Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for September 2014
Dollar sales in September declined by 4% to $282,951,372 from August’s $294,526,435, up by 18% over last September’s $238,693,635. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales has flattened but still showing an upward trend indicating modest slowing from last years’ rapid growth.
Total Unit sales were down 6% to 1,404 in September from 1,493 in August, a decrease of 89. This is up 12% from last September at 1,254. New sales increased by 25 units to 173 homes this month from 148 in August and even with 152 last year. Used sales were 1,231 homes in September, down 8% from 1,345 last month, a decrease of 114, and up by 128 units from 1,103 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 6% lower at 9,214 vs. last month at 9,847 and 10,519 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 771 in September from 1,048 in August (the highest level of new homes active since September 2011), a decline of 277 units (Sect E p.3).
Housing permits were down in Jefferson County to 58 in August from 101 in July. Shelby County went from 42 to 31 in August.
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 September shows 7 months, two months better than 9 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,443 are lower than the 9,601 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 two months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 7 months of inventory (37 homes) with two sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 120. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood and Centerpoint.
Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 197, compared with 183 last month. The Used homes DOM was 127 in September, compared with 131 last month (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $288,825 from $272,128 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $189,265 from $189,035 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).