Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for June 2015
This month the Birmingham MLS changed its base system, and while we recoded data from the new system to match the old, there may be some inconsistency, although the results appear correct. There may have been some “clean-up” of the data in the conversion process. We will continue checking over the next few months. Let me know if you see anything strange!
Dollar sales in June experienced a seasonal improvement of 6% to $350,155,583 from May’s $329,904,594, up by 7% over last June’s of $326,535,833. The increase over last year confirms a strong summer season. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is showing consistent growth.
Total Unit sales were up .3% to 1,598 in June from 1,593 in May, an increase of 5. This is up 1% from last June at 1582. The larger rise in dollar sales over unit sales indicates improving pricing, and suggests the lower inventory levels are making it more of a seller’s market. New sales increased by 14 units to 157 homes this month from 143 in May and up from 143 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,441 homes in June, down 1% from 1,450 last month, a decrease of 9, and up by 2 units from 1,439 last year (Sect E p.3).
ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our 2015 forecast which can be seen here. ACRE reported: For May, the latest available: “Forecast: May sales were .8 percent or 1 unit above our monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through May projected 5,282 closed transactions while the actual sales were 5,260 units, a cumulative variance of .4 percent.”
Total inventory is 17% lower at 8,584 vs. last month at 10,310 and 18% less than the 10,532 last year. Active New listings decreased to 836 in June from 1,162 in May, a decline of 326 units (Sect E p.3). In particular, inventory counts are an area we will be checking further as relates to the system change.
Housing permits were down in Jefferson County to 108 in May from 117 in April, which is up from 105 last year. Shelby County went from 52 to 32 in May, down from 49 last year. We are seeing a more significant number of multi-family construction units (which we do not formally track or report), in most markets. I am somewhat surprised by the continued low level of new home building.
Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month, which is even with from 6 months 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 depending on area and price range. (Sect C p.1 )
Absorption for Used homes in June shows 6 months which is down from 8 months last year. Used Active listings at 7,748 are down from last month at 9,139 and lower than the 9,700 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about 5 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 8 months of inventory (44 homes), with 8 sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 79. 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 205 compared with last month at 194. The Used homes DOM was 126 in June vs 114 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $306,782 from $285,618 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $209,570 from $199,353 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).