Birmingham Residential Real Estate Sales Strong in May

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for May 2015

Dollar sales in May experienced a seasonal improvement of 6% to $323,274,789 from April’s $305,091,148, up by 12% over last May’s of $289,612,036. The increase over last year confirms a strong spring season. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is continuing to show a very steady upward trend indicating consistent growth.

Total Unit sales were up 3% to 1,551 in May from 1,505 in April, an increase of 46. This is up 4% from last May at 1495. The larger rise in dollar sales than unit sales indicates improving pricing, and suggests the lower inventory levels are making it more of a seller’s market. New sales decreased by 3 units to 140 homes this month from 143 in April and off from 134 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,411 homes in May, up 4% from 1,362 last month, an increase of 49, and up by 4% or 50 units from 1,361 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 reported: “Forecast: May sales were .8 percent or 1 unit above of our monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through May projected 5,282 closed transactions while the actual sales were 5,260 units, a cumulative variance of .4 percent.” I also expect to see a healthy increase in new construction, which has been quite modest so far..

Total inventory is 1% lower at 10,338 vs. last month at 10,420 and 1% more than the 10,274 last year. Active New listings decreased to 937 in May from 1,274 in April, a decline of 337 units (Sect E p.3).  

Housing permits were down in Jefferson County to 117 in April from 125 in February, which is down from 119 last year. Shelby County went from 50 to 52 in April, up from 45 last year. I expect this pace to pick-up. We are seeing a more significant number of multi-family construction units (which we do not formally track or report) in most markets.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6.6 months supply this month, which is up slightly from 6.0 months last year at this time. Last month though, shows 9 months of supply (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. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in May shows 8 months which is even with 8 months last year. Used Active listings at 9,401 are up slightly from last month at 9,146 but lower than the 9,462 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about 6 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 9 months of inventory (50 homes), with 7 sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 76. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood and Centerpoint.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 194 compared with last month at 198. The Used homes DOM was 114 in May vs 122 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $287,643 from $314,478 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $200,570 from $190,984 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2). 

TWB 6/11/2015

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Market Vigorous in May

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

Sales dollars increased 5% in May to $155,371,956 from April $147,326,266. This is 14% better than May last year at $136,834,816. (Sect A p.2).  The 12 month moving average line of sales which had continued to point up steadily for three years, except for the last part of last year and the first few months of this year, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt due to the record setting last three months gains. Last year was the best sales year since 2005 and the last three months has been substantially above that level. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories continue trending down.

The most notable increases in sales were in the over $900,000 range, going from 12 sales last month to 16 this month.  Interesting however there was only one new home sold over $500,000, and used inventory over $400,000 remain over a year. Essentially, the market has improved on the very high end and the lower end; the middle, not so much.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, has projected expectations for 2015. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. While the projection last year was not very accurate, I believe that this year will be much better as we now have more ”normal “data not distorted by the oil spill and weather. The projection for 2015 located here expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual. Through May cumulative sales are running 7% ahead of the projection. For the month of May sales were 3% ahead of the projection.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 2% to 595 this month vs. last month at 581, which is 5% above  last year’s healthy level of 565. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales decreased 1% to 510 this month vs. 517 last month, which is up 5% from last year’s 487 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 85 this month vs 64 last month and compared with 77 last year.

New listings for New homes decreased to 107 from 115 in April. Used homes New listings decreased to 825 from 857 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 once again been improving. In May, there were 3,647 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,174 in April. The New home market, which peaked in May 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 452.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in May vs. 9 in April. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 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 over $400,000 at over a year’s supply. Even here we are seeing improvement, which may set the stage for acceleration in new construction.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to  $248,695 from $253,059 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $263,202 from $253,637 in April. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in May was 236 vs last month of 213. Days On Market for Used was 169 compared to last month 152.

TWB 6/14/2015

April Birmingham Area Real Estate Sales Jump 12% Over Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for April 2015

Dollar sales in April experienced a better than expected seasonal improvement of 7% to $292,262,727 from March’s $273,508,424, up by 12% over last April’s of $262,916,981. The increase over last year in the last four months indicates a strong spring season. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is continuing to show a very steady upward trend indicating consistent growth.

Total Unit sales were up 4% to 1,439 in April from 1,387 in March, an increase of 52. This is up 2% from last April at 1414. The larger rise in dollar sales than unit sales indicates improving pricing, and suggests the lower inventory levels are making it more of a seller’s market. New sales decreased by 10 units to 132 homes this month from 142 in March and off from 134 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,307 homes in April, up 5% from 1,245 last month, an increase of 62, and up by 2% or 27 units from 1,280 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. We expect the Birmingham area to be 6% above 2014 levels. So this month’s unit increase of 4% is behind the projection.  Based on what I am seeing, I expect substantial market gains. I also expect to see a healthy increase in new construction, the beginnings of which we can see in permits below.

Total inventory is 2% higher at 10,281 vs. last month at 10,093 and 1% more than the 10,194 last year. Active New listings decreased to 943 in April from 1,253 in March, a decline of 31 units (Sect E p.3).  

Housing permits were up in Jefferson County to 125 in March from 98 in February, which is down from 133 last year. Shelby County went from 45 to 50 in March, up from 38 last year. I expect this pace to pick-up. We are seeing a more significant number of multi-family construction units (which we do not formally track or report) in most markets.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6.7 months supply this month, which is up slightly from 6.1 months last year at this time. Last month though, shows 8.9 months of supply (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. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in April shows 8 months, even with 8 months last year. Used Active listings at 9,338 are up slightly from last month at 8,840 and lower than the 9,363 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about 6 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 9 months of inventory (49 homes), with 2 sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 95. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood and Centerpoint.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 198 compared with last month at 210. The Used homes DOM was 122 in April vs 130 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $317,178 from $291,673 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $191,580 from $186,418 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 5/09//2015

April Alabama Coastal Sales Jump 30% Over Last Year

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

Sales dollars increased 8% in April to $143,968,666 from March of $133,472,374. This is 30% better than April last year at $110,997,478. (Sect A p.2).  The 12 month moving average line of sales which had continued to point up steadily for three years, except for the last part of last year and the first few months of the year, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt due to the healthy last two months gains. Last year was the best sales year since 2005 so this monthly performance stands out. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories continue trending down.

The biggest increases in sales were in the over $900,000 range, going from 4 sales last month to 11 this month. Six of the over $900,000 sales were in the Orange Beach area, which also got 11 new listings in that category for the month (Sec A P11) and another 4 were in Fairhope, Point Clear which got 9 new listings in the category.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, has projected expectations for 2015. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. While the projection last year was not very accurate, I believe that this year will be much better as we now have more ”normal “data not distorted by the oil spill and weather. The projection for 2015 expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual. It seems that sales are running substantially  ahead of the projection

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were down 1% to 568 this month vs. last month at 576, which is 24% above  last year’s healthy level of 458. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales increased 3% to 505 this month vs. 491 last month, which is up 25% from last year’s 404 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 63 this month vs 85 last month and compared with 54 last year.

New listings for New homes decreased to 113 from 144 in March. Used homes New listings decreased to 823 from 958 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 once again been improving. In April, there were 3,537 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,999 in March. The New home market, which peaked in April 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 444.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in April vs. 8 in March. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory in April vs. 9 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 $400,000 at over a year’s supply. Even here we are seeing improvement, which may set the stage for some acceleration in new construction.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices increased to  $248,842 from $240,859 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $254,043 from $230,141 in March. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in April was 213 vs last month of 186. Days On Market for Used was 152 compared with last month of 162.

TWB 5/10/2015

Birmingham Area Residential Sales Improve 17% Over Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for March 2015

April Sales

April Sales

Dollar sales in March experienced a better than expected seasonal improvement of 27% to $266,141,196 from February’s $210,080,211, up by 17% over last March’s of $227,902,558. The increase over last year in the last three months indicates the beginning of a strong spring season. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is continuing to show a very steady upward trend indicating consistent growth.

Total Unit sales were up 21% to 1,348 in March from 1,113 in February, an increase of 235. This is up 10% from last March at 1227. New sales increased by 26 units to 138 homes this month from 112 in February and off from 154 last year. Used sales were 1,210 homes in March, up 21% from 1,001 last month, an increase of 209, and up by 8% or 87 units from 1,123 last year(Sect E p.3).

Keeping in mind the ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With Acre, we released our 2015 forecast which can be seen here. We expect the Birmingham area to be 6% above 2014 levels. So this month’s unit increase of 10% is ahead of the projection.  Based on what I am seeing, I expect substantial market gains. I also expect to see a healthy increase in new construction, the beginnings of which we can see from the year over year gains in permits below.

This month total inventory is 1% higher at 9,740 vs. last month at 9,607 and 3% less than the 10,028 last year. Active New listings decreased to 951 in March from 1,209 in February, a decline of 258 units (Sect E p.3).  

Housing permits were down in Jefferson County to 98 in February from 101 in December, which is down from 101 last year. Shelby County went from 39 to 45 in February, up from 30 last year.I expect this pace of building to pick-up. We are seeing a more significant number of multi-family construction units (which we do not formally track or report) in most markets.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6.8 months supply this month, which is up slightly from 6.1 months last year at this time. Last month though, shows 8.5 months of supply (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. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in March shows 7 months, one month better than the 8 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,789 are up slightly from last month at 8,398 and lower than the 9,196 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about five months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 8 months of inventory (44 homes), with six sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 121. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood and Centerpoint.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 210 compared with last month at 209. The Used homes DOM was 130 in March vs 131 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $294,485 from $299,312 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $186,366 from $176,381 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 4/11//2015    

Coastal Alabama Real Estate Sales Improve In March

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of March 2014

April Sales

April Sales

Sales dollars increased 29% in March to $133,160,474 from February of $103,171,501. This is 17% better than March last year at $113,720,479. (Sect A p.2). This is the 1st month of the year with a substantial increase year over year and could be an indicator for a robust sales season.  The 12 month moving average line of sales which had continued to point up steadily for three years is still best described as “squiggly”. Last year was the best sales year since 2005 so this monthly performance stands out. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories continue trending down.

The biggest increases in sales were in the lower price ranges (below $300,000 ) and in the Daphne/Montrose area, which saw sales go from 43 last month to 80 this month (Sec D P4). Looking in section E pages 2-5 one can see the subdivisions accounting for the largest gains, among others, Lake Forest and Oldfield show large gains.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, has projected expectations for 2015. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. While the projection last year was not very accurate, I believe that this year will be much better as we now have more ”normal “data not distorted by the oil spill and weather. The projection for 2015 expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 36% to 574 this month vs. last month at 422, which is 25% above  last year’s healthy level of 459. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales increased 34% to 489 this month vs. 364 last month, which is up 24% from last year’s 394 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 85 this month vs 58 last month and compared with 65 last year.

New listings for New homes increased to 142 from 68 in February. Used homes New listings increased to 944 from 835 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 once again been improving. In March, there were 3,528 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,021 in February. The New home market, which peaked in March 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 419.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in March vs. 9 in February. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory for March vs. 10 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 $400,000 at over a year’s supply. Even here we are seeing improvement, which may set the stage for some acceleration in new construction.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices increased to  $240,859 from $233,054 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $230,445 from $24,303 in February. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in March was 186 vs last month of 209. Days On Market for Used was 162 compared with last month of 162.

TWB 4/12/2015

Birmingham Area Real Estate Unit Sales up 6% Over Last February

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for February 2015

Birmingham February Sales

Birmingham February Sales

Dollar sales in February experienced an expected seasonal improvement of 22% to $200,563,499 from January’s $163,769,334, up by 18% over last February’s of $169,452,699. The increase over last year in the last two months indicates the possibility for a strong spring season. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is continuing to show a very steady upward trend indicating consistent growth.

Total Unit sales were up 13% to 1,047 in February from 926 in January, a increase of 121. This is up 6% from last February at 986. New sales increased by 7 units to 102 homes this month from 95 in January and off from 114 last year. Used sales were 945 homes in February, up 14% from 831 last month, an increase of 114, and up by 8% or 73 units from 872 last year(Sect E p.3).

Keeping in mind the ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With Acre, we released our 2015 forecast which can be seen here. We expect the Birmingham area to be 6% above 2014 levels. So this month’s unit increase of 6% is in line with the projection.  Based on what I see I expect pretty substantial market gains. I also expect to see a healthy increase in new construction, the beginnings of which we can see from the year over year gains in permits below.

This month total inventory is 1% lower at 9,359 vs. last month at 9,478 and 9,488 last year. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market. Active New listings decreased to 961 in February from 1,183 in January, a decline of 222 units (Sect E p.3).  

Housing permits were up in Jefferson County to 101 in January from 93 in December, which is up considerably from 65 last year. Shelby County went from 41 to 39 in January, up from 5 last year. It seems that builders are anticipating a strong spring market and I think they are right. In addition, we are seeing a more significant number of multi-family construction units (which we do not formally track or report) in most markets.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6.8 months supply this month, which is up slightly from 6.2 months last year at this time. Last month though, shows 8 months of supply (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. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in February shows 7 months, one month better than the 8 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,398 are up slightly from last month at 8,295 and lower than the 8,666 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about four months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 7 months of inventory (36 homes), with six sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 131. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood and Centerpoint.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 209 compared with last month at 112. The Used homes DOM was 131 in February vs 130 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $304,125 from $294,532 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $179,410 from $163,404 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 3/7//2015