Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for November 2015
Dollar sales in November experienced a seasonal decline of 21% to $191,265,221 from October $243,024,990, almost identical to last November’s of $192,277,597 (off .5%). 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 24% to 976 in November from 1,279 in October, a decrease of 303. This is off by 7% from last November at 1048. New sales were off at 107 homes this month and 109 in October and off from 124 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 869 homes in November, down 26% from 1,170 last month, a decrease of 301, and off by 55 units or 6% from 924 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. November sales were 17% or 159 units below our forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through November projected 12,332 closed transactions while the actual sales were 12,289 units, (off by 43 units) a cumulative variance of -.35%.
Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 9,353 vs. last month at 9,646 and somewhat less than 9,748 last year. Active New listings decreased to 921 in November from 1,025 in October (Sect E p.3).
Housing permits were up in Jefferson County to 101 in October from 83 in September, which is off from 113 last year. Shelby County went to 32 from 30 last month, up from 20 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 21 months of supply (Sect C p.1).
Absorption for Used homes in November shows 7 months which is about even with 8 last year. Used Active listings at 8,432 are even with last month at 8,681 and about the same as 8,815 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 (43 homes), with 3 sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 56. 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 207 compared with last month at 189. The Used homes DOM was 121 in November vs 125 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $342,420 from $302,778 last month (note that there was one sale for $4,000,000 raising the average) (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $177,936 from $179,506 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).