Birmingham Residential Real Estate Sales Fall Off in September

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for September 2012

Sales in September declined sharply by 30% to $181,268,948 from August’s $257,339,430, down 3% from last September’s $186,720,876. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales continues to be tilted upward.

Unit sales were down 26% to 1,048 in September from 1,407 in August, a decrease of 359. This is down 10% from September 2011 at 1,166. This is 16% unfavorable to our projection of 1,255 sales expected for September and 8% 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 10% to 131 homes this month from 146 in August, a decrease of 15 units. Used sales declined 27% to 917 homes in September from 1,261 last month, a decrease of 344 (Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is 16% lower at 9,753 vs. 11,624 last year and 10,658 last month. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market shortly. It is encouraging to see total inventory below 10,000. Active New listings decreased to 747 in September from 998 in August, a decline of 251 units (Sect E p.3).  Housing permits went down in Jefferson County to 90 for August from 99 in July. Shelby County permits went up to 27 from 23 (see website for details).

Absorption rate for New and Used homes is fairly steady. New homes are at 6 months supply this month, and better than last year at this time at 8 months (Sect E p.3). New home supply last month shows 8 months. Under $100,000 New homes is at 13 months supply. The New homes in the $100,000-$700,000 price range have normal inventory levels in the 4-6 month range. Higher price ranges ranges are one to two years of supply (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in September shows 9 months, three months better than the 12 months last year. Used Active listings at 9,006 are lower than the 10,662 last year (Sect E p.3), (Sect E p.3). Interestingly, the under $100,000 market with an average list price of $44,686, 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 173 compared to last month at 204. The Used homes DOM was 145 in September, compared with 138 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 in the slower sales season of the year.

Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $268,219 from $257,337 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes decreased to $159,359 from $174,281 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. Just a note: the Average prices are up slightly from 2007 levels.

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 as volatile.

TWB 10/13/12



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