Category Archives: Forecast

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  

April Alabama Coastal Sales Take a Pause

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of April 2017

Sales dollars surprisingly decreased 21% in April to $162,333,926 from March’s high  of  $206,329,050. This is still up 10% from last year’s record of $147,415,100. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales has been heading up substantially. We saw a similar increase/decrease pattern in Birmingham 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.

Inventories continue to drop noticeably. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Note that price ranges in inventories over a year are fewer. Now only the $600,000 and over categories have over a year of inventory.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2017. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2017 located here expects projected home sales in 2017 at 6,276, which is a 12.65% over 2016 actual of  5,571. This year through April actual sales are .75% above expectations. 1,938 sales were recorded so far this year which is ahead of the projection of 1,924.  

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off at 617 this month vs. last month at 768, which is still well above last year’s healthy level of 594. Used Home sales decreased to 518 this month vs. 614 last month, which is up from last year’s 507 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 99 this month vs 154 last month and compared with 87 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 155 from 186 in March. Used homes New listings decreased to 831 from 895 in March 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 April, there were 2,793 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,296 in March and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in April 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 710.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in April vs. 8 in March. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 6 months of inventory in April vs. 7 in March. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in March 2008 to 6 months this April. I had been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and this has happened to a modest degree. Sales have been keeping up, so we have not seen an increase in inventory.

Average sales price for all homes has begun to show an upwards trend. For New units, average price increased to  $264,897 from $245,230 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices were off this month, to $262,759 from $274,534 in March. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in April was 213 vs last month of 176. This indicates that some of the older New inventory is being sold, a good thing. Days On Market for Used was 141 vs. last month 144. With this volatility, it will be interesting to see how the market evolves during the peak summer selling season.

TWB 5/13/2017

Birmingham Area Sales Accelerate In March

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for March 2017

Mar2017BHAMindexed

March saw an acceleration of the uptick in dollar and unit sales over last year.  Prices seem to be modestly increasing. Total dollar sales for March were $335,608,193 up 15% from $291,558,899 last year, and up 40% from last month at $239,312,908.

Total Unit sales were up 6% at 1,629 in March from 1,530 last year and up by 35% compared with 1,204 in February. New sales were off at 150 homes this month, vs. 155 in February, and off by 30 from 175 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 1,479 homes in March, up 41% from 1,049 last month, and up by 9% from 1,355 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 March, at 3,162 actual thru March.

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 8,150 vs. last month at 7,851 and less than 9,313 last year. (Sect C p.1). Active New listings decreased to 997 in March from 1,067 in February (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 March shows 5 months, which is less than the 6 last year. Used Active listings at 7,153 are up from last month of 6,784, and less than 8,228 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, except in the $5-$600,000 and over $900,000 category, which each have 6 months of inventory. In the over $900,000 price range there were 40 homes, with 9 sold in that price range last month. 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 239 compared with last month at 197. The Used homes DOM was 115 in March vs 125 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $276,271 from $288,821 last month (Sect A p2). Over a several month period prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used was $198,896 this month compared to $185,458 last month. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.
TWB 4/12/2017  

Birmingham February 2017 Real Estate Sales Remain Robust

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for February 2017

February saw a continuation of the pick up in dollar sales over last year, while unit sales slowed slightly from last years’ level. Prices seem to be modestly increasing. Total dollar sales for February were $229,699,200 up 5% from $218,749,074 last year, and up 8% from last month at $212,676,683.

Total Unit sales were up 9% at 1,154 in February from 1,059 in January, an increase of 95. This is off by 3% and 35 from last February at 1,189. New sales were up to 145 homes this month, and 125 in January, and up by 3 from 141 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 1,009 homes in February, up 8% from 934 last month, an increase of 75, off by 39 units  from 1,048 last year (Sect E p.3).

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. For ACRE, we released our month by month 2017 forecast which 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 4% for the year; that is actuals are behind projections of 868 through January, at 834 actual in January which is still an increase of 8% over 771 in January 2016.

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 8,168 vs. last month at 7,777 and less than 9,026 last year. (Sect C p.1). Active New listings increased to 1,025 in February from 1,001 in January (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 February shows 5 months, which is less than the 6 last year. Used Active listings at 7,143 are up from last month of 6,776, and less than 7,919 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 4 months of inventory, 3 months overall, except in the over $900,000 category, which has 5 months of inventory (31 homes), with 8 sold in that price range last month. 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 197 compared with last month at 180. The Used homes DOM was 125 in February vs 126 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $288,179 from $307,559 last month (Sect A p2). Over a several month period prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used was $186,237 this month compared to $186,544 last month. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.
TWB 3/11/2017  

February 2017 Alabama Coastal Real Estate Remains Strong

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of February 2017

Sales dollars decreased 27% in February to $111,762,782 from January $114,127,364. This is up 24% from last year’s record of $106,179,498. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause during the summer months, has been heading up substantially.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement as do inventories. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Note that price ranges in inventories over a year are fewer. Now only the $800,000 and over categories are over a year of inventory.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2017. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2017 located here expected projected home sales in 2017 of 6,276, which is a 12.65% difference from 2016 actual of  5,571. Full year, thru February actual sales are 9% below expectations. 752 sales were recorded so far which is 71 less than projected and 60 more than 2016.  

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off at 433 this month vs. last month at 447, which is off from last year’s healthy level of 446. Used Home sales decreased to 358 this month vs. 364 last month, which is off from last year’s 368 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 75 this month vs 83 last month and compared with 78 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 178 from 175 in January. Used homes New listings decreased to 689 from 788 in January 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 February, there were 2,727 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,109 in January and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in February 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 681.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in February vs. 8 in January. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 6 months of inventory in February vs. 7 in January. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in January 2008 to 7 months this February. I have been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and this has happened. Sales have been keeping up, so we have not seen an increase in inventory.

Average sales price for all homes has begun to show an upwards trend. For New units, average price increased to  $270,706 from $244,689 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices were off this month, to $255,474 from $257,742 in January. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in February was 196 vs last month of 201. Days On Market for Used was 162 vs. last month 158. In my opinion, the results point to a strong upcoming year.        
TWB 3/11/2017

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Yet Another Record In November

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

Sales dollars decreased 5% in November to $127,234,937 from October $133,794,557. This is up a remarkable 36% from last year’s record level of $93,511,408. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause during the summer months, appears to have resumed its upward trend. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down very consistently.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement as do inventories. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high, but improving, at over a year for anything over $500,000. Note that inventories over a year is less and less, for instance the price ranges of $600,000-$800,000 are at just 12.7 months. With the $500,000-$600,000 at 15 months.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2016. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2016 located here expects projected home sales in 2016 of 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Year to date through October actual sales are 7% above expectations. 317 more units were sold through November than the 4,386 projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 28 at 480 this month vs. last month at 508, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 400. Used Home sales decreased to 403 this month vs. 415 last month, which is up from last year’s 357 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 77 this month vs 92 last month and compared with 43 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 135 from 202 in October. Used homes New listings decreased to 506 from 603 in October 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 November, there were 2,992 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,417 in October and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in November 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 618.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in November vs. 8 in October. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 6 months of inventory in November vs. 7 in October. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in October 2008 to 6 months this November. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes priced $500,000 and over at a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. For instance the $600,000-$800,000 has only 12.7 months of inventory. I have been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and this has happened. Sales have been keeping up, so we have not seen an increase in inventory.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price increased to  $258,702 from $244,530 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices were virtually unchanged this month, $266,290 from $266,836 in October. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in November was 172 vs last month of 188. Days On Market for Used was 166 vs. last month 153.

The results point to a strong upcoming year, I believe.

TWB 12/9/2016