Birmingham Area Real Estate Sales up 7% Over Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for August 2014

Dollar sales in August declined by 11% to $291,981,203 from July’s $326,252,052, up by 7% over last August’s $278,145,050. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales has flattened indicating uncertain market conditions.

Total Unit sales were down 7% to 1,469 in August from 1,579 in July, a decrease of 110. This is off 2% from last August at 1,495. New sales declined by 10 units to 143 homes this month from 153 in July and even with 143 last year. Used sales were 1,326 homes in August, down 7% from 1,426 last month, a decrease of 100, and off by 26 units from 1,352 last year(Sect E p.3)

Using the ACRE data and results for forecasting, which are derived in a slightly different method than this report, we forecasted a full year gain of 8% for the full year. As of August the cumulative increase in units is 5%. We determined that the Birmingham MLS is assigning some sales to the Talladega market which were previously reported as part of Birmingham, thus reducing the reported sales in Birmingham, so the forecast is probably a bit more accurate than it appears on a “comparable” basis.

This month total inventory is 9% lower at 9,224 vs. last month at 10,137 and 10,412 last year. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market. Active New listings decreased to 738 in August from 1,018 in July (the highest level of new homes active since August 2011), a decline of 280 units (Sect E p.3).  

Housing permits were down in Jefferson County to 101 in July from 142 in June. Shelby County went from 25 to 42 in July. It is worth noting the high level of Multi-Family permits in Jefferson County. There has also been a number of press mentions of new development activity, for which permits have not yet been issued, therefore, not yet appearing in these numbers.

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 1-7 month range. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in August shows 8 months, one month better than 9 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,486 are lower than the 9,477 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 6 months of inventory (33 homes) with four sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 118.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 183, compared with 211 last month. The Used homes DOM was 131 in August, compared with 127 last month (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $276,371 from $281,777 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes decreased to $190,392 from $198,556 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

Note the MLS has added 20 new areas #320-570, which are placeholders for each county in the state. I have combined these into a single “other” area (400) with an aggregate of 5 sales last month.

TWB 9/1/2014

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