Category Archives: ACRE

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

April Birmingham Real Estate Market Continues To Look Like Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for April 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. Dollar sales in April experienced an expected increase of 12% to $319,627,228 from March at $285,245,363, a bit more than last April’s  $308,690,507 (up 4%). The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales over the last six months has flattened.

Total Unit sales were up 1% to 1,508 in April from 1,488 in March, an increase of 20. This is down by 19 from last April at 1,527. New sales were down at 134 homes this month, and 171 in March and off by 13 from 147 last year. The low inventory levels of new homes suggest a good environment for builders, although prices seem to be steady. Used sales were 1,374 homes in April, up 3% from 1,317 last month, an increase of 57, and off by 6 units  from 1,380 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.  March overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 2.71% year to date (thru March).

Housing permits, the census bureau section that supplies this data, has been down for three months now. They have made data available in a different format and I’m not entirely sure that the data is comparable, but it seems to be. Based on the new data, housing permits are up as I would expect . For Jefferson County, in February and March there were 128 and 156 permits respectively compared with 98 and 125 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 9,599 vs. last month at 8,924 and less than 9,833 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1021 in April from 1,077 in March (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 for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-9 month range depending on area and price range. However, the $800,000-$900,000 range has 18 months of supply (12 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 April shows 7 months, which is the same as 7 last year. Used Active listings at 8,654 are up from last month at 8,223, and a bit less than 9,125 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 except in the $6-700,000 range (9 months of inventory), and the over $900,000 category, which has 16 months of inventory (59 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 (only 4 months of inventory).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 211 compared with last month at 202. The Used homes DOM was 126 in April vs 128 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $305,698 from $279,918 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be flat over the last year. Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $202,812 from $180,242 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has flattened for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 5/8/2016

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Sales Have A Healthy Start In January

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

Sales dollars decreased an expected 27% in January to $90,529,509 from December $124,697,839. This is 4% above January last year at $86,783,782. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, which had continued to point up steadily for three years, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down.

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

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. The projection for 2015 located here expected a unit increase of 6% over 2014 actual, for the full year we got an increase of 9%. For 2016 we expect a very slightly slower market than 2015, details to follow.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 22% at 377 this month vs. last month at 487, which is identical with last year’s healthy level of 377. Used Home sales decreased 24% to 318 this month vs. 420 last month, which is off 6% from last year’s 340 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 59 this month vs 67 last month and compared with 37 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 118 from 103 in December. Used homes New listings almost doubled to 804 from 415 in December 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 January, there were 3,133 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,450 in December and a new multi year low level. New homes, which peaked in January 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 474.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in January vs. 8 in December. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory in January vs. 8 in December. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in December 2008 to 7 months this January. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $500,000 at over a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I would expect construction to 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, price increased to  $248,944 from $242,552 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $238,496 from $258,207 in December. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in January was 175 vs last month of 161. Days On Market for Used was 175 compared to last month 160.

TWB 2/16/2016

Birmingham Residential Real Estate Even with Last October

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for October 2015

In June the Birmingham MLS changed its base system. We have recoded the data to be consistent. Let me know if you see anything strange!

Dollar sales in October experienced a seasonal decline of 19% to $237,234,031 from September $292,441,366, off by 3% from last October’s of $245,404,227. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales has flattened. It seems to me that there has been a somewhat larger number of late reported sales which means that prior month totals are higher than what we showed last month by larger amounts than has historically been the case. It is important to view the overall trend and not get hung up on the precision of the latest month’s number.

Total Unit sales were down 3% to 1,240 in October from 1,515 in September, a decrease of 46. This is even  with last October at 1303. New sales were off at 104 homes this month and 179 in September and off from 143 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,136 homes in October, down 3% from 1,336 last month, a decrease of 45, and up by 70 units or .6% from 1,160 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 September, the latest available: September sales were 5% or 59 units above our forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through September projected 10,358 closed transactions while the actual sales were 10,471 units, a cumulative variance of 1%.

Total inventory is about even this month at 9,533 vs. last month at 9,970 and about even with 9,876 last year. Active New listings decreased to 940 in October from 1,056 in September (Sect E p.3).

Housing permits were off in Jefferson County to 83 in September from 90 in August, which is off from 95 last year. Shelby County went from 30 to 28 in September, off from 38 last year.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month, which is about even with 7 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. However, the $800,000-$900,000 range has 20 months of supply (Sect C p.1).

Absorption for Used homes in October shows 7 months which is about even with 8 last year. Used Active listings at 8,593 are even with last month at 8,914 and about the same as 8,936 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has between 1 and 9 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 10 months of inventory (45 homes), with 3 sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 251. 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 189 compared with last month at 185. The Used homes DOM was 125 in October vs 120 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $305,408 from $310,805 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $180,873 from $177,251 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).
TWB 11/13/2015

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

Birmingham Area Real Estate Unit Sales up 6% Over Last February

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for February 2015

Birmingham February Sales

Birmingham February Sales

Dollar sales in February experienced an expected seasonal improvement of 22% to $200,563,499 from January’s $163,769,334, up by 18% over last February’s of $169,452,699. The increase over last year in the last two months indicates the possibility for 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 13% to 1,047 in February from 926 in January, a increase of 121. This is up 6% from last February at 986. New sales increased by 7 units to 102 homes this month from 95 in January and off from 114 last year. Used sales were 945 homes in February, up 14% from 831 last month, an increase of 114, and up by 8% or 73 units from 872 last year(Sect E p.3).

Keeping in mind the 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 6% is in line with the projection.  Based on what I see I expect pretty substantial market gains. I also expect to see a healthy increase in new construction, the beginnings of which we can see from the year over year gains in permits below.

This month total inventory is 1% lower at 9,359 vs. last month at 9,478 and 9,488 last year. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market. Active New listings decreased to 961 in February from 1,183 in January, a decline of 222 units (Sect E p.3).  

Housing permits were up in Jefferson County to 101 in January from 93 in December, which is up considerably from 65 last year. Shelby County went from 41 to 39 in January, up from 5 last year. It seems that builders are anticipating a strong spring market and I think they are right. In addition, 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 6.8 months supply this month, which is up slightly from 6.2 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 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in February shows 7 months, one month better than the 8 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,398 are up slightly from last month at 8,295 and lower than the 8,666 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about four months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 7 months of inventory (36 homes), with six sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 131. 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 209 compared with last month at 112. The Used homes DOM was 131 in February vs 130 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $304,125 from $294,532 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $179,410 from $163,404 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 3/7//2015

Survey Results, Outlook for 2015 Alabama Real Estate

The following slide show was presented to the Leadership Group of The Alabama Center For Real Estate. It summarizes the results of the 4th quarter survey, which forecasts the 1st quarter expectations of 2015. It also has the results of our 2012-2014 projections and our projections for the 2015 Alabama Real Estate Markets.