This article in the Birmingham News cites the Birmingham MLS press release. Their numbers vary somewhat with ours, but that is due to timing and some methodology differences. Some sales and listings are reported late to MLS and our methods of determining activity seem to differ slightly, however in general the numbers do in fact closely agree. This month MLS reported a slight increase in unit sales from the August number but it does not appear that MLS recalculates the prior month numbers. Our August sales number increased by 9 units due to this. A difference is that I showed higher August unit sales against a slight unit decline in September.
In any event our report of a slight decline and theirs of a slight increase in unit sales are not really material in either direction. It is the longer term trend we need to watch. Our Summary for September is here. I agree that the absolute reduction in inventory numbers is encouraging but against the backdrop of the economic crisis will be a concern in future months.
For real estate pros, glimmers of hope in Birmingham-area sales
Saturday, October 25, 2008
News staff writer
Although Birmingham-area home sales declined again in September compared with the previous year, some in the housing industry say they glimpse encouraging signs in the monthly sales figures.
The Birmingham Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing residences, new homes, condominiums and town homes fell 8 percent last month compared with a year ago, another in a string of monthly declines. Still, that’s an improvement over the 32 percent decline in August’s year-to-year comparison.
Some real estate professionals focused on another number – a 16 percent drop in the number of homes on the market, a signal that might indicate a glut of inventory is easing.