Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for February 2016
Dollar sales in February experienced an expected increase of 16% to $208,404,758, from January $179,801,902, a bit less than last February’s $213,154,525 (off 2%). The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales over the last four months has flattened.
Total Unit sales were up 20% to 1,118 in February from 969 in January, an increase of 149. This is off by 16 from last February at 1,134. New sales were up at 134 homes this month and 102 in January and up by 20 from 114 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders..Used sales were 984 homes in February, up 13% from 867 last month, an increase of 117, and off by 36 units from 1,020 last year (Sect E p.3).
ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our month by month 2016 forecast which can be seen here: ACRE. For Birmingham the full year projection for 2016 = 13,460, a 1.25% difference from 2015 actual of = 13,294. January underperformed the projection, actual sales resulted in an error of -.26 of one percent for the month, off by 2 homes for the month.
Housing permits the census bureau was down at the time of this writing, I’ll update the website as soon as that data becomes available. Still it seems to me that builders and banks are being very cautious on new construction.
Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 8,860 vs. last month at 8,938 and less than 9,430 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1009 in February from 1,077 in January (Sect E p.3). Absorption rate for New homes is at 7 months supply this month, which is even with 7 months last year. (Sect E p.3). The New homes for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-9 month range depending on area and price range. However, the $800,000-$900,000 range has 21 months of supply (12 houses) (Sect C p.1). This level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units has been continuing to improve for the year.
Absorption for Used homes in February shows 6 months which is about even with 7 last year. Used Active listings at 7,851 are even with last month at 7,861 and a bit less than 8,407 last year (Sect E p.3). Inventory levels have continued to generally trend down from prior years. Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has between 1 and 6 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 11 months of inventory (41 homes), with 2 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 186 compared with last month at 195. The Used homes DOM was 137 in February vs 132 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $289,738 from $273,127 last month (Sect A p2) and prices seem to be flat over the last year. Average sales price for Sold Used homes decreased to $172,337 from $175,251 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has flattened for the past year. (Sect A p2).