Earlier, we talked about how home sales rose in the month of June in Alabama. This is in an ongoing attempt to gauge the local real estate market and take note of trends that our clients can use. According to the latest stats, provided by the Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE), home sales increased yet again in the month of July. There were 4,373 residential homes sold in July, which is a 2.1 percent increase from July 2013 and almost at ACRE’s monthly forecast. This is even more favorable when compared to national sales, which dipped by 4.3 percent in June. When compared to the year to date, home sales are a bit lower but still up by 1.9 percent from what they were by this time last year. This is mainly due to good months like June and July, months in which home sales saw an uptick. As home sales increase, so do prices. Home prices are up in 60 percent of Alabama’s local markets, and have went up by 3.8 percent year-over-year from last July. This is having the effect of reducing the number of bargain shoppers, since there are fewer bargains to be had. A good thing about the price increase is the pace; it is a steady pace, instead of a torrid one that could cause the beginnings of a bubble. Supply is still in favor of buyers in July. There were 7.8 months of supply last month, which puts us in a buyers’ market. This level has held steady over the past year. Demand has been constrained a bit due to fewer distressed properties, which help contribute to more sales. One thing to keep track of: the supply of quality inventory has become a bit tight in most markets. Metro markets like Birmingham have better situations, but on the whole, demand is higher than the availability of homes to satisfy the demand.