Alabama – A Housing Market Looking for Big Strides
Out of all the Southern states, Alabama was hit the hardest by the Great Recession. In the year and a half leading up the housing bubble’s burst, Alabama’s unemployment rate averaged 3.5%. In the year and a half after the recession was officially deemed over, the unemployment rate here averaged 10.4%. That doesn’t exactly make it easy for people to run out and buy new homes!
But today – now that the Great Recession is further and further in the rear-view mirror – Alabama’s housing market is looking healthier. Both home prices and the number of home sales are going up. Specifically, Alabama’s sales prices rose about 2% by the end of 2012.
So, how does everything break down on a more local level?
The homes for sale in Birmingham – the state’s biggest city – are gathering more interest and selling for more money. According to realtors in Birmingham, there were 10% more homes sold in 2012 than there were in 2011. By the end of 2012, the median sales price had risen a whopping 17% -- up to $155,000. Part of the reason for the price increase was a drop in inventory. However, the price increase is made more impressive when you consider that more than ¼ of Birmingham’s 2012 home sales were foreclosures – which drive down process.
Realtors in Tuscaloosa were happy with what 2012’s sales numbers brought, even though they were skewed by a tornado in April. Despite the damage, homes for sale in Tuscaloosa wound up selling for 30% more than they did in 2011, and there’s no reason to believe that those price increases are going to slow down anytime soon!
Realtors in southeastern Alabama are just as optimistic, thanks to what’s going on in Dothan. Even though the numbers aren’t as good as real estate experts would like, the jobs market here is doing very well – with the local unemployment rate well below both the state and national averages. That means people living in Dothan have steady paychecks that they can use to buy new homes, if they want, and realtors here believe the combination of lower prices (thanks to a healthy inventory of available homes for sale) and low mortgage rates will convince them to do just that!
However, Huntsville might be the best housing market in the entire state! Realtors in Alabama say this area has the best inventory, and the number of sales here jumped almost 12% in 2012. If the homes for sale in Huntsville in 2013 can keep up the same momentum, big things could happen here!
No matter which part of Alabama you want to call home, the future is now. Despite the hardships of the recession, this state is poised to make big strides in 2013!