Birmingham Area Real Estate Sales Slower in August

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for August 2015

In June the Birmingham MLS changed its base system. We have recoded the data to be consistent. Let me know if you see anything strange!

Dollar sales in August experienced a seasonal decline of 22% to $282,283,392 from July’s $360,310,522, off by 5% over last August’s of $297,202,353. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales has flattened. It seems to me that there has been a somewhat larger number of late reported sales which means that prior month totals are higher than what we showed last month by larger amounts than has historically been the case. It is important to view overall trend and not get hung up on the precision of the latest month’s number.

Total Unit sales were down 18% to 1,434 in August from 1,748 in July, a decrease of 314. This is off 4% from last August at 1511. New sales were even at 160 homes this month and July and up from 150 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,274 homes in August, down 20% from 1,588 last month, a decrease of 314, and off by 87 units or 6% from 1,445 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. For August, the latest available: August sales were 8%  or 62 unit below our forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through August projected 9,211 closed transactions while the actual sales were 9,265 units, a cumulative variance of .6%.

Total inventory is about even this month at 10,216 vs. last month at 10,288 and about even with 10,162 last year. Active New listings decreased to 936 in August from 1,015 in July (Sect E p.3).

Housing permits were up in Jefferson County to 130 in July from 109 in June, which is up from 101 last year. Shelby County went from 38 to 65 in July, up from 42 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 pleased to see increases in new home building.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month, which is even with 6 months last year. (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. The $800,000-$900,000 range has 22 months of supply, however (Sect C p.1).

Absorption for Used homes in August shows 8 months which is about even with 9 months last year. Used Active listings at 9,280 are even with last month at 9,273 and about the same as 9,291 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has between 3 and 9 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 10 months of inventory (46 homes), with 2 sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 388. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood and Fultondale.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 173 compared with last month at 194. The Used homes DOM was 113 in August vs 117 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $302,850 from $294,625 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes decreased to $183,538 from $197,211 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).
TWB 9/11/2015  

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