Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for November 2010
Sales in November improved 1% to $124,210,856 from October’s $123,448,850. This is a decline of 32% from last November’s $181,599,179. The housing marrket is still pretty distressing with the twelve month moving average of total dollar sales chart continuing to show a downward slope.
Total unit sales were up 2% to 750 in November from 735 in October, an increase of 15. This is a 32% reduction from November 2009 at 1,111. New sales declined 15% to 98 homes this month from 115 in October, a decrease of 17 units. Used sales improved 6% to 652 homes in November from 620 last month, an increase of 32 (Sect E p.3).
This month total inventory is virtually the same 12,366 this year vs. 12,660 last year. Active New
listings decreased to 1,134 in November from 1,301 in October, a decline of 167 units (Sect E p.3). The number of housing permits this month was unchanged at 23 in October vs. 24 in the prior month for Jefferson County. Shelby County was also unchanged. (See the website for details).
Absorption rate for New homes at a 7.2 months supply and a reduced sales pace, is better than the 8.3 months last year at this time (Sect E p.3). While the situation is still distressed, New homes seem to be selling and supply is keeping in balance. Strangely, under $100,000 New homes are at 16.7 months of sales, while those priced from $200,000-$500,000 range from 5.7 to 6.2 months of inventory, a pretty “normal” situation in such abnormal times.. (Sect C p.1 compare to last month and Sect E p.3.) New house inventories in higher price ranges (above $500,000) remain excessive at over a year.
Inventory shows a modest decline for Used homes. Absorption for Used homes in November 2010 shows 11,232 Used Active listings (Sect E p.3) and 13 months of supply. This is slightly worse than the 12 months of supply last year at this time (Sect E p.3). Since May the number of Used Active listings has dropped by more that 1,000! Unfortunately, the drop has been due more to cancellations than sales, but it is still somewhat positive news. It is also important to note that much of the decline is seasonal as sellers wait out the slow winter months. The higher price ranges are troubled, but hopefully showing some signs of stability as New listings moderate.
Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 193 compared to last month at 237. The Used homes DOM was 133 in November, compared with 137 last month (Sect A p.18).
Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $220,795 from $213,884 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes increased to $158,359 from $158,157 last month (Sect A p2). The twelve month moving average price line for both New and Used homes is heading up! This reflects a normalizing mix of home prices, with the elimination of the distortion due to sales of the lower-end being inflated by the tax incentives. (Sect A p2).