Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for December 2015
Full year results:
|Total Units||New||Used||Total Dollars|
Dollar sales in December experienced an expected year end pick-up of 18% to $235,361,806 from November $200,218,537, almost identical to last December’s of $238,138,339 (off 1%). The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales over the last three months of the year has flattened.
Total Unit sales were up 20% to 1,231 in December from 1,023 in November, an increase of 208. This is up by 5% from last December at 1,172. New sales were up at 158 homes this month and 115 in November and off from 177 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,073 homes in December, up 18% from 908 last month, an increase of 165, and up by 78 units or 8% from 995 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. December sales were not yet available. 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%. Given the December increase in actual sales reported here, I expect we will come in very close for the full year.
Housing permits were off in Jefferson County to 58 in November from 101 in October, which is off from 72 last year. This is the lowest level since August 2014. Shelby County was 26 from 32 last month, up from 10 last year.
Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 8,876 vs. last month at 9,571 and somewhat less than 9,002 last year. Active New listings decreased to 931 in December from 1,025 in November (Sect E p.3). Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month, which is about 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. However, the $800,000-$900,000 range has 22 months of supply (11 houses) (Sect C p.1). This level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units has been quite stable for the year.
Absorption for Used homes in December shows 6 months which is about even with 7 last year. Used Active listings at 7,945 are even with last month at 8,546 and a bit less than 8,109 last year (Sect E p.3).For the year, inventory levels have generally trended down from prior years. 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 (39 homes), with none sold in that price range last month . There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood (only 3 months of inventory).
Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 205 compared with last month at 207. The Used homes DOM was 125 in December vs 121 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $310,211 from $333,656 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes decreased to $173,670 from $178,247 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).