Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for December 2012
For 2012 Unit sales increased 8% to 13,472 from 12,468 last and are off 7% from our full year projection of 14,550. Total dollar sales for the year were up 15% to $2,307,752,868 from $2,002,963,782.
Sales in December declined by 9% to $163,401,188 from November’s $179,368,554, up a healthy 12% from last December’s $146,269,023. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales continues to move up indicating improving market conditions. This is the middle of the slowest three months of the sales season, so it is best not to try to read too much into these results.
Unit sales were down 10% to 941 in December from 1,048 in November, a decrease of 107. This is down 3% from December 2011 at 970. This is 14% unfavorable to our projection of 1,099 sales expected for December and 7% unfavorable year to date (this will improve as late sales are recorded). The complete monthly projections from ABRE, (a joint project between ACRE and Brander Real Estate) ,can be found here
along with the worksheets that show the methodology. New sales improved by one unit to 128 homes this month from 127 in November and off from 135 last year. Used sales declined 12% to 813 homes in December from 921 last month, a decrease of 108 (Sect E p.3).
This month total inventory is 16% lower at 8,519 vs. 10,174 last year and 9,943 last month. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market shortly. It is encouraging to see total inventory below 10,000. Active New listings decreased to 736 in December from 997 in November, a decline of 261 units (Sect E p.3). Housing permits went down in Jefferson County to 67 for November from 77 in October. Shelby County permits went down to to 23 from 28 (see website for details).
Absorption rate for New and Used homes is fairly steady. New homes are at 6 months supply this month which is better than last year at this time at 7 months (Sect E p.3). New home supply last month shows 8 months. Under $100,000 New homes is at 14 months supply. The New homes in the $100,000-$700,000 price range have normal inventory levels in the 4-8 month range. Higher price ranges are one to two years of supply. although over $900,000 the new inventory is at 8 months (only two homes). (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)
Absorption for Used homes in December shows 8 months, two months better than the 10 months last year. Used Active listings at 7,783 are lower than the 9,304 last year (Sect E p.3). Interestingly, the under $100,000 market with an average list price of $59,615, which makes up 33% of all listings, is at 7 months of inventory, which drags the overall months of inventory down for all homes. There are fewer homes in the over $900,000 price range listed since early 2007 although months of inventory is still high due to reduced sales levels.
Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 172 compared to last month at 201. The Used homes DOM was 141 in December, compared with 148 last month (Sect A p.18). NOTE: DOM for Used homes indicates that well priced homes are moving in less than 6 months. If the home is not selling, reduce the price, particularly since we are in the slower sales season of the year.
Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $262,386 from $233,626 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes decreased to $159,675 from $162,539 last month (Sect A p2). The average price for Used Homes has been moving up steadily since the beginning of the year. The 12 month moving average line for New home prices has also been heading up quite nicely since the beginning of the year. Average Home prices, new and used, are improving (Sect A p2). The price of any specific home still remains under pressure. Just a note: Average prices are up slightly from 2007 levels.