Birmingham Area November Real Estate Dollar Sales UP and Unit Sales Down

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for November 2011

Sales in November improved 6% to $154,378,067 from October’s $145,899,523, up 18% from last November’s $130,957,356. This month to month fluctuation is somewhat better than normal. Year ago comparisons were impacted by the tax credit expiration. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales remains tilted slightly upward.

While dollar sales were up, unit sales were down 4% to 944 in November from 983 in October, a decrease of 39. This is a 18% improvement from November 2010 at 799. New sales improved 12% to 103 homes this month from 92 in October, an increase of 11 units. Used sales declined 6% to 841 homes in November from 891 last month, a decrease of 50 (Sect E p.3).

This month Total Inventory is lower at 10,519 vs. 12,893 last year. Active New listings decreased to 896 in November from 1,205 in October, a decline of 309 units (Sect E p.3). For the third month housing permits showed a decrease in Jefferson County to 78 in October from 89 in September. Shelby County was down to 18 from  21 (see website for details).

Absorption rate for New and Used homes last month remains high. New homes are at  8 months supply this month with a reduced sales pace, and even with last year at this time (Sect E p.3). New home supply seems to be stable. Under $100,000 New homes are at 15 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 November 2011 shows 9,623 Used Active listings as a lower number than 11,621 last year (Sect E p.3), which is 11 months of supply, a bit better than 13 months last year (Sect E p.3).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 191 compared to last month at 207 . The Used homes DOM was 148 in November, 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. Again: 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 increased to $235,844 from $220,857 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes decreased to $154,680 from $140,944 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.

TWB 12/10/11


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