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Madison County real estate industry remains strong

Pandemic. Did someone say pandemic? The term obviously failed to resonate with the Madison County real estate industry during 2020. While there was a slight pause in the second quarter, the robust activity for the remainder of the year provided an astounding overall growth increase of 25% for the past year.

Total of all sales reached $2.5 billion during 2020, up from $2 billion in 2019, according to the annual report from the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors.

Zelda Friedman, president of the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors, said it’s the economic tide that is the driving force behind the numbers.

“There is a tremendous amount of industry coming to the area,” she said. “It’s simply job growth and we expect this momentum to continue for the next few years.” She cited FBI transfers into Redstone Arsenal but the area’s economic growth includes a lot of local companies who are adding jobs. The Mazda-Toyota plant is also contributing to the rapid growth.

Friedman said 2020 was an incredible year in spite of the world COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone took precautions to ensure we protected home buyers, whether it was showing a house or doing virtual presentations. We just had to show some creativity during the pandemic,” she stated.

Friedman also praised Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, saying, “She included real estate as an essential service meaning that real estate brokers could continue to do business. That helped pave the way for this growth.”

Existing home sales in Madison County totaled $1.7 billion, and new construction added $845 million with condos and townhomes contributing $24 million.

Numerous indicators showed positive results:

  • The total number of real estate properties sold during 2020 was 9,090. While sales volume growth in the second quarter was flat when compared to 2019, significant growth occurred in the third quarter (12 percent) and fourth quarter (22 percent) of 2020 when compared to numbers a year ago.
  • The average days on the market was 27 days last year compared to 43 in 2019.
  • Median sales price continued an upward trend to $249,328 in the fourth quarter which was an increase of four percent over the fourth quarter 2019. There were approximately 8,860 new listings during the year. By the end of 2020, there was only 26 days of supply.
  • Average days on market in the fourth quarter of 20 days remained similar to the 19 days in the third quarter. This level is down from 35 days in the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • The average sales price and median sales price grew through the third quarter of 2020 to $291,953 and declined in the fourth quarter to $279,160. Median sales price reached a new high of $254,991 in the third quarter and was slightly lower at $249,328 in the fourth quarter.

The market analysis was conducted by Jeff Thompson of the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Ray Garner is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News.

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