Residential permits drop, but builders encouraged by recent sales numbers


We provided some support and background for this report in today’s Birmingham Business Journal by Lauren B. Cooper.

Sales for the five builders in the last 12 months totaled 915, with an average price ranging from $140,000 to $307,000, according to the Rudulph/Brander Monthly Birmingham Area Real Estate Report, a locally published report that cites the Birmingham Multiple Listing Service.

“The big guys are much more sophisticated about value,” said Tom Brander, publisher of the report. “They know, ‘I’ve got to move it and I know what my value point is. I have to make the company survive, not the house.’”

Therefore some of the largest builders have the shortest supply of inventory, he said.

……………….

According to Brander’s report, the company has sold 271 new homes in the last 12 months for an average price of $307,000, the highest price of the five local builders.

Belcher said Signature concentrates its efforts on marketing properties within the realty community, working closely with agents and firms to help sell the homes.

“Mentally, with our sales agents, it has shifted to more of a counseling approach rather than a selling approach,” he said. “We are counseling buyers on whether they should be buying.”

Brander attributes much of the success of the larger home builders in the area to cohesiveness and aggressiveness in moving inventory.

“There is a cohesive, consistent message from the local home builders association and these builders are close to the banks based here, which are telling them, ‘Get rid of the inventory, because we don’t want it.’”

Last month, the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders held a blitz for its members, which offered new homes from numerous builders at deep discounts, resulting in an uptick in sales and contracts.

The monthly Rudulph/Brander report released earlier in the week showed that new home sales increased 9 percent in September, the second month in a row the area saw an increase, and that inventory of new homes on the market fell slightly to eight months.

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