Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for October 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 October experienced a seasonal decline of 19% to $237,234,031 from September $292,441,366, off by 3% from last October’s of $245,404,227. 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 the overall trend and not get hung up on the precision of the latest month’s number.
Total Unit sales were down 3% to 1,240 in October from 1,515 in September, a decrease of 46. This is even with last October at 1303. New sales were off at 104 homes this month and 179 in September and off from 143 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,136 homes in October, down 3% from 1,336 last month, a decrease of 45, and up by 70 units or .6% from 1,160 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 September, the latest available: September sales were 5% or 59 units above our forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through September projected 10,358 closed transactions while the actual sales were 10,471 units, a cumulative variance of 1%.
Total inventory is about even this month at 9,533 vs. last month at 9,970 and about even with 9,876 last year. Active New listings decreased to 940 in October from 1,056 in September (Sect E p.3).
Housing permits were off in Jefferson County to 83 in September from 90 in August, which is off from 95 last year. Shelby County went from 30 to 28 in September, off from 38 last year.
Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month, which is about even with 7 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. However, the $800,000-$900,000 range has 20 months of supply (Sect C p.1).
Absorption for Used homes in October shows 7 months which is about even with 8 last year. Used Active listings at 8,593 are even with last month at 8,914 and about the same as 8,936 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has between 1 and 9 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 10 months of inventory (45 homes), with 3 sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 251. 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 189 compared with last month at 185. The Used homes DOM was 125 in October vs 120 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $305,408 from $310,805 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $180,873 from $177,251 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).