Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for March 2012
Sales in March improved 17% to $162,227,603 from February’s $139,164,184, down 1% from last March’s $164,121,105. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is tilted upward.
Unit sales were up 15% to 1060 in March from 919 in February, an increase of 141. This is off 1% from March 2011 at 1,076. This is 21% unfavorable to our projection of 1,279 sales expected for March and 15% unfavorable year to date. The complete monthly projections from ABRE (a joint project between ACRE and Brander Real Estate) can be found here http://goo.gl/WFHrO (along with the worksheets that show the methodology). It is likely that the results will close in on projections as the spring unfolds. New sales declined 11% to 102 homes this month from 114 in February, a decrease of 12 units. Used sales improved 19% to 958 homes in March from 805 last month, an increase of 153 (Sect E p.3).
This month total inventory is dramatically lower at 10,138 vs. 12,900 last year and 10,720 last month. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market shortly. Active New listings decreased to 834 in March from 1,123 in February, a decline of 289 units (Sect E p.3).Housing permits showed an increase in Jefferson County to 95 in February from 79 in January. Shelby County was down to 15 from 20 (see website for details).
Absorption rate for New and Used homes is improving.New homes are at 7 months supply this month with a reduced sales pace, and about even with last year at this time at 8 months (Sect E p.3). New home supply seems to be stable. Under $100,000 New homes are at 20 months supply. The New homes in the $100,000-$400,000 price range have an almost normal inventory level in the 6-7 month range. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)
Absorption for Used homes in March shows 10 months, four months better than 14 months last year. Used Active listings at 9,304 are lower than the 11,754 last year (Sect E p.3), (Sect E p.3).
Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 194 compared to last month at 208 . The Used homes DOM was 146 in March, compared with 153 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 more active sales season of the year.
Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $237,079 from $237,357 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes increased to $144,098 from $139,262 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). The price of any specific home still remains under pressure.