Important Year To Date Market Update



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What’s happened since we reached you last…

We’re all excited here from the amazing and well written article on the front page of the Business section a week ago last Friday!

We supported the Liz Hurley run last weekend and now we are excited and moving forward to next month with the Jingle bell Run for arthritis. If you would like to join our Team or feel compelled to contribute to this very important cause we would absolutely love it!

After a slower September (thank you very much Washington DC, Wall Street, etc. for all the chaos you helped create in Sept), October is proving to be a very strong month with lots of activity in the $150k to $280k price ranges. I'm not sure if the market in the Northeast (NJ, NY, VA etc.) has improved but we are fielding more calls from folks who have "finally sold their home" in the Northeast and want to take advantage of the crazy low interest rates (sub 4 %) and the great values in our area before both go away.

The top three locations of the most home purchases surprised us with Harvest/Monrovia area leading, then Madison city coming in at a close second, and then Huntsville city South coming in as the area seeing the 3rd most sales in September.

AREA                     Sept. 2011
# of SALES
HE (Huntsville East)
19
HM (Harvest/Monrovia)
69
HN (Huntsville North)
34
HS (Huntsville South)
60
J1 (SCOTTSBORO)
13
M1 (GUNTERSVILLE CITY)
9
M2 (ARAB CITY)
6
M3 (ALBERTVILLE CITY)
7
MC (Madison City Limits)
67
MCV (Mountain Cove)
43
MD (Mill District)
6
MNE (Madison County NE)
21
MNW (Madison County NW)
30
NHX (New Hope/Owens Cross Roads)
10
NMR (New Market/Riverton)
26
RPA (Research Park Area)
13
WH (Wheeler Area)
26
6L (LIMESTONE CO)
49
L1 (ATHENS CITY)
21

September Home Sales Remain Strong
Inventory Holds Steady

Homes Sales climbed 25.07 percent when compared to one year earlier and remain unchanged from August according to new data prepared by the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS® (HAAR).

At $170,000 the September 2011 single-family home median price – the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less – rose by 3.84 percent from August 2011 and slipped by 8.82 percent from September 2010.
"While we traditionally see a slowdown in homes sales in the fall, sales remained virtually unchanged.  We also saw a rise in the median home price for the month of September compared to August which is also counter to traditional housing trends," said Oscar Gonzales, HAAR CEO.


Available Properties
The number of available properties (active listings) in September 2011 also remained virtually unchanged compared to August 2011 and decreased by 10.22 percent compared to September 2010.
The Huntsville Madison County area month’s inventory of single-family homes for September 2011 came in at 8.06 months compared to the national month’s inventory of single-family homes, which was approximately 8.5 months in August 2011 according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
Days on Market

The September 2011 Average Days on Market (DOM) rose by 20 days to 108 compared to Augusts 2011 88 days and increased by 13 days from September 2010.


CATEGORIES
September
2010
September
2011
August
2011
PERCENT CHANGE
Total property sales
339
424
422
0.47%
Average single-family sales price
$209,517
$196,834
$186,374
5.61%
Median single-family sales price
$185,000
$170,000
$163,711
3.84%
Total active listings
3,434
3,083
3,071
0.39%
Average Days on Market
95
108
88
22.73%
Months inventory*
8.69
8.06
8.85
-8.93%
Month’s inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market.


PRICE DISTRIBUTION
Price Range:
# of Total Sales:
AVG DOM
# of Current Active Listings
$99,999 OR UNDER
71
120
512
$100,000 - $124,999
50
117
210
$125,000 - $149,999
52
76
375
$150,000 - $199,999
82
93
606
$200,000 - $249,999
60
91
383
$250,000 - $299,999
37
67
368
$300,000 - $349,999
30
62
148
$350,000 - $399,999
20
111
122
$400,000 - $449,999
8
263
75
$450,000 - $499,999
6
87
61
$500,000 - $549,999
2
26
41
$550,000 - $599,999
2
182
42
$600,000 - $649,999
                 0
10
$650,000 - $699,999
1
151
22
$700,000 - $749,999
1
323
11
$750,000 - $799,999
                 0
19
$800,000 OR OVER
2
274
78






Month’s inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market.


Real Estate Milestones in September

Homes Sales climbed 25.07 percent when compared to one year earlier and remain unchanged from August 2011.

At $170,000 the September 2011 single-family home median price rose by 3.84 percent from August 2011.

The number of available properties (active listings) in September 2011 remained virtually unchanged compared to August 2011.

The September 2011 Average Days on Market (DOM) rose by 20 days to 108 compared to Augusts 88 days.

~~~~~

The computerized Multiple Listing Service, the North Alabama Multiple Listing Service (NALMLS) a subsidiary of the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 2,700 Realtors in North Alabama. Residential listing information for more than 3,000 properties may be found on the Internet at http://www.valleymls.com

The information published and disseminated to the North Alabama Multiple Listing Service (NALMLS) is communicated verbatim, without change as filed by MLS participants.

The MLS does not verify the information provided and disclaims any responsibility for its accuracy. All data is preliminary and subject to change. Monthly sales figures reported include a statistical estimation to account for late entries. Twelve-month totals may vary from actual end-of-year figures.

Founded in 1948, the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS® (HAAR) is a 2,000 member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling.





Answering Important Mortgage and Lending Questions



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More and more often we are seeing reports on the news about stricter mortgage lending guidelines, lower interest rates, housing prices that continue to decline and discussions about how the real estate market is faring today. So if you are in the market to buy a home, how can you tell if it is the right time? Contact Teresa Hagood, Superior Bank Home Loans, Mortgage Lending Manager,  ofc. 256.532.2660, cell 256.227.7727, email teresa.hagood@superiorbank.com to find out if its the right time for you. There are few key questions that repeatedly come up with existing and prospective clients considering buying so here is some clarification on those points.

How Does It Compare to Purchase Today Versus a Year Ago?

A year ago rates were about a point higher. So for instance, if a homeowner purchased a property for $200,000 at an interest rate of 4.875% but this year they were able to secure the same home at 3.875%, it would translate to a payment about $100 less on the average $200,000 purchase. What this means is that buyers have more buying power in today’s market with these low rates and it is a great time to buy.

Despite our experiencing a steady economic time we are still seeing the homes at very low purchase prices. When you combine that with the fact that there are some people who are tired of waiting or that need to sell their homes right away it is a recipe for success for buyers. We are seeing quite a bit of homes for quite a bit less – some of them up to 5% less than what we were seeing even a year ago.

How Can We Boost Our Credit Score?

Many consumers who want to get into their first home, refinance or even buy up are finding it a difficult feat especially with the overall economic outlook in the country. Lenders are practicing even more stringent guidelines and practices than what we witnessed in the 2005/2006 time frame when it seemed anyone and everyone could obtain financing. Nowadays there is a lot of emphasis placed on the homebuyers’ credit score. Where at one point they might have been able to secure financing despite having FICO scores lower than 620, now lenders refuse to entertain applications that don’t meet this minimum score requirement.

To help consumer wishing to improve their credit there is a system used by some lenders that involves inputting credit information into a simulator to yield results that show exactly what needs to be done to improve the scores to the desired level. There have been cases where in as little as one week, a credit score has improved by as much as 30 points! It is worth it to investigate this possibility if your score is less than desired or standing in the way of your buying a property.

Is Now a Good Time to Refinance?

There are people who purchased or refinanced several years ago at what seemed a great rate at the time, say about 5.5% but with today’s rates even those seem steep. The question many homeowners have on their minds is whether it is a good time to refinance. Mortgage professionals are seeing a lot of people with 30-year fixed rate mortgages who are going down to a 15-year mortgage. In many of these cases the payment per month does not change much. At this time, interest rates on 15-year mortgages are basically about in the low 3’s. One way to discern whether it is a good time to refinance or not, is to compare 30-year to a 30-year mortgage and see whether you can save at least one percentage point to as much as a point and a half. For mortgages that have an unpaid balance of at least $200,000 a refinance would make sense when the percentage drops by that much.

Alternatively, homeowners can opt to reduce their loan term from a 30-year to a 15-year term, thus shaving off a significant amount of interest from the loan as well as cutting the period in half. Consumers may see their payment go up slightly but the tradeoff is worth it.

Images from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=3062

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