Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for February 2014
Relatively speaking, February was stronger than January indicating some market recovery. Dollar sales in February improved by 19% to $162,042,059 from January’s $136,136,160, off by 1% from last February’s $164,442,041. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales continues to move up indicating continued improving market conditions. I believe that weather has contributed to the slow start for the year and expect that we will see more normal results as the year evolves.
Unit sales were up 13% at 927 in February from 819 in January, an increase of 108. This is down 5% from last February at 978.
This year we are using the ACRE data and results, which are derived in a slightly different method than this report. The time frame for the reports is now in the control of ACRE. Overall for the Birmingham market (based on the ACRE data) we expect unit sales for 2014 to be up by 8.2% over 2013. I will be updating the monthly actual to projected results shortly, and will forward separately. Please see chart two pages down.
New sales improved by 24 units to 113 homes this month from 89 in January and up modestly from 105 last year. Used sales improved 12% to 814 homes in February from 730 last month, an increase of 84, and down by 60 units from 874 last year(Sect E p.3).
This month total inventory is 5% lower at 8,607 vs. last month at 9,041 and 9,741 last year. The drop in the current month is caused by month end expirations which will come back on the market. We are seeing a seasonal downtick in inventory which is slightly lower than prior years. Active New listings decreased to 725 in February from 1,009 in January (the highest level since September 2011), a decline of 284 units (Sect E p.3). Housing permits were up in Jefferson County to 65 in January from 52 in December. Shelby County went from 22 to 5 in January.
Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month which is one month better than last year at this time. Last month though, shows 8 months of supply (Sect E p.3). The New homes for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 17 month range. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)
Absorption for Used homes in February shows 7 months, two months better than 9 months last year. Used Active listings at 7,882 are lower than the 8,904 last year (Sect E p.3). The market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about three months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 7 months of inventory (27 homes) with three sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 207.
Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 220, compared with 204 last month. The Used homes DOM was 149 in February, compared with 152 last month (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $275,388 from $261,524 last month (Sect A p2).
Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $160,839 from $154,604 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all Homes has been up steadily for the last year. (Sect A p2).