Category Archives: Alabama Center for Real Estate

Birmingham May Real Estate Sales Resume Upswing

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for May 2017

May saw a substantial increase (23%) in dollar sales from April. Sales were slightly lower in units and slightly higher in dollars than last year, which was very robust. The next few months should show us a more consistent pattern.  Prices are modestly increasing. Total dollar sales for May were $421,269,944 up 3% from $409,254,772 last year, and up 23% from last month at $342,710,819.

Total Unit sales were down 4% at 1,857 in May from 1,943 last year and off by 17% compared with 1,585 in April. New sales were down 17 at 163 homes this month, vs. 180 in April, and off by 13 from 176  last year. The low inventory level of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,694 homes in May, up 21% from 1,404 last month, and off by 4% from 1,767 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 2% for the year; that is actuals are behind projections of 4,451 through April, at 4,440 actual thru April. Check the link to see when the May numbers are posted.

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 8,635 vs. last month at 8,126 and less than 9,407 last year. (Sect C p.1). Active New listings decreased to 999 in May from 1,033 in April (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 May shows 5 months, which is less than the 6 last year. Used Active listings at 7,636 are up from last month of 7,093, and less than 8,252 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 3 months of inventory.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 205 compared with last month at 198. The Used homes DOM was 107 in May vs 104 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $305,046 from $285,446 last month (Sect A p2). Over a several month period prices seem to be quite unchanged. Average sales price for Sold Used was $219,331 this month compared to $207,297 last month. (Sect A p2). Given the general robustness of sales prices on average seem quite stable, not yet increasing by much.

After a brief pause last month sales seem to be back on the upswing, It will be interesting to see how sales unfold over the next few months..

TWB 6/11/2017  

Birmingham April Real Estate Sales Moderate Slightly

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..

TWB 5/13/2017  

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

Birmingham 1st Quarter Residential Real Estate Market Very Similar to Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for March 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 March experienced an expected increase of 29% to $274,938,104 from February at $213,696,545, a bit less than last March’s  $280,039,512 (off 2%). The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales over the last five months has flattened.

Total Unit sales were up 20% to 1,424 in March from 1,156 in February, an increase of 268. This is up by 4 from last March at 1,120. New sales were up at 162 homes this month, and 138 in February and up by 14 from 148 last year. The low inventory levels of new homes suggest a good environment for builders, although prices seem to be steady. Used sales were 1,264 homes in March, up 24% from 1,018 last month, an increase of 246, and off by 10 units  from 1,272 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.  February overperformed the projection with actual sales resulting in an error of +1 percent for the month, and a cumulative error of .47% year to date (thru Feb).

Housing permits, the census bureau section that supplies this data, has been down for two months now. I’ll update the website as soon as that data becomes available. Still, it seems to me that builders and banks are being very cautious on new construction.

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 1027 in March from 1,101 in February (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 15 months of supply (10 houses) (Sect C p.1). This level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units has been continuing to improve for the year.

Absorption for Used homes in March shows 7 months, which is the same as 7 last year. Used Active listings at 8,572 are up from last month at 7,841, and a bit less than 8,803 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 $6-700,000 range (10 months of inventory), and the over $900,000 category, which has 15 months of inventory (50 homes), with 2 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 203 compared with last month at 186. The Used homes DOM was 128 in March vs 137 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $280,264 from $285,855 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be flat over the last year. Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $181,882 from $171,168 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has flattened for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 4/10/2016  

Birmingham February Area Sales About Even With Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for February 2016

Dollar sales in February experienced an expected increase of 16% to $208,404,758, from January $179,801,902, a bit less than last February’s  $213,154,525 (off 2%). The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales over the last four months has flattened.

Total Unit sales were up 20% to 1,118 in February from 969 in January, an increase of 149. This is off by 16 from last February at 1,134. New sales were up at 134 homes this month and 102 in January and up by 20 from 114 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders..Used sales were 984 homes in February, up 13% from 867 last month, an increase of 117, and off by 36 units  from 1,020 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.  January underperformed the projection, actual sales resulted in an error of -.26 of one percent for the month, off by 2 homes for the month.

Housing permits the census bureau was down at the time of this writing, I’ll update the website as soon as that data becomes available. Still it seems to me that builders and banks are being very cautious on new construction.

Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 8,860 vs. last month at 8,938 and less than 9,430 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1009 in February from 1,077 in January (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 21 months of supply (12 houses) (Sect C p.1). This level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units has been continuing to improve for the year.

Absorption for Used homes in February shows 6 months which is about even with 7 last year. Used Active listings at 7,851 are even with last month at 7,861 and a bit less than 8,407 last  year (Sect E p.3). Inventory levels have continued to generally 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 over $900,000 category, which has 11 months of inventory (41 homes), with 2 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 186 compared with last month at 195. The Used homes DOM was 137 in February vs 132 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $289,738 from $273,127 last month (Sect A p2) and prices seem to be flat over the last year. Average sales price for Sold Used homes decreased to $172,337 from $175,251 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has flattened for the past year. (Sect A p2).
TWB 3/13/2016  

Birmingham Area January Sales Even With Last Years’ Healthy Level

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for January 2016

Dollar sales in January experienced an expected drop off of 28% to $174,806,153 from December $243,004,100, almost identical to last January’s of $165,581,649 (up 6%). The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales over the last three months has flattened.

Total Unit sales were off 20% to 938 in January from 1,284 in December, a decrease of 346. This is off by 2 from last January at 940. New sales were off at 97 homes this month and 166 in December and up by 2 from 95 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Somewhat oddly it seems that there were about 100 sales of new homes against 300 new listings for new homes with inventory staying about flat. 415 new homes are in pending status.Used sales were 841 homes in January, off 25% from 1,118 last month, a decrease of 165, and off by 4 units  from 845 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.  The January increase in actual sales resulted in an error of ⅓ of one percent for the year, off by 39 homes out of a full year total of 13,333. Our early forecast for 2016 is pointing at a roughly even sales level for 2016.

Housing permits were even in Jefferson County at 58 in December from 58 in November, which is off from 93 last year. This is the lowest level since August 2014. Shelby County was 28 from 26 last month, off from 41 last year. It seems that builders and banks are being very cautious on new construction.

Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 8,793 vs. last month at 9,960 and less than 9,177 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1004 in January from 1,042 in December (Sect E p.3). Absorption rate for New homes is at 7 months supply this month, which is about even with 6 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 22 months of supply (11 houses) (Sect C p.1). This level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units has been quite stable for the year.

Absorption for Used homes in January shows 6 months which is even with 7 last year. Used Active listings at 7,789 are even with last month at 7,918 and a bit less than 8,188 last  year (Sect E p.3). Inventory levels have continued to generally 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 10 months of inventory (39 homes), with 2 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 195 compared with last month at 205. The Used homes DOM was 132 in January vs 125 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $274,242 from $307,314 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $176,224 from $171,726 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 2/14/2016