Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for January 2013
Sales in January declined by 21% to $132,100,460 from December’s $167,858,938, up a healthy 14% from last January’s $115,485,241. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales continues to move up indicating improving market conditions. This is the middle of the slowest three months of the sales season, so it is best not to try to read too much into these results, although the year over year gains are meaningful.
Unit sales were down 14% to 824 in January from 963 in December, a decrease of 139. This is up 7% from January 2012 at 768. Our ABRE/ACRE Projections for 2013 are not yet complete but should be shortly and will be forwarded as soon as completed. The January results are roughly in line with what we expect from the preliminary work on the forecast. New sales declined by 44 units to 87 homes this month from 131 in December and are off from 91 last year. Used sales declined 12% to 737 homes in January from 832 last month, a decrease of 95, but up 42 from 695 last year(Sect E p.3).
This month total inventory is 15% lower at 8,781 vs. 10,384 last year and 9,086 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 solidly below 10,000. Active New listings decreased to 782 in January from 953 in December, a decline of 171 units (Sect E p.3). Housing permits went down in Jefferson County to 62 for December from 67 in November. Shelby County permits went down to to 17 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 which is 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 10 months supply. The New homes in the $100,000-$700,000 price range have normal inventory levels in the 4-8 month range. Higher price ranges are one to two years of supply, although over $900,000 the new inventory is at 8 months (only two homes). (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)
Absorption for Used homes in January shows 8 months, two months better than the 10 months last year. Used Active listings at 7,999 are lower than the 9,487 last year (Sect E p.3). Interestingly, the under $100,000 market with an average list price of $59,233, which makes up 33% of all listings, is at 7 months of inventory which drags down the overall months of inventory for all homes. There are fewer numbers of homes in the over $900,000 price range listed any time since early 2007, although months of inventory is still high due to reduced sales levels.
Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 201 compared to last month at 172. The Used homes DOM was 146 in January, compared with 141 last month (Sect A p.18). NOTE: DOM for Used homes indicates that well priced homes are moving in less than 6 months.
Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $227,836 from $262,835 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes decreased to $152,346 from $160,370 last month (Sect A p2). The moving 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.