Birmingham August Real Estate Sales Encouraging

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for August 2011

Sales in August declined 5% to $196,084,532 from July’s $207,302,877, up 21% from last August’s $161,768,266.  This is a normal month to month fluctuation indicating a somewhat healthier market without the distortion caused by the expiration of last year’s tax credit. For the 1st time in two years the 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is tilted slightly upward.

Total unit sales were down 4% to 1,170 in August from 1,223 in July, a decrease of 53. This is a 22% improvement from August 2010 at 956. New sales declined 22% to 121 homes this month from 156 in July, a decrease of 35 units. Used sales declined 2% to 1,049 homes in August from 1,067 last month, a decrease of 18 (Sect E p.3).

This month Total Inventory is lower at 11,778 vs. 13,959 last year. Active New listings decreased to 947 in August from 1,264 in July, a decline of 317 units (Sect E p.3).  Housingpermits showed a big increase in Jefferson County to 117 in July from 18 in June. Shelby County was down to 19 from 25 (see website for details).

Absorption rate for New and Used homes last month remained near record highs of 11 and 14 months respectively. Last month presents a more accurate picture due to late closings and listings that are not yet included in the current month statistics. (See the chart (Sect C p.1).

New homes at  8 months supply this month and a reduced sales pace, is one month worse than last year at this time (Sect E p.3). The situation remains distressed. New home supply seems to be accumulating. Strangely, under $100,000 New homes were at 8 months last month, and 11 this month. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.) New home inventories in higher price ranges (above $400,000), remain excessive at over a year.

Absorption for Used homes in August 2011 shows 10,831 Used Active listings as a lower number than 12,674 last year, (Sect E p.3) which is 13 months of supply, a bit better than 14 months last year (Sect E p.3). The listing activity is somewhat less than last year as is sales activity….

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 199 compared to last month at 222. The Used homes DOM was 149 in August, compared with 145 last month (Sect A p.18). NOTE: DOM for Used Homes indicates that well priced homes are moving in less than 6 months. The high months of inventory indicates that sellers, including bank owners, are still holding out for higher prices, which is unlikely to be successful. Newsflash: If your home is not selling, reduce the price, this advice applies particularly since we are entering the slower sales season of the year.

Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $241,233 from $238,345 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes decreased to $159,100 from $159,439 last month (Sect A p2). The twelve month moving average price line for Used homes has been quite steady since mid 2009 and is now showing an uptrend. Average Home prices, new and used have stabilized and show an upward trend (Sect A p2). This is mostly a reflection in the change of “mix” with more larger homes being sold, but the price of any specific home remains under pressure.

TWB 9/11/11


2 thoughts on “Birmingham August Real Estate Sales Encouraging

  1. Tom Horn

    Tom, you are right on the money regarding the extended marketing time on over priced homes. I am getting an abundance of appraisal assignments from homeowners wanting to know what to price their home at in order for it to sell within a reasonable time. Some homeowners do not want to believe their realtor and they are getting a second opinion. Thanks for all the great market data!

    1. Tom Brander Post author

      Thanks.. I wish more people would understand that you can sell your home in a normal amount of time,, just not at the price you may have in mind.. Of course if you are upside-down with a mortgage this may really not be an option.. But sadly I doubt that pricing will be getting better anytime soon with the backlog of inventory available for sale, both current and “invisible”.


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