month saturation rate* shows that we are better off than the national figure of 9.5 months as reported by the National Association of Realtors.

*Saturation rate is the number of months it would take to sell only the existing inventory, combined with the current rate of homes being purchased today.

Average Days On Market

Being a buyer’s market across the nation, the time it is taking to sell homes at the moment remains higher than many of us have witnessed prior to the current economic downturn.  This month’s average DOM increased by 15 days to 121 days as compared to the previous month’s figure this year of 106 DOM. Looking at last year’s DOM, there is only a one day increase from July 2010 to 2011 respectively.  Nationally, many markets are witnessing higher average DOMs so our region is still a bit ahead with about four months on average to sell a home being reasonably acceptable.

Considering these numbers, we asked the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors CEO, Oscar Gonzales whether he feels we are heading into full recovery of the economic hardships we see affecting the real estate sector.  His reply is hopeful and optimistic but realistic at the same time, stating that despite a promising increase in home sale trends from 2011 to 2012 “it is premature to label this steady increase as a full recovery.”  He also explained with the previous year’s tax credit fading and signs of a positive local economic outlook regardless, the feeling is a positive one on the Huntsville and Madison County real estate markets.

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