Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for April 2017
April saw a surprising reversal of the dramatic increase we saw last month. We saw a similar increase/decrease pattern on the Alabama coast for the last two months as well. Could it be related to the volatile political situation? Or is it just something random? The next few months should show us. Prices seem to be modestly increasing. Total dollar sales for April were $332,399,621 off 2% from $339,397,305 last year, and off 5% from last month at $348,804,968.
Total Unit sales were off 7% at 1,524 in April from 1,636 last year and off by 11% compared with 1,709 in March. New sales were up at 164 homes this month, vs. 160 in March, and up by 18 from 146 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 1,360 homes in April, off 12% from 1,549 last month, and off by 9% from 1,490 last year (Sect E p.3).
ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. For ACRE, our month by month 2017 forecast 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 1% for the year; that is actuals are behind projections of 3,200 through April, at 3,162 actual thru March. Check the link to see when the April numbers are posted.
Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 8,484 vs. last month at 7,832 and less than 9,178 last year. (Sect C p.1). Active New listings decreased to 1,000 in April from 1,048 in March (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 April shows 5 months, which is less than the 6 last year. Used Active listings at 7,484 are up from last month of 6,784, and less than 8,105 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 6 months of inventory, 4 months overall. There are a number of MLS areas, particularly those known as the “over the mountain” communities, showing similarly low levels, including Homewood, which has 4 months of inventory.
Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 198 compared with last month at 239. The Used homes DOM was 104 in April vs 115 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $292,961 from $275,131 last month (Sect A p2). Over a several month period prices seem to be quite unchanged. Average sales price for Sold Used was $209,084 this month compared to $196,762 last month. (Sect A p2).
It will be interesting to see how sales unfold over the next few months..