Category Archives: Alabama Real Estate Confidence Index

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Sales Continue Fast Pace In August

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

Sales dollars decreased 20% in August to $123,895,752 from July $155,766,731. This is 5% better than August last year at $118,150,531. (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. Last year was the best sales year since 2005, and the prior five months were substantially above that level.  This month was lower than 2006, but above 2014. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories continue trending down.

Sales in most price categories have been showing 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. The projection for 2015 located here expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual. Through August cumulative sales are running 8% ahead of the projection. For the month of August sales were 1.1% below the projection.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off?? 2% at 550 this month vs. last month at 624, which is 8% above last year’s healthy level of 507. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales decreased 5% to 483 this month vs. 540 last month, which is up 22% from last year’s 453 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 67 this month vs 84 last month and compared with 54 last year.

New listings for New homes increased to 108 from 98 in July. Used homes New listings decreased to 690 from 766 in July with net inventory down.

The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has once again been improving. In August, there were 3,580 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,183 in July. The New home market, which peaked in August 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 458.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in August vs. 8 in July. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory in August vs. 9 in July. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in July 2008 to 8 months this August. 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  $274,761 from $235,453 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $218,399 from $251,831 in July. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in August was 172 vs last month of 174. Days On Market for Used was 172 compared to last month 152.

TWB 9/13/2015

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 Area Residential Sales Improve 17% Over Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for March 2015

April Sales

April Sales

Dollar sales in March experienced a better than expected seasonal improvement of 27% to $266,141,196 from February’s $210,080,211, up by 17% over last March’s of $227,902,558. The increase over last year in the last three months indicates the beginning of 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 21% to 1,348 in March from 1,113 in February, an increase of 235. This is up 10% from last March at 1227. New sales increased by 26 units to 138 homes this month from 112 in February and off from 154 last year. Used sales were 1,210 homes in March, up 21% from 1,001 last month, an increase of 209, and up by 8% or 87 units from 1,123 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 10% is ahead of 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 from the year over year gains in permits below.

This month total inventory is 1% higher at 9,740 vs. last month at 9,607 and 3% less than the 10,028 last year. Active New listings decreased to 951 in March from 1,209 in February, a decline of 258 units (Sect E p.3).  

Housing permits were down in Jefferson County to 98 in February from 101 in December, which is down from 101 last year. Shelby County went from 39 to 45 in February, up from 30 last year.I expect this pace of building 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 6.8 months supply this month, which is up slightly from 6.1 months last year at this time. Last month though, shows 8.5 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 March shows 7 months, one month better than the 8 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,789 are up slightly from last month at 8,398 and lower than the 9,196 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about five months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 8 months of inventory (44 homes), with six sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 121. 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 210 compared with last month at 209. The Used homes DOM was 130 in March vs 131 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $294,485 from $299,312 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $186,366 from $176,381 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 4/11//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.

 

1st Quarter Alabama Residential Real Estate Outlook Positive

I’m a bit late putting this up and in fact the next survey is underway! The ACRE report archive can be found here.

1. 1st Quarter Alabama Residential Real Estate Outlook Positive

This survey projects expectations for the 1st quarter of 2014. The scale ranges from 0-100 with 0 being much worse, 100 being much better, and 50 indicating no change expected.
The professional real estate community has a very optimistic outlook for 2014. All of the overall indicators are at the highest 1st quarter levels we have seen since beginning of the survey in 2010. All of the indicators improved from last quarter and remain at or above 50 indicating expansion expected, except for credit. The availability of credit continues to be viewed somewhat negatively, at 49, two points better than last quarter.

1.1 Overview Scores:

This quarter showed improvement in all regions for residential markets. In addition, the commercial indicators are in a clear uptrend. This is encouraging, and overall measures remain in the expansion zone.
The below chart reflects the aggregate scores for the survey overall. The overall total stat score is in bold blue.

Survey Analysis Overall

Survey Analysis Overall

1.2 Commercial Market:

Commercial market participants, (the majority of the respondents are from the Birmingham market area), remained positive this quarter (Total Stat) at 58 this quarter a two point improvement from last quarter and improving 7 points to an all time high of 61 for sales expectations. Price expectations improved 3 points to 56 indicating improving pricing conditions. The score for credit availability is at a new high of 56, up 3 from last quarter.

Survey Analysis-Commercial Market

Survey Analysis-Commercial Market

1.3 Regional Results:

The coastal region continued to remain the most optimistic in the state at 61 (Alabama expectations), up from 58 last quarter. On an overall basis all areas sales expectations remained above 50. The coastal region, also had the highest sales expectations at 62. The moving average line is the prior 4 quarters averaged of the Alabama expectations, to remove the effects of seasonality, and it is easy to see the pretty steady upwards trend.

Regional Total scores chart:

Survey Analysis-Regional Overview

Survey Analysis-Regional Overview

The charts below also have a “moving average” line which averages the “Total Stat” for prior 4 quarters, by area, to smooth out the seasonal variations. The quarter to quarter variation is highly seasonal, but the moving average shows a better picture of the overall trend, which is quite positive.

Survey Analysis-North

Survey Analysis-North

Survey analysis-NorthCentral

Survey analysis-NorthCentral

Survey Analysis-South Central

Survey Analysis-South Central

Survey Analysis-South Coastal

Survey Analysis-South Coastal

1.4 North

North Alabama total score improved 6 points from last quarter to 53, also 6 points better than last year’s 4th quarter.
The sales outlook improved to 59 from 48 last quarter, but with price expecatations also climbing to 50.

1.5 North Central

The North Central Region overall score climbed to 55 from 53. The sales score improved to 59 from 54. Inventory score climbed to 53 from 51, with pricing remaining at 55, and credit availability slipping one point to at 48.

1.6 South Central

The South Central Region overall score improved to 53 from 49 last quarter. The outlook for sales improved to 57 from 51.

1.7 South

The Southern Region overall score was the highest at 58. This sales score is the highest at 62. Price expectations declined by 5 to 56. Credit availability was 54 the first time we have seen it above 50.

About the Alabama Real Estate Confidence Index and Survey:

About 400 professionals responded to the 4th quarter 2013 survey which was conducted during the month of December 2013. The survey, conducted by the Alabama Center For Real Estate has the largest participation of any real estate survey. It provides important market insights. Full history and raw scores can be obtained by contacting the undersigned.

The ACRE Leadership Council  determined the need for a statewide industry confidence index and this was adopted as the Council’s first initiative. Tom Brander, Council Member, was selected by the Council and Grayson Glaze, ACRE Executive Director, to spearhead and work with the Center to conduct and produce its Alabama Real Estate Confidence Index (ARECI). The Council appreciates everyone who participated.

For further information contact Tom Brander at Tombrander@tombrander.com or Grayson Glaze at gglaze@cba.ua.edu

First Quarter 2014 Outlook for Residential Real Estate In Alabama

This presentation for the Alabama Center For Real Estate Leadership group was given in early February, It reviews both the ACRE Real Estate Confidence Index results as well as the Statewide and area forecasts for 2014 Alabama Residential Real Estate sales.