RECAP: February HAAR Virtual Member Meeting

HAAR’s first virtual member meeting of 2021 kicked off with messages from our sponsors, Woodland Homes and Redstone Title Services. Both provided unique insights into the state of our market. 

Woodland Homes provided a builders snapshot. In the past year builders have experienced extreme labor shortages and delays. Windows, doors, appliances can have an 18-week delay. Materials skyrocketed, with lumber prices increasing 160% in a 90-day period last year. Appraisals on new construction are also several weeks, if not months, behind.

Homes are selling faster than they can build them. However they have 775 home lots either currently available or coming on the market in 2021.

At Redstone Title Services business is booming. They title company saw record breaking numbers in 2020, with 2021 continuing the trend. While business thrives, they’ve also witnessed a change in how business is conducted with many agents observing social distancing measure. In the past year they’ve seen an increase in settlement agent usage of technology for video closings, with new technologies providing ways for agents and consumers to conduct business from afar..

Speaker: Jessica Lautz, NAR VP of Demographics & Behavior Insights

NAR’s Dr. Jessica Lautz joined us to share market trends for consumers and NAR members. A few takeaways from her presentation include: 

  • We are seeing the highest national home sales in 14 years, with more than 100 months of year over year price growth.
  • Supply is at an all time low with only 1.9 months of supply. Real supply is even lower.
  • In Madison County prices are up 6.1% 
  • We are seeing a growth in movement out to Limestone County
  • Shelby County has the highest shares of the remote workforce. 

NAR research also shows there is unequal recovery across Alabama.

  • 32% have difficulty paying usual household expenses
  • 15.8% food scarcity  – 3rd highest of any other state
  • 15.3% not current on rent or mortgage payments or have slight or no confidence that their household can pay next month’s rent. 

Further research about buyers shows:

  • 1/6 Buyers during COVID bought a multi generational home. 49% for Aging Parents, 30% for Adult Kids, and 33% for cost savings
  • A drop in marriage rates has led to higher rates of single first-time homebuyers, as well as a rise in roommates purchasing homes tother and unmarried couples buying homes together.
  • First time buyers dropped to a 33 year low at only 31%.

Research on seller trends found:

  • Sellers are in a rush to sell and willing to provide incentives for buyers, including credit for remodeling and home warranties.
  • The #1 reason to sell is they need more space.
  • Sellers are willing to make price concessions if needed because they are selling at a higher price point with more equity.

    Follow @NARResearch on instagram to keep up with insights into National and regional market trends.

Real Estate Economic Reports Update

Jeff Thompson, of UAH, joined the meeting to share highlights from the 2020 Q4 Real Estate Economic Report and 2020 Annual Economic Report. You can view and download both reports at the links below.