Birmingham, Central Alabama Residential Real Estate Sales Continue To Improve In March

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for March 2013

Dollar sales in March improved by 17% to $189,049,614 from February’s $161,712,660, up a healthy 8% from last March’s $174,568,674. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales continues to move up indicating improving market conditions. We are at the beginning of the busy months of the sales season and are seeing gains in dollars sales while unit sales are somewhat constrained.

Unit sales were up 17% to 1,122 in March from 960 in February, an increase of 162. This is down 1% from March 2012 at 1,133. Our ABRE/ACRE Projections for 2013 projected 1,277 sales for March. This number will increase as late sales are reported. For now, the projections indicated 12% higher than achieved for the month and 7% for the year. Please see here for a summary of the projections and the spreadsheet with details and month by month projections by area (see the tabs on the bottom).  New sales improved by 17 units to 119 homes this month from 102 in February and are off from 115 last year. Used sales improved 17% to 1003 homes in March from 858 last month, an increase of 145,  and down 15 from 1,018 last year(Sect E p.3). For the 1st Quarter, unit sales were up by 3% for the 1st quarter as compared with the 1st quarter last year to 2,943 from 2,855 units last year.

This month total inventory is 14% lower at 8,969 vs. 10,526 last year and 10,458 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 765 in March from 1016 in February, a decline of 251 units (Sect E p.3).  Housing permits went down in Jefferson County to 68 for February from 96 in January. Shelby County permits went up to 33 from 16 (see website for details).

Absorption rate for New 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). The New homes up to $700,000 price range have normal inventory levels in the 5-8 month range. Higher price ranges are one to two years of supply, although over $900,000 the new inventory is at 3 months (only one home). (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in March shows 6 months, two months better than the 8 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,241 are lower than the 9,612 last year (Sect E p.3). The number of homes listed in the over $400,000 price range is beginning to climb somewhat faster than sales, resulting in some upward drift in the months of sales.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 193 compared to last month at 197. The Used homes DOM was 148 in March, compared with 147 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 $253,169 from $268,189 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $158,447 from $156,594 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.

TWB 4/13/13


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