Birmingham July Sales Barely Ahead of Last Year


Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for July 2012

Sales in July declined 13% to $219,842,611 from June’s $254,045,234, up 5% from last July’s $209,029,136. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales continues to be tilted upward.

Unit sales were down 14% to 1,156 in July from 1,344 in June, a decrease of 188. This is down 7% from July 2011 at 1,241. This is 16% unfavorable to our projection of 1,370 sales expected for July and 10% unfavorable year to date. The complete monthly projections from ABRE (a joint project between ACRE and Brander Real Estate) can be found here along with the worksheets that show the methodology. New sales declined 29% to 112 homes this month from 158 in June, a decrease of 46 units. Used sales declined 12% to 1,044 homes in July from 1,186 last month, a decrease of 142 (Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is 20% lower at 10,144 vs. 12,604 last year and 11,023 last month. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market shortly. Still, there is less of a seasonal increase in listings than last year. Active New listings decreased to 700 in July from 1,064 in June, a decline of 364 units (Sect E p.3). Note though, that since new homes reached a low of 875 for sale in December and a high of 1,064 last month some caution is warranted.  Housing permits went down for Jefferson County to 90 for June from 100 in May. Shelby County permits remained about the same at 25 (see website for details).

Absorption rate for New and Used homes is deteriorating slightly. New homes are at 6 months supply this month with an improving sales pace, and better than last year at this time at 9 months (Sect E p.3). New home supply last month shows 8 months. Under $100,000 New homes are at 10 months supply and improving. The New homes in the $100,000-$700,000 price range have normal inventory levels in the 6-7 month range. Higher price ranges ranges are over a year to four years of supply (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in July shows 10 months, four months better than the 14 months last year. Used Active listings at 9,444 are lower than the 11,553 last year (Sect E p.3), (Sect E p.3). Interestingly the under $100,000 market with an average list price of $52,000, which makes up 31% of all listings, is at 7 months of inventory, which drags the overall months of inventory down for all homes.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 212 compared to last month at 185. The Used homes DOM was 143 in July, compared with 136 last month (Sect A p.18). NOTE: DOM for Used homes indicates that well priced homes are moving in less than 6 months. If the home is not selling, reduce the price, particularly since we are moving into the slower sales season of the year.

Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $265,957 from $256,157 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes increased to $182,045 from $180,078 last month (Sect A p2). The average price for Used Homes has been moving up steadily since the beginning of the year. The 12 month moving average line for New home prices has also been heading up quite nicely since the beginning of the year. Average Home prices, new and used, are improving  (Sect A p2). The price of any specific home still remains under pressure.

The differences between our numbers and the Board of MLS numbers are  due to our taking in all the data in the MLS system while they report on a more concentrated area picked from the whole; therefore we have more of the surrounding rural areas, which are not showing robust growth.

TWB 8/12/12



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