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

May Alabama Coastal Real Estate Back To Record Sales Levels

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

Sales dollars increased a better than expected 14% in May to a new record high of $165,625,265 from April $145,567,700. This is 4% better than  May last year at $158,900,756, which was the prior monthly record. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, which had continued to point up steadily for three years, is flattening. 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 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 April actual sales are 4% above expectations. 59 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 588, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 612. Used Home sales increased 10% to 552 this month vs. 501 last month, which is up 5% from last year’s 527 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 97 this month vs 87 last month and compared with 85 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 177 from 135 in April. Used homes New listings declined to 801 from 843 in April 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 May, there were 3,283 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,929 in April and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in May 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 503.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in May vs. 8 in April. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory in May vs. 9 in April. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in April 2008 to 7 months this May. 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, price increased to  $254,946 from $235,342 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $255,245 from $249,687 in April. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in May was 161 vs last month of 165. Days On Market for Used was 154 compared to last month 167.
TWB 6/11/2016

April Birmingham Real Estate Market Continues To Look Like Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for April 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 April experienced an expected increase of 12% to $319,627,228 from March at $285,245,363, a bit more than last April’s  $308,690,507 (up 4%). The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales over the last six months has flattened.

Total Unit sales were up 1% to 1,508 in April from 1,488 in March, an increase of 20. This is down by 19 from last April at 1,527. New sales were down at 134 homes this month, and 171 in March and off by 13 from 147 last year. The low inventory levels of new homes suggest a good environment for builders, although prices seem to be steady. Used sales were 1,374 homes in April, up 3% from 1,317 last month, an increase of 57, and off by 6 units  from 1,380 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.  March overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 2.71% year to date (thru March).

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 9,599 vs. last month at 8,924 and less than 9,833 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1021 in April from 1,077 in March (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 18 months of supply (12 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 April shows 7 months, which is the same as 7 last year. Used Active listings at 8,654 are up from last month at 8,223, and a bit less than 9,125 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 6 months of inventory except in the $6-700,000 range (9 months of inventory), and the over $900,000 category, which has 16 months of inventory (59 homes), with 7 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 211 compared with last month at 202. The Used homes DOM was 126 in April vs 128 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $305,698 from $279,918 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be flat over the last year. Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $202,812 from $180,242 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has flattened for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 5/8/2016

Alabama April Coastal Real Estate Sales Even with Last Year

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

Sales dollars increased an expected 6% in April to $144,577,700 from March $136,196,121. This is very close to April last year at $147,406,226. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, which had continued to point up steadily for three years, is flattening. 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 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 March actual sales are 3% above expectations. 34 more units sold year to date than projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were even at 586 this month vs. last month at 586, which is practically identical with last year’s healthy level of 582. Used Home sales increased 32% to 499 this month vs. 483 last month, which is off 3% from last year’s 518 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 87 this month vs 103 last month and compared with 64 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 130 from 138 in March. Used homes New listings declined to 798 from 888 in March 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 April, there were 3,243 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,784 in March and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in April 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 448.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 6 months of inventory in April vs. 8 in March. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory in April vs. 8 in March. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in March 2008 to 7 months this April. 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  $233,618 from $235,768 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $249,004 from $231,702 in March. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in April was 165 vs last month of 146. Days On Market for Used was 167 compared to last month 161.

TWB 5/8/2016

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