March home sales increased 13.6% from the same period a year earlier, which is welcome news after a couple of sluggish months. But the first quarter was 1.2% behind the same quarter in 2013.
Pricing: The metro market's median new home sales price in December was $225,104, down 4.7% from last March and 4.3% from last month.
Demand: All major metro areas have matched or improved over last March. Tuscaloosa(same), Birmingham(17%), Montgomery(same), Huntsville(17%), and Mobile(17%). March new home sales in these five metro markets increased 21.8% percent from February. Through the first quarter, Birmingham and Montgomery lead the state with 11 percent sales growth from the same period a year earlier
Supply: Statewide new construction inventory is 1.7% lower than last March.
In March, the Big 5 metro markets reflected 4.9 months of new home supply, down 22% from the 6.3 months of supply in February, and down 12% from 5.6 months a year ago.
New Home Pipeline: March statewide housing starts decreased by 3.9% from March 2013, but improved 3.5% from last month. March statewide building permits were down 4.7% from March 2013 but up 9.7% from last month.
Local Results: Fifteen out of the 27 home builder associations reported gains in building permits from February and 17 associations reported gains in housing starts. Nine associations had an increase from their February 2013 housing starts.
According to NAHB's Chief Economist, David Crowe during NAHB's biannual Construction Forecast Seminar in April, "Improving economic fundamentals combined with a more optimistic consumer and an increasing need for new homes should support a continuing recovery in the housing market." Robert Denk, NAHB Senior Economist noted, "The recovery will vary across regions..reflects the depth of each state’s housing market contraction."
provided compliments of ACRE