Author Archives: Tom Brander

About Tom Brander

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Birmingham Real Estate Sales in July About Even With Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for July 2015

Last month the Birmingham MLS changed its base system, and while we recoded data from the new system to match the old, we saw some inconsistencies last month which have now been corrected, which resulted in increased sales for June, and we corrected the history. We will continue checking over the next few months. Let me know if you see anything strange!

Dollar sales in July experienced a seasonal decline of 12% to $333,149,084 from June’s $379,642,929, up by 1% over last July’s of $329,096,,532. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is showing consistent growth.

Total Unit sales were down 7% to 1,614 in July from 1,728 in June, a decrease of 114. This is off 1% from last July at 1601. New sales decreased by 44 units to 140 homes this month from 184 in June and off from 156 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,474 homes in July, down 5% from 1,544 last month, a decrease of 70, and up by 29 units or 2% from 1,445 last year (Sect E p.3).

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our 2015 forecast which can be seen here: ACRE. For June, the latest available: June sales were 4.5%  or 62 unit above our forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through June projected 6,650 closed transactions while the actual sales were 6,690 units, a cumulative variance of .6%.

Total inventory is about even this month at 10,367 vs. last month at 10,402 and 2% less than the 10,532 last year. Active New listings decreased to 936 in July from 1,028 in June, a decline of 92 units (Sect E p.3).

Housing permits were up in Jefferson County to 109 in June from 108 in May, which is down from 142 last year. Shelby County went from 32 to 38 in June, up from 25 last year. We are seeing a more significant number of multi-family construction units (which we do not formally track or report), in most markets. I am surprised by the continued low level of new home building.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month, which is even with 6 months last year. (Sect E p.3). The New homes for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-7 month range depending on area and price range. The $800,000-$900,000 range has 15 months of supply however (Sect C p.1 )

Absorption for Used homes in July shows 8 months which is even with 8 months last year. Used Active listings at 9,431 are up from last month at 9,374 and lower than the 9,701 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has between 3 and 9 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 11 months of inventory (50 homes), with 4 sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 85. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood and Fultondale.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 194 compared with last month at 205. The Used homes DOM was 117 in July vs 126 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $292,006 from $307,082 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes decreased to $198,282 from $209,288 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 8/11/2015

Coastal Alabama Real Estate Continues To Set Records In July

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of July 2015

Sales dollars decreased 5% in July to $154,052,831(a record for July) from June $162,801,446. This is 41% better than July last year at $109,094,980. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales which had continued to point up steadily for three years, except for the last part of last year and the first few months of this year, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt due to the record setting last five months gains. Last year was the best sales year since 2005, and the last five months has been substantially above that level. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories continue trending down.

Sales in most price categories have begun to show consistent improvement. Inventories are improving but remain high at over a year for anything over $400,000.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2015. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. While the projection last year was not very accurate, I believe that this year will be much better as we now have more ”normal “data not distorted by the oil spill and weather. The projection for 2015 located here expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual. Through June cumulative sales are running 7% ahead of the projection. For the month of June sales were 9% ahead of the projection.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 4% to 631 this month vs. last month at 602, which is 29% above  last year’s healthy level of 479. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales decreased 5% to 535 this month vs. 561 last month, which is up 22% from last year’s 437 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 83 this month vs 81 last month and compared with 42 last year.

New listings for New homes increased to 97 from 95 in June. Used homes New listings decreased to 734 from 761 in June with net inventory down.

The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has once again been improving. In July, there were 3,615 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,167 in June. The New home market, which peaked in July 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 436.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in July vs. 8 in June. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory in July vs. 9 in June. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in June 2008 to 8 months this July. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $400,000 at over a year’s supply but even here we are seeing improvement. I would expect to see construction begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, but so far have not seen it.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to  $234,869 from $268,416 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $251,512 from $251,443 in June. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in July was 174 vs last month of 178. Days On Market for Used was 152 compared to last month 158.

TWB 8/8/2015

Birmingham Area Real Estate Sales Remain Healthy In June

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for June 2015

This month the Birmingham MLS changed its base system, and while we recoded data from the new system to match the old, there may be some inconsistency, although the results appear correct. There may have been some “clean-up” of the data in the conversion process. We will continue checking over the next few months. Let me know if you see anything strange!

Dollar sales in June experienced a seasonal improvement of 6% to $350,155,583 from May’s $329,904,594, up by 7% over last June’s of $326,535,833. The increase over last year confirms a strong summer season. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is showing consistent growth.

Total Unit sales were up .3% to 1,598 in June from 1,593 in May, an increase of 5. This is up 1% from last June at 1582. The larger rise in dollar sales over unit sales indicates improving pricing, and suggests the lower inventory levels are making it more of a seller’s market. New sales increased by 14 units to 157 homes this month from 143 in May and up from 143 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,441 homes in June, down 1% from 1,450 last month, a decrease of 9, and up by 2 units from 1,439 last year (Sect E p.3).

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our 2015 forecast which can be seen here. ACRE reported: For May, the latest available: “Forecast: May sales were .8 percent or 1 unit above our monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through May projected 5,282 closed transactions while the actual sales were 5,260 units, a cumulative variance of .4 percent.”

Total inventory is 17% lower at 8,584 vs. last month at 10,310 and 18% less than the 10,532 last year. Active New listings decreased to 836 in June from 1,162 in May, a decline of 326 units (Sect E p.3).  In particular, inventory counts are an area we will be checking further as relates to the system change.

Housing permits were down in Jefferson County to 108 in May from 117 in April, which is up from 105 last year. Shelby County went from 52 to 32 in May, down from 49 last year. We are seeing a more significant number of multi-family construction units (which we do not formally track or report), in most markets. I am somewhat surprised by the continued low level of new home building.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month, which is even with from 6 months last year at this time. Last month though, shows 8 months of supply (Sect E p.3). The New homes for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-7 month range depending on area and price range. (Sect C p.1 )

Absorption for Used homes in June shows 6 months which is down from 8 months last year. Used Active listings at 7,748 are down from last month at 9,139 and lower than the 9,700 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about 5 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 8 months of inventory (44 homes), with 8 sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 79. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood and Centerpoint.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 205 compared with last month at 194. The Used homes DOM was 126 in June vs 114 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $306,782 from $285,618 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $209,570 from $199,353 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 7/13/2015

Coastal Alabama Real Estate Continues To Set Records In June

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of June 2015

Sales dollars increased 2% in June to $160,000,716 from May $157,463,856. This is 6% better than June last year at $150,802,530. (Sect A p.2).  The 12 month moving average line of sales which had continued to point up steadily for three years, except for the last part of last year and the first few months of this year, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt due to the record setting last four months gains. Last year was the best sales year since 2005, and the last four months has been substantially above that level. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories continue trending down.

Sales in most price categories have begun to show consistent improvement. Inventories are improving but remain high at over a year for anything over $400,000.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, has projected expectations for 2015. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. While the projection last year was not very accurate, I believe that this year will be much better as we now have more ”normal “data not distorted by the oil spill and weather. The projection for 2015 located here expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual. Through June cumulative sales are running 7% ahead of the projection. For the month of June sales were 9% ahead of the projection.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 5% to 631 this month vs. last month at 602, which is 6% above  last year’s healthy level of 597. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales increased 7% to 554 this month vs. 517 last month, which is up 7% from last year’s 519 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 77 this month vs 85 last month and compared with 78 last year.

New listings for New homes decreased to 93 from 109 in May. Used homes New listings decreased to 755 from 840 in May with net inventory down.

The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has once again been improving. In June, there were 3,694 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,222 in May. The New home market, which peaked in June 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 425.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in June vs. 9 in May. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory in June vs. 10 in May. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in May 2008 to 8 months this June. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $400,000 at over a year’s supply but even here we are seeing improvement. I would expect to see construction begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, but so far have not seen it.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices increased to  $263,841 from $248,695 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $252,139 from $263,684 in May. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in June was 178 vs last month of 236. Days On Market for Used was 158 compared to last month 169.

TWB 7/14/2015

Birmingham Residential Real Estate Sales Strong in May

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for May 2015

Dollar sales in May experienced a seasonal improvement of 6% to $323,274,789 from April’s $305,091,148, up by 12% over last May’s of $289,612,036. The increase over last year confirms a strong spring season. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is continuing to show a very steady upward trend indicating consistent growth.

Total Unit sales were up 3% to 1,551 in May from 1,505 in April, an increase of 46. This is up 4% from last May at 1495. The larger rise in dollar sales than unit sales indicates improving pricing, and suggests the lower inventory levels are making it more of a seller’s market. New sales decreased by 3 units to 140 homes this month from 143 in April and off from 134 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,411 homes in May, up 4% from 1,362 last month, an increase of 49, and up by 4% or 50 units from 1,361 last year (Sect E p.3).

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our 2015 forecast which can be seen here. ACRE reported: “Forecast: May sales were .8 percent or 1 unit above of our monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through May projected 5,282 closed transactions while the actual sales were 5,260 units, a cumulative variance of .4 percent.” I also expect to see a healthy increase in new construction, which has been quite modest so far..

Total inventory is 1% lower at 10,338 vs. last month at 10,420 and 1% more than the 10,274 last year. Active New listings decreased to 937 in May from 1,274 in April, a decline of 337 units (Sect E p.3).  

Housing permits were down in Jefferson County to 117 in April from 125 in February, which is down from 119 last year. Shelby County went from 50 to 52 in April, up from 45 last year. I expect this pace to pick-up. We are seeing a more significant number of multi-family construction units (which we do not formally track or report) in most markets.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6.6 months supply this month, which is up slightly from 6.0 months last year at this time. Last month though, shows 9 months of supply (Sect E p.3). The New homes for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-7 month range depending on area and price range. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in May shows 8 months which is even with 8 months last year. Used Active listings at 9,401 are up slightly from last month at 9,146 but lower than the 9,462 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about 6 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 9 months of inventory (50 homes), with 7 sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 76. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood and Centerpoint.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 194 compared with last month at 198. The Used homes DOM was 114 in May vs 122 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $287,643 from $314,478 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $200,570 from $190,984 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2). 

TWB 6/11/2015

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Market Vigorous in May

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of May 2015

Sales dollars increased 5% in May to $155,371,956 from April $147,326,266. This is 14% better than May last year at $136,834,816. (Sect A p.2).  The 12 month moving average line of sales which had continued to point up steadily for three years, except for the last part of last year and the first few months of this year, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt due to the record setting last three months gains. Last year was the best sales year since 2005 and the last three months has been substantially above that level. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories continue trending down.

The most notable increases in sales were in the over $900,000 range, going from 12 sales last month to 16 this month.  Interesting however there was only one new home sold over $500,000, and used inventory over $400,000 remain over a year. Essentially, the market has improved on the very high end and the lower end; the middle, not so much.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, has projected expectations for 2015. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. While the projection last year was not very accurate, I believe that this year will be much better as we now have more ”normal “data not distorted by the oil spill and weather. The projection for 2015 located here expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual. Through May cumulative sales are running 7% ahead of the projection. For the month of May sales were 3% ahead of the projection.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 2% to 595 this month vs. last month at 581, which is 5% above  last year’s healthy level of 565. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales decreased 1% to 510 this month vs. 517 last month, which is up 5% from last year’s 487 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 85 this month vs 64 last month and compared with 77 last year.

New listings for New homes decreased to 107 from 115 in April. Used homes New listings decreased to 825 from 857 in April with net inventory down.

The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has once again been improving. In May, there were 3,647 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,174 in April. The New home market, which peaked in May 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 452.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in May vs. 9 in April. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory in May vs. 9 in April. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in April 2008 to 7 months this May. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $400,000 at over a year’s supply. Even here we are seeing improvement, which may set the stage for acceleration in new construction.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to  $248,695 from $253,059 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $263,202 from $253,637 in April. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in May was 236 vs last month of 213. Days On Market for Used was 169 compared to last month 152.

TWB 6/14/2015

April Birmingham Area Real Estate Sales Jump 12% Over Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for April 2015

Dollar sales in April experienced a better than expected seasonal improvement of 7% to $292,262,727 from March’s $273,508,424, up by 12% over last April’s of $262,916,981. The increase over last year in the last four months indicates a strong spring season. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is continuing to show a very steady upward trend indicating consistent growth.

Total Unit sales were up 4% to 1,439 in April from 1,387 in March, an increase of 52. This is up 2% from last April at 1414. The larger rise in dollar sales than unit sales indicates improving pricing, and suggests the lower inventory levels are making it more of a seller’s market. New sales decreased by 10 units to 132 homes this month from 142 in March and off from 134 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,307 homes in April, up 5% from 1,245 last month, an increase of 62, and up by 2% or 27 units from 1,280 last year(Sect E p.3).

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our 2015 forecast which can be seen here. We expect the Birmingham area to be 6% above 2014 levels. So this month’s unit increase of 4% is behind the projection.  Based on what I am seeing, I expect substantial market gains. I also expect to see a healthy increase in new construction, the beginnings of which we can see in permits below.

Total inventory is 2% higher at 10,281 vs. last month at 10,093 and 1% more than the 10,194 last year. Active New listings decreased to 943 in April from 1,253 in March, a decline of 31 units (Sect E p.3).  

Housing permits were up in Jefferson County to 125 in March from 98 in February, which is down from 133 last year. Shelby County went from 45 to 50 in March, up from 38 last year. I expect this pace to pick-up. We are seeing a more significant number of multi-family construction units (which we do not formally track or report) in most markets.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6.7 months supply this month, which is up slightly from 6.1 months last year at this time. Last month though, shows 8.9 months of supply (Sect E p.3). The New homes for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-7 month range depending on area and price range. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in April shows 8 months, even with 8 months last year. Used Active listings at 9,338 are up slightly from last month at 8,840 and lower than the 9,363 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about 6 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 9 months of inventory (49 homes), with 2 sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 95. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood and Centerpoint.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 198 compared with last month at 210. The Used homes DOM was 122 in April vs 130 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $317,178 from $291,673 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $191,580 from $186,418 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 5/09//2015