Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for October 2011
Sales in October declined 22% to $142,502,706 from September’s $182,338,976, up 14% from last October’s $125,540,265. This month to month fluctuation is a somewhat larger seasonal contraction than normal. Keep the expiration of last year’s tax credit in mind when looking at year ago comparisons. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales remains tilted slightly upward.
The following chart shows how each of the last few years stacks up on a monthly basis.
Total unit sales were down 16% to 959 in October from 1,137 in September, a decrease of 178. This is a 27% improvement from October 2010 at 753. New sales declined 36% to 92 homes this month from 144 in September, a decrease of 52 units. Used sales declined 13% to 867 homes in October from 993 last month, a decrease of 126 (Sect E p.3).
This month Total Inventory is lower at 10,860 vs. 13,286 last year. Active New listings decreased to 923 in October from 1,162 in September, a decline of 239 units (Sect E p.3).Forthethirdmonth, housingpermits showed a decrease in Jefferson County to 89 in September from 140 in August. Shelby County was up to 21 from 16 (see website for details).
Absorption rate for New and Used homes last month remain high. 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 stable. Under $100,000 New homes are at 13 months supply. (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 October 2011 shows 9,937 Used Active listings as a lower number than 12,036 last year (Sect E p.3), which is 11 months of supply, a bit better than 14 months last year (Sect E p.3).
Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 207 compared to last month at 206 . The Used homes DOM was 149 in October, compared with 149 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. Newsflash: If the home is not selling, reduce the price, particularly since we are in the slower sales season of the year.
Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $220,857 from $222,602 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes decreased to $140,927 from $151,344 last month (Sect A p2). The twelve month moving average price line for Used Homes has been quite steady since mid 2009. Average Home prices, new and used, have stabilized (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.
By the way we have developed some interesting statistical data that appears to be highly predictive of the overall residential sales level a year or more in advance. Give me a call if you might like to discuss.