Birmingham 1st Quarter Residential Real Estate Market Very Similar to Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for March 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. Dollar sales in March experienced an expected increase of 29% to $274,938,104 from February at $213,696,545, a bit less than last March’s  $280,039,512 (off 2%). The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales over the last five months has flattened.

Total Unit sales were up 20% to 1,424 in March from 1,156 in February, an increase of 268. This is up by 4 from last March at 1,120. New sales were up at 162 homes this month, and 138 in February and up by 14 from 148 last year. The low inventory levels of new homes suggest a good environment for builders, although prices seem to be steady. Used sales were 1,264 homes in March, up 24% from 1,018 last month, an increase of 246, and off by 10 units  from 1,272 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.  February overperformed the projection with actual sales resulting in an error of +1 percent for the month, and a cumulative error of .47% year to date (thru Feb).

Housing permits, the census bureau section that supplies this data, has been down for two months now. I’ll update the website as soon as that data becomes available. Still, it seems to me that builders and banks are being very cautious on new construction.

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 9,599 vs. last month at 8,924 and less than 9,833 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1027 in March from 1,101 in February (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 for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-9 month range depending on area and price range. However, the $800,000-$900,000 range has 15 months of supply (10 houses) (Sect C p.1). This level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units has been continuing to improve for the year.

Absorption for Used homes in March shows 7 months, which is the same as 7 last year. Used Active listings at 8,572 are up from last month at 7,841, and a bit less than 8,803 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 $6-700,000 range (10 months of inventory), and the over $900,000 category, which has 15 months of inventory (50 homes), with 2 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 186. The Used homes DOM was 128 in March vs 137 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $280,264 from $285,855 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be flat over the last year. Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $181,882 from $171,168 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has flattened for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 4/10/2016  

1st Quarter Residential Sales On Alabama Coast Even With Last Year

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of March 2015

Sales dollars increased an expected 28% in March to $135,102,221 from February $105,397,599. This is identical with March last year at $135,171,849. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, which had continued to point up steadily for three years, is showing a modest upwards tilt. 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 improving. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high 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 a projected 2016 = 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Year to date through February actual sales are 1.6% above expectations.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 31% at 581 this month vs. last month at 442, which is identical with last year’s healthy level of 581. Used Home sales increased 32% to 479 this month vs. 364 last month, which is off 3% from last year’s 494 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 102 this month vs 78 last month and compared with 87 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 134 from 119 in February. Used homes New listings declined to 755 from 806 in February 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 March, there were 3,240 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,668 in February and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in March 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 473.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 6 months of inventory in March vs. 8 in February. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory in March vs. 8 in February. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in February 2008 to 7 months this March. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $500,000 at over a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I expect construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, but so far have not seen it.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, price decreased to  $236,217 from $250,501 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $231,750 from $235,875 in February. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in March was 146 vs last month of 171. Days On Market for Used was 161 compared to last month 165.
TWB 4/11/2016

Birmingham February Area Sales About Even With Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for February 2016

Dollar sales in February experienced an expected increase of 16% to $208,404,758, from January $179,801,902, a bit less than last February’s  $213,154,525 (off 2%). The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales over the last four months has flattened.

Total Unit sales were up 20% to 1,118 in February from 969 in January, an increase of 149. This is off by 16 from last February at 1,134. New sales were up at 134 homes this month and 102 in January and up by 20 from 114 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders..Used sales were 984 homes in February, up 13% from 867 last month, an increase of 117, and off by 36 units  from 1,020 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.  January underperformed the projection, actual sales resulted in an error of -.26 of one percent for the month, off by 2 homes for the month.

Housing permits the census bureau was down at the time of this writing, I’ll update the website as soon as that data becomes available. Still it seems to me that builders and banks are being very cautious on new construction.

Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 8,860 vs. last month at 8,938 and less than 9,430 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1009 in February from 1,077 in January (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 for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-9 month range depending on area and price range. However, the $800,000-$900,000 range has 21 months of supply (12 houses) (Sect C p.1). This level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units has been continuing to improve for the year.

Absorption for Used homes in February shows 6 months which is about even with 7 last year. Used Active listings at 7,851 are even with last month at 7,861 and a bit less than 8,407 last  year (Sect E p.3). Inventory levels have continued to generally 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 6 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 11 months of inventory (41 homes), with 2 sold in that price range last month . There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood (only 3 months of inventory).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 186 compared with last month at 195. The Used homes DOM was 137 in February vs 132 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $289,738 from $273,127 last month (Sect A p2) and prices seem to be flat over the last year. Average sales price for Sold Used homes decreased to $172,337 from $175,251 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has flattened for the past year. (Sect A p2).
TWB 3/13/2016  

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Did Well In February

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of February 2015

Sales dollars increased an expected 15% in February to $105,019,728 from January $90,927,509. This is 1% above February last year at $104,260,906. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, which had continued to point up steadily for three years, is showing a modest upwards tilt. 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 improving. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high 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 a projected 2016 = 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of = 5,230. Year to date thru February actual sales are 1.6% above expectations.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 14% at 440 this month vs. last month at 379, which is about identical with last year’s healthy level of 426. Used Home sales increased 14% to 364 this month vs. 320 last month, which is off 1% from last year’s 368 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 76 this month vs 59 last month and compared with 58 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 134 from 119 in January. Used homes New listings declined to 755 from 806 in January 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 February, there were 3,193 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,521 in January and a new multi year low level. New homes, which peaked in February 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 493.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in February vs. 9 in January. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory in February vs. 8 in January. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in January 2008 to 7 months this February. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $500,000 at over a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I would expect construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, but so far have not seen it.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, price increased to  $252,121 from $248,944 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $235,875 from $238,249 in January. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in February was 171 vs last month of 175. Days On Market for Used was 165 compared to last month 175.

 

TWB 3/13/2016

Birmingham Area January Sales Even With Last Years’ Healthy Level

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for January 2016

Dollar sales in January experienced an expected drop off of 28% to $174,806,153 from December $243,004,100, almost identical to last January’s of $165,581,649 (up 6%). The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales over the last three months has flattened.

Total Unit sales were off 20% to 938 in January from 1,284 in December, a decrease of 346. This is off by 2 from last January at 940. New sales were off at 97 homes this month and 166 in December and up by 2 from 95 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Somewhat oddly it seems that there were about 100 sales of new homes against 300 new listings for new homes with inventory staying about flat. 415 new homes are in pending status.Used sales were 841 homes in January, off 25% from 1,118 last month, a decrease of 165, and off by 4 units  from 845 last year (Sect E p.3).

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our 2015 forecast which can be seen here: ACRE.  The January increase in actual sales resulted in an error of ⅓ of one percent for the year, off by 39 homes out of a full year total of 13,333. Our early forecast for 2016 is pointing at a roughly even sales level for 2016.

Housing permits were even in Jefferson County at 58 in December from 58 in November, which is off from 93 last year. This is the lowest level since August 2014. Shelby County was 28 from 26 last month, off from 41 last year. It seems that builders and banks are being very cautious on new construction.

Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 8,793 vs. last month at 9,960 and less than 9,177 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1004 in January from 1,042 in December (Sect E p.3). Absorption rate for New homes is at 7 months supply this month, which is about even with 6 months last year. (Sect E p.3). The New homes for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-9 month range depending on area and price range. However, the $800,000-$900,000 range has 22 months of supply (11 houses) (Sect C p.1). This level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units has been quite stable for the year.

Absorption for Used homes in January shows 6 months which is even with 7 last year. Used Active listings at 7,789 are even with last month at 7,918 and a bit less than 8,188 last  year (Sect E p.3). Inventory levels have continued to generally 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 4 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 10 months of inventory (39 homes), with 2 sold in that price range last month . There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood (only 3 months of inventory).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 195 compared with last month at 205. The Used homes DOM was 132 in January vs 125 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $274,242 from $307,314 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $176,224 from $171,726 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 2/14/2016  

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Sales Have A Healthy Start In January

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

Sales dollars decreased an expected 27% in January to $90,529,509 from December $124,697,839. This is 4% above January last year at $86,783,782. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, which had continued to point up steadily for three years, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down.

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

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2015. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2015 located here expected a unit increase of 6% over 2014 actual, for the full year we got an increase of 9%. For 2016 we expect a very slightly slower market than 2015, details to follow.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 22% at 377 this month vs. last month at 487, which is identical with last year’s healthy level of 377. Used Home sales decreased 24% to 318 this month vs. 420 last month, which is off 6% from last year’s 340 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 59 this month vs 67 last month and compared with 37 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 118 from 103 in December. Used homes New listings almost doubled to 804 from 415 in December 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 January, there were 3,133 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,450 in December and a new multi year low level. New homes, which peaked in January 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 474.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in January vs. 8 in December. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory in January vs. 8 in December. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in December 2008 to 7 months this January. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $500,000 at over a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I would expect construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, but so far have not seen it.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, price increased to  $248,944 from $242,552 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $238,496 from $258,207 in December. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in January was 175 vs last month of 161. Days On Market for Used was 175 compared to last month 160.

TWB 2/16/2016

Birmingham 2015 Residential Real Estate Sales Finish Strong

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for December 2015

Monthly Birmingham Sales

Monthly Birmingham Sales

Full year results:

Total Units New Used Total Dollars
2014 15,686 1,698 13,988 $3,006,565,892
2015 16,813 1,748 15,065 $3,334,574,593
% change 7.2% 2.9% 7.7% 10.9%

Dollar sales in December experienced an expected year end pick-up of 18% to $235,361,806 from November $200,218,537, almost identical to last December’s of $238,138,339 (off 1%). The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales over the last three months of the year has flattened.

Total Unit sales were up 20% to 1,231 in December from 1,023 in November, an increase of 208. This is up by 5% from last December at 1,172. New sales were up at 158 homes this month and 115 in November and off from 177 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,073 homes in December, up 18% from 908 last month, an increase of 165, and up by 78 units or 8% from 995 last year (Sect E p.3).

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our 2015 forecast which can be seen here: ACRE. December sales were not yet available. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through November projected 12,332 closed transactions while the actual sales were 12,289 units, (off by 43 units) a cumulative variance of -.35%. Given the December increase in actual sales reported here, I expect we will come in very close for the full year.

Housing permits were off in Jefferson County to 58 in November from 101 in October, which is off from 72 last year. This is the lowest level since August 2014. Shelby County was 26 from 32 last month, up from 10 last year.

Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 8,876 vs. last month at 9,571 and somewhat less than 9,002 last year. Active New listings decreased to 931 in December from 1,025 in November (Sect E p.3). Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month, which is about even with 6 months last year. (Sect E p.3). The New homes for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-7 month range depending on area and price range. However, the $800,000-$900,000 range has 22 months of supply (11 houses) (Sect C p.1). This level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units has been quite stable for the year.

Absorption for Used homes in December shows 6 months which is about even with 7 last year. Used Active listings at 7,945 are even with last month at 8,546 and a bit less than 8,109 last  year (Sect E p.3).For the year, inventory levels have generally trended down from prior years. Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has between 1 and 9 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 10 months of inventory (39 homes), with none sold in that price range last month . There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood (only 3 months of inventory).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 205 compared with last month at 207. The Used homes DOM was 125 in December vs 121 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $310,211 from $333,656 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes decreased to $173,670 from $178,247 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 1/10/2016