Pandemic not slowing down Madison County housing market

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The latest economic report on the Madison County housing market shows that the COVID-19 pandemic is not slowing down the buying or selling of homes.

Huntsville is expected to become the state’s largest city in just a few years which means of course, the amount of people within the area is growing.

Huntsville Area Association of Realtors’ (HAAR) 2021 President-elect Zelda Friedman says honestly, the pandemic did not hinder or help the housing market. Since the area job market continues to grow, people moving here, simply need somewhere to live.

“Still expecting thousands of people to move into Alabama, due to the jobs and the companies moving into the area,” said Friedman. “That’s not going to go away and all those people need homes.”

The economic report for the second quarter this year shows that in Madison County, there was an increase in the median sales price at $248,680.

The days on the market dropped to a record low of 29 days, compared to 45 days this time last year.

Even with people buying and selling homes, the COVID-19 virus doesn’t disappear. When the governor announced the initial stay-at-home order, there may have been a few days of confusion, but realtors adjusted.

“Closings have taken place in parking lots just because people wanted to feel secure,” said Friedman. “We’ve adapted to what our customers would like us to do. We know wearing masks is important and you can also offer virtual showings.”

Friedman says she doesn’t see the housing market slowing down any time soon.

The hot housing market in Huntsville directly correlates to the rental market and might be the reason it is difficult to find a rental property in the area.

Basically, if people cannot find a home because they are selling so fast, they are forced to rent, causing rental homes and apartments to fill up fast.

Nick Winkles, a realtor who also works with a property management company says right now, there is a 5% vacancy rate and if a property is on the market for more than a week, its a surprise. He adds that same property will probably have multiple applications.

This causes a problem for people needing to rent.

“The simple reason would just be supply and demand,” said Winkles. “We have had an influx of population into Huntsville and they cannot build properties fast enough to accommodate.”

Winkles says if you are having trouble finding a place to rent right now, your best bet is to get a good agent or adjust your search criteria. Whether it’s a few more minutes away or a few more dollars a month, some properties are still available.

He says the solution is exactly what they are working to do, building more properties.

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