Category Archives: Home values

Birmingham January Real Estate Sales Robust

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for January 2017

January saw a continuation of the pick up in dollar sales over last year, while unit sales also increased from last years’ level. Prices seem to be modestly increasing. Total dollar sales for January were $206,912,455 up 13% from $183,327,923 last year, and down 24% from last month at $272,571,925.

Total Unit sales were off 22% at 1,020 in January from 1,312 in December, a decrease of 292. This is up by 3% and 22 from last January at 987. New sales were off to 120 homes this month, and 210 in December, and up by 16 from 104 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 900 homes in January, off 18% from 1,102 last month, a decrease of 202, up by 17 units  from 883 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. The cumulative error is plus 9% for the year; that is actuals are ahead of projections of 14,705 through year end, an increase of 11% over 2015. The forecast for 2017 should be out shortly.

Housing permits are no longer available in the same format from the Census bureau. I may be able to resume reporting once I can find a new method of sourcing the data, but at this point I do not know if that will be possible.

Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 7,838 vs. last month at 7,968 and less than 9,123 last year. (Sect C p.1). Active New listings decreased to 968 in January from 1,100 in December (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). 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 January shows 5 months, which is less than the 6 last year. Used Active listings at 6,870 are down from last month of 6.868, and quite a bit less than 8,053 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 6 months of inventory (35 homes), with 5 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 180 compared with last month at 271. The Used homes DOM was 126 in January vs 119 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $309,844 from $312,947 last month (Sect A p2). Over a several month period prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used was $188,590 this month compared to $187,707 last month. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.

TWB 2/13/2017  

January Coastal Alabama Real Estate Off To A Robust Start

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

Sales dollars decreased 27% in January to $113,455,164 from December $155,649,713. This is up 24% from last year’s record level of $91,143,759. (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. Still, inventory remains high, but improving, for anything over $500,000. Note that price ranges in inventories over a year are fewer, for instance, the price ranges of $600,000-$800,000 are at just 10-11 months, with the $500,000-$600,000 at 13 months. Amazingly, the over $900,000 category is now at 27 months with 158 active and 6 sold this month.

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 expected projected home sales in 2016 of 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Full year actual sales are 8% above expectations. 5571 sales were recorded for the year which is 432 more than projected and 341 more than 2015.  New projections for 2017 will be out once all the January results are available statewide.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 116 at 444 this month vs. last month at 560, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 380. Used Home sales decreased to 361 this month vs. 458 last month, which is up from last year’s 321 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 83 this month vs 102 last month and compared with 59 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 136 from 132 in December. Used homes New listings increased to 759 from 347 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 2,688 Active Used homes, a reduction from 2,995 in December and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in January 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 597.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 6 months of inventory in January vs. 7 in December. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 6 months of inventory in January vs. 6 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 6 months this January. 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 decreased to  $244,689 from $268,115 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices were off this month, to $258,022 from $280,135 in December. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in January was 201 vs last month of 183. Days On Market for Used was 158 vs. last month 156. In my opinion, the results point to a strong upcoming year.        
TWB 2/13/2017

Birmingham Area Real Estate Sales in November Up 30% Over Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for November 2016

November saw a continuation of the pick up in dollar and unit sales over last year. Prices seem to be modestly increasing. Total dollar sales for November were $269,219,038 up 30% from $205,886,919 last year, and down 6% from last month at $287,629,774.

Total Unit sales were off 10% at 1,283 in November from 1,428 in October, a decrease of 145. This is up by 22% and 231 from last November at 1,052. New sales were up to 164 homes this month, and 257 in October, and up by 43 from 121 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 1,119 homes in November, off 12% from 1,271 last month, a decrease of 152, and up by 188 units  from 931 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.  October overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 9% year to date; that is actuals are running ahead of projections (through October).

Housing permits for October are a bit less than last year. For Jefferson County, in October there were 66 permits compared with 101 last year. Shelby County was somewhat higher than last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 8,654 vs. last month at 8,851 and less than 9,740 last year. It is curious that we don’t seem to be seeing the more normal seasonal reduction of inventory which has been remarkably stable since the beginning of the year without the normal uptick we usually see in the summer either (Sect C p.1). I’d guess that it is an indication of market equilibrium, as the months of inventory have stabilized at about the 6 month level. Active New listings decreased to 1,101 in November from 1,158 in October (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 November shows 6 months, which is less than the 7 last year. Used Active listings at 7,553 are down from last month of 7,693, and quite a bit less than 8,725 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 except in the over $900,000 category, which has 9 months of inventory (44 homes), with 4 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 of inventory, including Homewood which has 3 months of inventory.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 209 compared with last month at 201. The Used homes DOM was 122 in November vs 112 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $299,783 from $313,521 last month (Sect A p2), over a several month period though prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used was $196,653 this month compared to $187,574 last month. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.
TWB 12/9/2016          

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

Birmingham September Residential Sales Healthy

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for September 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. Inventories are not decreasing as is more normal for this time of year, something I’ve just noticed but have no idea of what it might portend. Prices seem to be increasing. Total dollar sales for September were $325,746,199 up 8% from $300,969,446 last year, and down 10% from last month at $362,170,910.

Total Unit sales were off 16% to 1,514 in September from 1,799 in August, a decrease of 285. This is down  by 2% and 33 from last September at 1,547. New sales were up to the highest level in over a year at 227 homes this month, and 156 in August, and up by 43 from 184 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 1,287 homes in September, off 22% from 1,643 last month, a decrease of 356,  and off by 76 units  from 1,363 last year (Sect E p.3). Expect late sales reports to 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.  August overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 9% year to date; that is actuals are running ahead of projections (through August).

Housing permits for August are a bit less than last year. For Jefferson County, in August there were 80 permits compared with 130 last year. Shelby County was somewhat higher than last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 9,138 vs. last month at 9,246 and less than 10,107 last year. As mentioned above, it is curious that we don’t seem to be seeing the more normal seasonal reduction of inventory which has been remarkably stable since the beginning of the year without the normal uptick we usually see in the summer either (Sect C p.1). I’d guess that it is an indication of market equilibrium, as the months of inventory have stabilized at about the 6 month level. Active New listings decreased to 1,072 in September from 1,118 in August (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 September shows 6 months, which is less than the 7 last year. Used Active listings at 8,066 are up from last month of 8,128, and quite a bit less than 9,207 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 11 months of inventory (54 homes), with 6 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 190 compared with last month at 208. The Used homes DOM was 109 in September vs 111 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $288,460 from $318,558 last month (Sect A p2), over a several month period though prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used was $215,156 this month compared to $201,318 last month. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.
TWB 10/12/2016

September Yet Another Record Sales Month On The Alabama Coast

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

Sales dollars decreased 18% in September to $140,078,483 from August $171,124,577. This is up 12% from September last year’s record level of $124,652,462. (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.

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 September actual sales are 6% above expectations. 233 more units were sold through September than the 3,981 projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 63 at 566 this month vs. last month at 629, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 545. Used Home sales decreased to 469 this month vs. 528 last month, which is up from last year’s 463 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 97 this month vs 101 last month and compared with 82 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 119 from 143 in August. Used homes New listings decreased to 588 from 778 in August 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 September, there were 3,127 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,728 in August and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in September 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 576.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in September vs. 8 in August. The Absorption rate for Used homes was also 7 months of inventory in September vs. 8 in August. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in August 2008 to 7 months this September. 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. 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 decreased to  $235,747 from $253,920 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $249,917 from $275,528 in August. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in September was 159 vs last month of 161. Days On Market for Used was 158 the same as last month 158.

It seems to be shaping up as a strong fall season.

TWB 10/12/2016

August Birmingham Real Estate Sales At A High Level

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for August 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, and about 100 units of additional sales were recorded for July after our last monthly report. Inventories are down, and prices seem to be increasing. Total dollar sales for August were $349,754,613 up 17% from $298,493,234 last year, and down 5% from last month at $368,690,930.

Total Unit sales were up 1% to 1,724 in August from 1,708 in July, an increase of 16. This is up by 13% and 199 from last August at 1,525. New sales were off at 150 homes this month, and 192 in July, and off by 22 from 172 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 1,574 homes in August, up 4% from 1,516 last month, an increase of 58,  up by 221 units  from 1,353 last year (Sect E p.3). Expect late sales reports to 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 overperformed 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 July are about the same as last year. For Jefferson County, in July there were 129 permits compared with 130 last year. Shelby County was slightly off from last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 9,489 vs. last month at 9,433 and less than 10,524 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1,080 in August from 1,140 in July (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 August shows 6 months, which is less than the 8 last year. Used Active listings at 8,409 are up from last month of 8,293, and quite a bit less than 9,436 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 12 months of inventory (54 homes), with 6 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 208 compared with last month at 241. The Used homes DOM was 111 in August vs 113 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $320,868 from $337,315 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used was $191,624 this month compared to $200,479 last month. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.
TWB 9/10/2016