Author Archives: Tom Brander

About Tom Brander

Open source evangelist.

Birmingham Residential Sales Healthy in October

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for October 2016

October saw a continuation of the pick up in dollar and unit sales over last year. Prices seem to be increasing. Total dollar sales for October were $280,111,936 up 13% from $247,969,228 last year, and down 17% from last month at $337,315,042.

Total Unit sales were off 12% to 1,383 in October from 1,577 in September, a decrease of 194. This is up  by 6% and 76 from last October at 1,307. New sales were down to 148 homes this month, and 235 in September, and up by 34 from 114 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 1,235 homes in October, off 8% from 1,342 last month, a decrease of 107, and up by 42 units  from 1,193 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.  September overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 9% year to date; that is actuals are running ahead of projections (through September).

Housing permits for September are a bit less than last year. For Jefferson County, in September there were 90 permits compared with 83 last year. Shelby County was somewhat lower than last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 8,865 vs. last month at 8,948 and less than 9,955 last year. It is curious that we don’t seem to be seeing the more normal seasonal reduction of inventory which has been remarkably stable since the beginning of the year without the normal uptick we usually see in the summer either (Sect C p.1). I’d guess that it is an indication of market equilibrium, as the months of inventory have stabilized at about the 6 month level. Active New listings decreased to 1,102 in October from 1,127 in September (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 4-8 month range depending on area and price range. (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 October shows 6 months, which is less than the 7 last year. Used Active listings at 7,763 are down from last month of 7,825, and quite a bit less than 8,908 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 except in the over $900,000 category, which has 9 months of inventory (46 homes), with 7 sold in that price range last month. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood which has 3 months of inventory.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 201 compared with last month at 190. The Used homes DOM was 112 in October vs 109 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $316,624 from $286,455 last month (Sect A p2), over a several month period though prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used was $188,868 this month compared to $201,192 last month. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.

TWB 11/12/2016

October Another Record Month For Coastal Real Estate Sales

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of October 2016

Sales dollars decreased 6% in October to $133,246,557 from September $141,904,008. This is up 11% from October last year’s record level of $120,334,190. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause during the summer months, appears to have resumed its upward trend. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down very consistently.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement as do inventories. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high, but improving, at over a year for anything over $600,000. Note that the point at which inventories are over a year has been going up constantly for the last year; last month it was $500,000.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2016. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2016 located here expects projected home sales in 2016 of 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Year to date through October actual sales are 7% above expectations. 317 more units were sold through October than the 4,386 projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 67 at 504 this month vs. last month at 571, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 482. Used Home sales decreased to 411 this month vs. 473 last month, which is up from last year’s 415 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 92 this month vs 98 last month and compared with 67 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 201 from 121 in September. Used homes New listings decreased to 598 from 604 in September with net inventory down.

The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has been consistently improving. In October, there were 3,035 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,573 in September and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in October 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 633.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in October vs. 8 in September. The Absorption rate for Used homes was also 7 months of inventory in October vs. 8 in September. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in September 2008 to 7 months this October. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes priced $600,000 and over at a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I have been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and this has happened. Sales have been keeping up, so we have not seen an increase in inventory.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price increased to  $244,530 from $235,786 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $268,099 from $251,156 in September. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in October was 188 vs last month of 159. Days On Market for Used was 153 vs. last month 158.

It seems to be shaping up to be a strong fall season.

TWB 11/12/2016

Birmingham September Residential Sales Healthy

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for September 2016

The last few months have seen a dramatic pick up in dollar sales over last year; some of this volume has been recorded well after the month end reports, but since we re-run full history every month it is now apparent. Inventories are not decreasing as is more normal for this time of year, something I’ve just noticed but have no idea of what it might portend. Prices seem to be increasing. Total dollar sales for September were $325,746,199 up 8% from $300,969,446 last year, and down 10% from last month at $362,170,910.

Total Unit sales were off 16% to 1,514 in September from 1,799 in August, a decrease of 285. This is down  by 2% and 33 from last September at 1,547. New sales were up to the highest level in over a year at 227 homes this month, and 156 in August, and up by 43 from 184 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 1,287 homes in September, off 22% from 1,643 last month, a decrease of 356,  and off by 76 units  from 1,363 last year (Sect E p.3). Expect late sales reports to improve this result next month.

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.  August overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 9% year to date; that is actuals are running ahead of projections (through August).

Housing permits for August are a bit less than last year. For Jefferson County, in August there were 80 permits compared with 130 last year. Shelby County was somewhat higher than last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 9,138 vs. last month at 9,246 and less than 10,107 last year. As mentioned above, it is curious that we don’t seem to be seeing the more normal seasonal reduction of inventory which has been remarkably stable since the beginning of the year without the normal uptick we usually see in the summer either (Sect C p.1). I’d guess that it is an indication of market equilibrium, as the months of inventory have stabilized at about the 6 month level. Active New listings decreased to 1,072 in September from 1,118 in August (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 4-8 month range depending on area and price range. (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 September shows 6 months, which is less than the 7 last year. Used Active listings at 8,066 are up from last month of 8,128, and quite a bit less than 9,207 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 11 months of inventory (54 homes), with 6 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 190 compared with last month at 208. The Used homes DOM was 109 in September vs 111 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $288,460 from $318,558 last month (Sect A p2), over a several month period though prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used was $215,156 this month compared to $201,318 last month. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.
TWB 10/12/2016

September Yet Another Record Sales Month On The Alabama Coast

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of September 2016

Sales dollars decreased 18% in September to $140,078,483 from August $171,124,577. This is up 12% from September last year’s record level of $124,652,462. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause during the summer months, appears to have resumed its upward trend. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down very consistently.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement as do inventories. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high, but improving, at over a year for anything over $500,000.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2016. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2016 located here expects projected home sales in 2016 of 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Year to date through September actual sales are 6% above expectations. 233 more units were sold through September than the 3,981 projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 63 at 566 this month vs. last month at 629, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 545. Used Home sales decreased to 469 this month vs. 528 last month, which is up from last year’s 463 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 97 this month vs 101 last month and compared with 82 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 119 from 143 in August. Used homes New listings decreased to 588 from 778 in August with net inventory down.

The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has been consistently improving. In September, there were 3,127 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,728 in August and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in September 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 576.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in September vs. 8 in August. The Absorption rate for Used homes was also 7 months of inventory in September vs. 8 in August. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in August 2008 to 7 months this September. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes priced $500,000 and over at a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I have been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and this has happened. Sales have been keeping up, so we have not seen an increase in inventory.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price decreased to  $235,747 from $253,920 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $249,917 from $275,528 in August. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in September was 159 vs last month of 161. Days On Market for Used was 158 the same as last month 158.

It seems to be shaping up as a strong fall season.

TWB 10/12/2016

August Birmingham Real Estate Sales At A High Level

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for August 2016

The last few months have seen a dramatic pick up in dollar sales over last year; some of this volume has been recorded well after the month end reports, but since we re-run full history every month it is now apparent. For instance, roughly $15 million dollars, and about 100 units of additional sales were recorded for July after our last monthly report. Inventories are down, and prices seem to be increasing. Total dollar sales for August were $349,754,613 up 17% from $298,493,234 last year, and down 5% from last month at $368,690,930.

Total Unit sales were up 1% to 1,724 in August from 1,708 in July, an increase of 16. This is up by 13% and 199 from last August at 1,525. New sales were off at 150 homes this month, and 192 in July, and off by 22 from 172 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 1,574 homes in August, up 4% from 1,516 last month, an increase of 58,  up by 221 units  from 1,353 last year (Sect E p.3). Expect late sales reports to improve this result next month.

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.  July overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 7.6% year to date, that is actuals are running ahead of projections (through July).

Housing permits for July are about the same as last year. For Jefferson County, in July there were 129 permits compared with 130 last year. Shelby County was slightly off from last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 9,489 vs. last month at 9,433 and less than 10,524 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1,080 in August from 1,140 in July (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 4-8 month range depending on area and price range. (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 August shows 6 months, which is less than the 8 last year. Used Active listings at 8,409 are up from last month of 8,293, and quite a bit less than 9,436 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 12 months of inventory (54 homes), with 6 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 208 compared with last month at 241. The Used homes DOM was 111 in August vs 113 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $320,868 from $337,315 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used was $191,624 this month compared to $200,479 last month. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.
TWB 9/10/2016   

August Baldwin Coastal Real Estate Up From Last Year

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of August 2016

Sales dollars increased 11% in August to $169,814,271 from July $153,027,746. This is 36% up from August last year’s record level at $124,886,172. (Sect A p.2). The jump was fueled by an increase in the $700,000 and over $900,000 price ranges, in other words the upper end had a much healthier than expected month. Incidentally, the increase was predominantly in the Orange Beach area. The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause of three months, appears to be resuming its upward trend. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down very consistently.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement. Inventories are also improving. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high, but improving, at over a year for anything over $500,000.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2016. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2016 located here expects projected home sales in 2016 of 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Year to date through August actual sales are 5.5% above expectations. 194 more units were sold through August than the 3,561 projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 1 at 622 this month vs. last month at 623, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 556. Used Home sales increased to 526 this month vs. 521 last month, which is up from last year’s 489 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 96 this month vs 102 last month and compared with 67 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 136 from 117 in July. Used homes New listings increased to 751 from 676 in July with net inventory down.

The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has been consistently improving. In August, there were 3,320 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,707 in July and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in August 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 588.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in August vs. 8 in July. The Absorption rate for Used homes was also 7 months of inventory in August vs. 8 in July. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in July 2008 to 7 months this August. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes priced $500,000 and over at a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I have been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and we have seen a pick-up in New homes, New listings where sales seem to be keeping up so net inventory of new home remains low in these price ranges.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price increased to  $258,309 from $239,135 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $275,697 from $246,902 in July. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in August was 161 vs last month of 163. Days On Market for Used was 158 compared to last month 165.

TWB 9/10/2016

July Birmingham Real Estate Sales Off Slightly From Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for July 2016

The last few months have seen a dramatic pick up in dollar sales over last year; some of this volume has been recorded well after the month end reports, but since we re-run full history every month it is now apparent. For instance, roughly $15 million dollars of additional sales were recorded for June after our last monthly report. Inventories are down, and prices now seem to be increasing over the last three months. Total dollar sales for July were $353,471,738 down 4% from $368,148,744 last year, and down 14% from last month at $412,631,135. It will be interesting to see how much in late sales reports show up next month.

Total Unit sales were off 9% to 1,627 in July from 1,789 in June, a decrease of 162. This is off by 163 from last July at 1,790. New sales were up at 179 homes this month, and 164 in June, and up by 9 from 170 last year. The low inventory levels of new homes suggest a good environment for builders, and prices have begun to show a more solid uptrend. Used sales were 1,448 homes in July, off 11% from 1,625 last month, a decrease of 177,  off by 172 units  from 1,620 last year (Sect E p.3). Again, late sales reports will improve this result next month.

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.  July over performed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 7.6% year to date, that is actuals are running ahead of projections (through July).

Housing permits,  for June are down from last year . For Jefferson County, in June there were 60 permits compared with 109 last year. Shelby County was slightly ahead of last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 9,545 vs. last month at 9,471 and less than 10,505 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1,060 in July from 1,113 in June (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 4-8 month range depending on area and price range. (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 July shows 7 months, which is less than the 8 last year. Used Active listings at 8,485 are up from last month of 8,358, and quite a bit less than 9,464 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 14 months of inventory (62 homes), with 9 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 241 compared with last month at 205. The Used homes DOM was 113 in July vs 110 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $339,624 from $304,530 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used were $202,126 this month compared to $223,193 last month. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.
TWB 8/14/2016