August Birmingham Real Estate Sales At A High Level

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for August 2016

The last few months have seen a dramatic pick up in dollar sales over last year; some of this volume has been recorded well after the month end reports, but since we re-run full history every month it is now apparent. For instance, roughly $15 million dollars, and about 100 units of additional sales were recorded for July after our last monthly report. Inventories are down, and prices seem to be increasing. Total dollar sales for August were $349,754,613 up 17% from $298,493,234 last year, and down 5% from last month at $368,690,930.

Total Unit sales were up 1% to 1,724 in August from 1,708 in July, an increase of 16. This is up by 13% and 199 from last August at 1,525. New sales were off at 150 homes this month, and 192 in July, and off by 22 from 172 last year. The low inventory level of new homes suggests a good environment for builders, and prices have begun to show a more solid uptrend. Used sales were 1,574 homes in August, up 4% from 1,516 last month, an increase of 58,  up by 221 units  from 1,353 last year (Sect E p.3). Expect late sales reports to improve this result next month.

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our month by month 2016 forecast which can be seen here: ACRE. For Birmingham, the full year projection for 2016 = 13,460, a 1.25% difference from 2015 actual of 13,294.  July overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 7.6% year to date, that is actuals are running ahead of projections (through July).

Housing permits for July are about the same as last year. For Jefferson County, in July there were 129 permits compared with 130 last year. Shelby County was slightly off from last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 9,489 vs. last month at 9,433 and less than 10,524 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1,080 in August from 1,140 in July (Sect E p.3). Absorption rate for New homes is at 7 months supply this month, which is even with 7 months last year. (Sect E p.3). The New homes have normal inventory levels in the 4-8 month range depending on area and price range. (Sect C p.1). The level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units, has been continuing to improve for the year.

Absorption for Used homes in August shows 6 months, which is less than the 8 last year. Used Active listings at 8,409 are up from last month of 8,293, and quite a bit less than 9,436 last year (Sect E p.3). Inventory levels have continued to trend down from prior years. Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has between 1 and 5 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 12 months of inventory (54 homes), with 6 sold in that price range last month. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood (only 4 months of inventory).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 208 compared with last month at 241. The Used homes DOM was 111 in August vs 113 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $320,868 from $337,315 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used was $191,624 this month compared to $200,479 last month. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.
TWB 9/10/2016   

August Baldwin Coastal Real Estate Up From Last Year

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of August 2016

Sales dollars increased 11% in August to $169,814,271 from July $153,027,746. This is 36% up from August last year’s record level at $124,886,172. (Sect A p.2). The jump was fueled by an increase in the $700,000 and over $900,000 price ranges, in other words the upper end had a much healthier than expected month. Incidentally, the increase was predominantly in the Orange Beach area. The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause of three months, appears to be resuming its upward trend. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down very consistently.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement. Inventories are also improving. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high, but improving, at over a year for anything over $500,000.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2016. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2016 located here expects projected home sales in 2016 of 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Year to date through August actual sales are 5.5% above expectations. 194 more units were sold through August than the 3,561 projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 1 at 622 this month vs. last month at 623, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 556. Used Home sales increased to 526 this month vs. 521 last month, which is up from last year’s 489 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 96 this month vs 102 last month and compared with 67 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 136 from 117 in July. Used homes New listings increased to 751 from 676 in July with net inventory down.

The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has been consistently improving. In August, there were 3,320 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,707 in July and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in August 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 588.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in August vs. 8 in July. The Absorption rate for Used homes was also 7 months of inventory in August vs. 8 in July. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in July 2008 to 7 months this August. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes priced $500,000 and over at a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I have been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and we have seen a pick-up in New homes, New listings where sales seem to be keeping up so net inventory of new home remains low in these price ranges.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price increased to  $258,309 from $239,135 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $275,697 from $246,902 in July. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in August was 161 vs last month of 163. Days On Market for Used was 158 compared to last month 165.

TWB 9/10/2016

July Birmingham Real Estate Sales Off Slightly From Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for July 2016

The last few months have seen a dramatic pick up in dollar sales over last year; some of this volume has been recorded well after the month end reports, but since we re-run full history every month it is now apparent. For instance, roughly $15 million dollars of additional sales were recorded for June after our last monthly report. Inventories are down, and prices now seem to be increasing over the last three months. Total dollar sales for July were $353,471,738 down 4% from $368,148,744 last year, and down 14% from last month at $412,631,135. It will be interesting to see how much in late sales reports show up next month.

Total Unit sales were off 9% to 1,627 in July from 1,789 in June, a decrease of 162. This is off by 163 from last July at 1,790. New sales were up at 179 homes this month, and 164 in June, and up by 9 from 170 last year. The low inventory levels of new homes suggest a good environment for builders, and prices have begun to show a more solid uptrend. Used sales were 1,448 homes in July, off 11% from 1,625 last month, a decrease of 177,  off by 172 units  from 1,620 last year (Sect E p.3). Again, late sales reports will improve this result next month.

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our month by month 2016 forecast which can be seen here: ACRE. For Birmingham, the full year projection for 2016 = 13,460, a 1.25% difference from 2015 actual of 13,294.  July over performed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 7.6% year to date, that is actuals are running ahead of projections (through July).

Housing permits,  for June are down from last year . For Jefferson County, in June there were 60 permits compared with 109 last year. Shelby County was slightly ahead of last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 9,545 vs. last month at 9,471 and less than 10,505 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1,060 in July from 1,113 in June (Sect E p.3). Absorption rate for New homes is at 7 months supply this month, which is even with 7 months last year. (Sect E p.3). The New homes have normal inventory levels in the 4-8 month range depending on area and price range. (Sect C p.1). The level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units has been continuing to improve for the year.

Absorption for Used homes in July shows 7 months, which is less than the 8 last year. Used Active listings at 8,485 are up from last month of 8,358, and quite a bit less than 9,464 last year (Sect E p.3). Inventory levels have continued to trend down from prior years. Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has between 1 and 5 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 14 months of inventory (62 homes), with 9 sold in that price range last month. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood (only 4 months of inventory).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 241 compared with last month at 205. The Used homes DOM was 113 in July vs 110 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $339,624 from $304,530 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used were $202,126 this month compared to $223,193 last month. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.
TWB 8/14/2016

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Sales Strong in July

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of July 2016

Sales dollars decreased 13% in July to $152,323,846 from June $174,282,839. This is 2% off July last year’s record level at $155,766,731. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause of three months, appears to be resuming its upward trend. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down very consistently. But, in spite of reducing inventories and generally healthy sales levels, average prices look fairly flat.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement. Inventories are also improving. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high, but improving, at over a year for anything over $500,000.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2016. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2016 located here expects projected home sales in 2016 of 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Year to date through July actual sales are 4.6% above expectations. 141 more units were sold through July than the 3,090 projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off at 620 this month vs. last month at 658, which is off from last year’s healthy level of 624. Used Home sales decreased to 518 this month vs. 540 last month, which is off from last year’s 540 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 102 this month vs 118 last month and compared with 84 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 111 from 148 in June. Used homes New listings declined to 665 from 769 in June with net inventory down.

The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has been consistently  improving. In July, there were 3,218 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,862 in June and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in July 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 551.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in July vs. 8 in June. The Absorption rate for Used homes was also 7 months of inventory in July vs. 9 in June. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in June 2008 to 7 months this July. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes priced $500,000 and over at a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I have been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and we have seen a pick-up in New homes, New listings where sales seem to be keeping up so net inventory of new home remains low in these price ranges.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price decreased to  $239,135 from $271,759 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $246,973 from $263,362 in June. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in July was 163 vs last month of 167. Days On Market for Used was 165 compared to last month 141.
TWB 8/14/2016

June Birmingham Residential Real Estate Market Robust

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for June 2016

This year seems to be unfolding almost identically to last as far as sales levels go. Inventories are down, and prices seem to be level with last year as well.This report has corrected the historical data for last month. Total dollar sales for June were $396,590,711 up 3% from $386,637,588 last year, and down slightly (.3%) from last month at $397,646,781.

Total Unit sales were off 9% to 1,706 in June from 1,884 in May, a decrease of 178. This is off by 80 from last June at 1,786. New sales were off at 155 homes this month, and 169 in May, and off by 35 from 190 last year. The low inventory levels of new homes suggest a good environment for builders, even with prices trending steady. Used sales were 1,551 homes in June, off 10% from 1,715 last month, a decrease of 164, and off by 45 units  from 1,596 last year (Sect E p.3).

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our month by month 2016 forecast which can be seen here: ACRE. For Birmingham, the full year projection for 2016 = 13,460, a 1.25% difference from 2015 actual of 13,294.  May overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 8.6% year to date, that is, actuals are running ahead of projections (through May).

Housing permits, the census bureau section, that supplies this data has been restored. Based on the new data, housing permits are up modestly, as I would expect. For Jefferson County, in May there were 123 permits compared with 108 last year. Similarly, Shelby County has been running about double last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 9,818 vs. last month at 9,400 and less than 10,617 last year. Active New listings increased to 1,154 in June from 1,052 in May (Sect E p.3). Absorption rate for New homes is at 7 months supply this month, which is even with 7 months last year. (Sect E p.3). The New homes have normal inventory levels in the 4-6 month range depending on area and price range. However, the $700,000-$800,000 range has 13 months of supply (94 houses) (Sect C p.1). The level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units has been continuing to improve for the year.

Absorption for Used homes in June shows 7 months, which is less than the 8 last year. Used Active listings at 8,764 are up from last month of 8,284, and quite a bit less than 9,588 last year (Sect E p.3). Inventory levels have continued to trend down from prior years. Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has between 1 and 5 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 16 months of inventory (61 homes), with 10 sold in that price range last month. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood (only 4 months of inventory).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 205 compared with last month at 203. The Used homes DOM was 110 in June vs 111 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $304,770 from $299,472 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be increasing slowly compared to last year. Average sales price for Sold Used were $225,243 this month compared to $202,353 last year. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market looks quite healthy.
TWB 7/9/2016

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Sales Continue To Set New Records

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of June 2016

Sales dollars increased a better than expected 4% in June to a new record high of $172,625,514 from May $166,243,265. This is 5% better than June last year at $164,150,466. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause of three months, appears to be resuming its upward trend. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down very consistently. But, in spite of reducing inventories and generally healthy sales levels, average prices look fairly flat.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement. Inventories are also improving. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high, but improving, at over a year for anything over $500,000.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2016. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2016 located here expects projected home sales in 2016 of 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Year to date through May actual sales are 1% above expectations. 26 more units were sold year to date than projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up at 649 this month vs. last month at 651, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 646. Used Home sales decreased 4% to 533 this month vs. 553 last month, which is off 6% from last year’s 565 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 116 this month vs 98 last month and compared with 81 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 144 from 170 in May. Used homes New listings declined to 733 from 803 in May with net inventory down.

The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has been consistently  improving. In June, there were 3,249 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,834 in May and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in June 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 530.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in June vs. 8 in May. The Absorption rate for Used homes was also 7 months of inventory in June vs. 8 in May. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in May 2008 to 7 months this June. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes priced $500,000 and over at a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I have been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and we have seen a pick-up in New homes, New listings where sales seem to be keeping up so net inventory of new home remains low in these price ranges.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price increased to  $271,548 from $255,080 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $264,777 from $255,417 in May. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in June was 167 vs last month of 161. Days On Market for Used was 141 compared to last month 154.

TWB 7/9/2016

May Birmingham Residential Real Estate Market A Bit Ahead of Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for May 2016

This year seems to be unfolding almost identically to last as far as sales levels go. Inventories are down, and prices seem to be level with last year as well.  Total Unit sales were up 14% to 1,832 in May from 1,609 in April, an increase of 223. This is up by 207 from last May at 1,625. New sales were up at 162 homes this month, and 140 in April, and off by 16 from 146 last year. The low inventory levels of new homes suggest a good environment for builders even with prices trending steady. Used sales were 1,670 homes in May, up 14% from 1,469 last month, an increase of 201, and up by 191 units  from 1,479 last year (Sect E p.3).

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our month by month 2016 forecast which can be seen here: ACRE. For Birmingham, the full year projection for 2016 = 13,460, a 1.25% difference from 2015 actual of 13,294.  April overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 5% year to date, that is, actuals are running ahead of projections (thru April).

Housing permits, the census bureau section that supplies this data, has been down for three months now. They have made data available in a different format, and I’m not entirely sure that the data is comparable, but it seems to be. Based on the new data, housing permits are up, as I would expect . For Jefferson County, in February and March there were 128 and 156 permits respectively compared with 98 and 125 last year. Similarly, Shelby County has been running about double last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 9,529 vs. last month at 9,117 and less than 10,341 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1,068 in May from 1,055 in April (Sect E p.3). Absorption rate for New homes is at 7 months supply this month, which is even with 7 months last year. (Sect E p.3). The New homes have normal inventory levels in the 4-6 month range depending on area and price range. However, the $700,000-$900,000 range has 13 months of supply (28 houses) (Sect C p.1). The level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units has been continuing to improve for the year.

Absorption for Used homes in May shows 6.5 months, which is less than the 8 last year. Used Active listings at 8,461 are up from last month of 8,062, and quite a bit less than 9,327 last year (Sect E p.3). Inventory levels have continued to trend down from prior years. Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has between 1 and 7 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 16 months of inventory (61 homes), with 11 sold in that price range last month. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood (only 4 months of inventory).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 203 compared with last month at 211. The Used homes DOM was 111 in May vs 126 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $302,550 from $302,391 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be increasing slowly compared to last year. Average sales price for Sold Used were distorted by the above mentioned erroneous sales in Bessemer . (Sect A p2).

TWB 6/15/2016