June Birmingham Residential Real Estate Market Robust

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for June 2016

This year seems to be unfolding almost identically to last as far as sales levels go. Inventories are down, and prices seem to be level with last year as well.This report has corrected the historical data for last month. Total dollar sales for June were $396,590,711 up 3% from $386,637,588 last year, and down slightly (.3%) from last month at $397,646,781.

Total Unit sales were off 9% to 1,706 in June from 1,884 in May, a decrease of 178. This is off by 80 from last June at 1,786. New sales were off at 155 homes this month, and 169 in May, and off by 35 from 190 last year. The low inventory levels of new homes suggest a good environment for builders, even with prices trending steady. Used sales were 1,551 homes in June, off 10% from 1,715 last month, a decrease of 164, and off by 45 units  from 1,596 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.  May overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 8.6% year to date, that is, actuals are running ahead of projections (through May).

Housing permits, the census bureau section, that supplies this data has been restored. Based on the new data, housing permits are up modestly, as I would expect. For Jefferson County, in May there were 123 permits compared with 108 last year. Similarly, Shelby County has been running about double last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 9,818 vs. last month at 9,400 and less than 10,617 last year. Active New listings increased to 1,154 in June from 1,052 in May (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 have normal inventory levels in the 4-6 month range depending on area and price range. However, the $700,000-$800,000 range has 13 months of supply (94 houses) (Sect C p.1). The level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units has been continuing to improve for the year.

Absorption for Used homes in June shows 7 months, which is less than the 8 last year. Used Active listings at 8,764 are up from last month of 8,284, and quite a bit less than 9,588 last year (Sect E p.3). Inventory levels have continued to 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 5 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 16 months of inventory (61 homes), with 10 sold in that price range last month. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood (only 4 months of inventory).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 205 compared with last month at 203. The Used homes DOM was 110 in June vs 111 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $304,770 from $299,472 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be increasing slowly compared to last year. Average sales price for Sold Used were $225,243 this month compared to $202,353 last year. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market looks quite healthy.
TWB 7/9/2016


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