Dothan housing market slowing from record year in 2006

A Dothan housing market that was once on fire is in a cooling off period, but some local realtors believe the market was primed for a slowdown after a phenomenal 2006.The median price of a Dothan home dropped to $122,000 in August, the lowest median price since February of 2006. The reduction in median price could be attributed to the large number of homes on the market. According to statistics compiled at the Alabama Real Estate Research and Education Center, 882 homes were placed on the market in the Dothan area in August, the most since July of 2002 when 889 were on the market. The figure has risen steadily this year, with 722 on the market in January.

“We had just super, super years in 2005 and 2006 and I don’t think it’s fair to compare to those years because they were just so strong,” said James Grant of James Grant Realty in Dothan. “I think we’re still doing pretty good when you look at what we did in 2004.”

While the national housing market appears to be experiencing a sharp downturn, Dothan typically weathers those storms well, another realtor said.

“The market has slowed down some, but it’s nothing like what you hear nationally,” said Kelly Rumley, a realtor with Alfred Saliba Realty in Dothan.

“Dothan is a great place to live,” Rumley said. “There are still a lot of people coming here to retire, and just general word of mouth brings a lot of people to Dothan. How the market goes in the near future will have a lot to do with interest rates, but I have a good feeling about Dothan.”

Homes are spending an average of 110 days on the market before being sold, which is in line with historical figures over the past three years.

Statewide, 25 percent more homes are on the market this year than at the same point last year, but the average selling price has remained steady, actually up almost 2 percent.

BREAKOUT:
Total homes sold year to date   1023
Total homes sold year to date, 2006  1170
Total homes sold year to date, 2005       1068
Total homes sold year to date, 2004       942
Average selling price year to date    $157,251
Average selling price year to date, 2006    $152,361
Average selling price year to date, 2005    $157,099
Average selling price year to date, 2004    $115,636

By Lance Griffin

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