Birmingham October Sales up 19% From Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for October 2012

Sales in October declined by 5% to $175,248,097 from September’s $184,208,759, up a healthy 19% from last October’s $147,669,623. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales continues to be tilted upward.

Unit sales were down 4% to 1,021 in October from 1,068 in September, a decrease of 47. This is up 2% from October 2011 at 998. This is 5% unfavorable to our projection of 1,085 sales expected for October 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 9% to 120 homes this month from 132 in September, a decrease of 12 units. Used sales declined 4% to 901 homes in October from 936 last month, a decrease of 35 (Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is 15% lower at 9,692 vs. 11,369 last year and 10,476 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 765 in October from 1,010 in September, a decline of 245 units (Sect E p.3).  Housing permits went down in Jefferson County to 67 for September from 90 in August. Shelby County permits went down to 18 from 27 (see website for details). First time in a while that it seems that sales are exceeding permits, which is a good sign.

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 are one to two years of supply (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in October shows 9 months, three months better than the 12 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,927 are lower than the 10,393 last year (Sect E p.3), (Sect E p.3). Interestingly, the under $100,000 market with an average list price of $59,242, 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 is 181 compared to last month at 173. The Used homes DOM was 143 in October, compared with 145 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 decreased to $246,255 from $267,803 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes increased to $161,706 from $159,037 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: 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 11/10/12


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