Category Archives: Alabama Center for Real Estate

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  

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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  

Birmingham 2015 Residential Real Estate Sales Finish Strong

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for December 2015

Monthly Birmingham Sales

Monthly Birmingham Sales

Full year results:

Total Units New Used Total Dollars
2014 15,686 1,698 13,988 $3,006,565,892
2015 16,813 1,748 15,065 $3,334,574,593
% change 7.2% 2.9% 7.7% 10.9%

Dollar sales in December experienced an expected year end pick-up of 18% to $235,361,806 from November $200,218,537, almost identical to last December’s of $238,138,339 (off 1%). The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales over the last three months of the year has flattened.

Total Unit sales were up 20% to 1,231 in December from 1,023 in November, an increase of 208. This is up by 5% from last December at 1,172. New sales were up at 158 homes this month and 115 in November and off from 177 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,073 homes in December, up 18% from 908 last month, an increase of 165, and up by 78 units or 8% from 995 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. December sales were not yet available. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through November projected 12,332 closed transactions while the actual sales were 12,289 units, (off by 43 units) a cumulative variance of -.35%. Given the December increase in actual sales reported here, I expect we will come in very close for the full year.

Housing permits were off in Jefferson County to 58 in November from 101 in October, which is off from 72 last year. This is the lowest level since August 2014. Shelby County was 26 from 32 last month, up from 10 last year.

Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 8,876 vs. last month at 9,571 and somewhat less than 9,002 last year. Active New listings decreased to 931 in December from 1,025 in November (Sect E p.3). Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 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 1-7 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 December shows 6 months which is about even with 7 last year. Used Active listings at 7,945 are even with last month at 8,546 and a bit less than 8,109 last  year (Sect E p.3).For the year, inventory levels have generally trended down from prior years. 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 (39 homes), with none 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 205 compared with last month at 207. The Used homes DOM was 125 in December vs 121 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $310,211 from $333,656 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes decreased to $173,670 from $178,247 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 1/10/2016

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

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

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