Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for February 2017
February saw a continuation of the pick up in dollar sales over last year, while unit sales slowed slightly from last years’ level. Prices seem to be modestly increasing. Total dollar sales for February were $229,699,200 up 5% from $218,749,074 last year, and up 8% from last month at $212,676,683.
Total Unit sales were up 9% at 1,154 in February from 1,059 in January, an increase of 95. This is off by 3% and 35 from last February at 1,189. New sales were up to 145 homes this month, and 125 in January, and up by 3 from 141 last year. The low inventory level of new homes suggests a good environment for builders, and prices have begun to show a more solid uptrend. Used sales were 1,009 homes in February, up 8% from 934 last month, an increase of 75, off by 39 units from 1,048 last year (Sect E p.3).
ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. For ACRE, we released our month by month 2017 forecast which can be seen here: ACRE. For Birmingham, the full year projection for 2017 = 15,238, a 3.6% difference from 2016 actual of 14,705. The cumulative error is minus 4% for the year; that is actuals are behind projections of 868 through January, at 834 actual in January which is still an increase of 8% over 771 in January 2016.
Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 8,168 vs. last month at 7,777 and less than 9,026 last year. (Sect C p.1). Active New listings increased to 1,025 in February from 1,001 in January (Sect E p.3). Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month, which is less than 7 months last year. (Sect E p.3). The New homes have normal inventory levels in the 4-8 month range depending on area and price range. (Sect C p.1).
Absorption for Used homes in February shows 5 months, which is less than the 6 last year. Used Active listings at 7,143 are up from last month of 6,776, and less than 7,919 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 4 months of inventory, 3 months overall, except in the over $900,000 category, which has 5 months of inventory (31 homes), with 8 sold in that price range last month. There are a number of MLS areas, particularly those known as the “over the mountain” communities, showing similarly low levels, including Homewood, which has 3 months of inventory.
Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 197 compared with last month at 180. The Used homes DOM was 125 in February vs 126 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $288,179 from $307,559 last month (Sect A p2). Over a several month period prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used was $186,237 this month compared to $186,544 last month. (Sect A p2).
All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.