Category Archives: real estate

Spring Real Estate Market Getting Stronger in Birmingham -March

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for March 2014

As expected, March was stronger than February. Dollar sales in March improved by 31% to $220,515,718 from February’s $167,857,300, up by 10% from last March’s $201,048,652. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales continues to move up indicating improving market conditions.  It seems that the slow start for the year due to weather is behind us, and we are seeing more normal results. Across all indicators, sales levels, average prices and inventory levels it appears that the market has regained “normalcy” as distinguished from the crisis atmosphere of last few years.

Unit sales were up 26% at 1229 in March from 970 in February, an increase of 259. This is up 4% from last March at 1180. The greater percentage increase in dollars than units indicates an increase in average prices.

This year we are using the ACRE data and results for forecasting, which are derived in a slightly different method than this report. The time frame for the reports is now in the control of ACRE. Overall for the Birmingham market (based on the ACRE data), we expect unit sales for 2014 to be up by 8.2% over 2013. We therefore still expect some further market improvement.

New sales improved by 31 units to 146 homes this month from 115 in February and up from 125 last year. Used sales improved 27% to 1,083 homes in March from 855 last month, an increase of 228, and up by 28 units from 1,055 last year(Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is 5% lower at 8,607 vs. last month at 9,041 and 9,741 last year. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market. We are seeing a seasonal downtick in inventory which is slightly lower than prior years. Active New listings decreased to 725 in March from 1,009 in February (the highest level since September 2011), a decline of 284 units (Sect E p.3).  Housing permits were up considerably in Jefferson County to 101 in February from 65 in January. Shelby County went from 5 to 30 in February. This is indicating considerable builder optimism.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month which is two months better than last year at this time. Last month though, shows 7 months of supply (Sect E p.3). The New homes for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-7 month range. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in March shows 8 months, two months better than 9 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,343 are lower than the 9,147 last year (Sect E p.3). The market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about three months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 9 months of inventory (34 homes) with three sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 447.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 231, compared with 220 last month. The Used homes DOM was 137 in March, compared with 149 last month (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $281,110 from $275,740 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $165,719 from $159,237 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all Homes has been up steadily for the last year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 4/12/2014

Huntsville Real Estate Off To A Slow Spring Start – March

Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS Observations: Real Estate Market March 2014

March sales improved by 18% to $119,454,774 vs. February at $101,343,374. This was off 3% from last year’s $122,589,755. This is a lesser year to year decline than we saw last month hopefully pointing to more positive comparisons as the season progresses to the stronger months. The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart has turned slightly down. Total unit sales improved  11% to 740 in March vs. 667 in February, an increase of 73. This was 7% lower than last year at 797.

The way  ACRE and Brander Real Estate projections for 2014 are compiled has changed. This year we are using the ACRE data which differs slightly from the data in this report. I am now dependent on ACRE for the timing of data availability (for the projections only) and report release. Our projections for the Huntsville market for 2014 are for an increase of 0.9% over the 2013 level, essentially flat with 2013.

New sales increased to 130 this month vs. 117 last month, up 13 and compared with 145 last year.

Used sales increased to 610 this month vs. 550 last month, up 60, and compared with 652 last year (Sect E  p.3).

Inventory levels remain stubbornly high. Used inventory levels remain high this monthat11 months (see the chart Sect C p.1), with the situation continuing to be particularly challenged in the higher price ranges. Used homes over $500,000 have more than two years of inventory. New home absorption is 8 months of inventory overall, and this has been climbing, 10 months last month. (E-1). The New Home inventory level in the $300,000-$500,000 is approximately 5-6 months (Not bad!).

February housing permits issued were 66 compared with 40 in January (chart on the web site).

Total Active listings decreased this month to 8,444 compared to last month’s 8,572, and lower than last year at this time at 8,981, with the reduction in the current month exaggerated due to month-end expirations. (Sect A p.4 and Sect E p.3).  Active New listings decreased to 1,172 this month from 1,435 in February, down 263. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased to 7,272 this month from 7,317 in February, down 45 and slightly below last year’s amount at this time of 7,487. (Sect E p.3).

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 179 vs. 206 days last month, with Used at 163 in March compared with 175 in February (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes was $245,360 vs. $237,398 last month. (Sect A p.2) Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $143,540 vs. $133,760 last month. (Sect A p.2) The average price line for Used homes is headed modestly down. The New home average price seems to be showing positive direction.

TWB 4/12/14

North Alabama/Huntsville Real Estate Market Off to a Slow Start in February

Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS Observations: Real Estate Market February 2014

February sales improved by 13% to $94,049,657 vs. January at $83,222,776. This was off 15%
from last year’s $110,841,443. This is a bigger year to year decline than we saw last month.
The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart has turned slightly down. This month’s results were again somewhat lower than expectations. Hopefully, sales will improve with the upcoming spring season.

Total unit sales improved 9% to 621 in February vs. 568 in January, a increase of 53. This was 11% lower than last year at 698. I expect that sales should return to more normal levels as the weather improves.

I have changed the way ACRE and Brander Real Estate projections for 2014 are compiled. This year we are using the ACRE data which differs slightly from the data in this report. I am now dependent on ACRE for the timing of data availability (for the projections only) and report release. Our projections for the Huntsville market for 2014 are for an increase of 0.9% over the 2013 level, essentially flat with 2013.

New sales increased to 90 this month vs. 83 last month, up 7 and compared with 150 last year. Used sales increased to 531 this month vs. 485 last month, up 46, and compared with 548 last year (Sect E p.3). Inventory levels remain stubbornly high.

Used inventory levels remain high this month at 10 months (see the chart Sect C p.1), with the situation continuing to be particularly challenged in the higher price ranges. Used homes over $500,000 have more than two years of inventory. New home absorption is 9 months of inventory overall, and this has been climbing (E­1). The New Home inventory level in the $300,000­-$500,000 is approximately 5­-6 months (Not bad!).

January housing permits issued were 66 compared with 40 in December (chart on the web site).

Total Active listings decreased this month to 8,251 compared to last month’s 8,667, and about even with last year at this time at 8,586, with the reduction in the current month exaggerated due to month­ end expirations. (Sect A p.4 and Sect E p.3). Active New listings decreased to 1,228 this month from 1,510 in January, down 282. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased to 7,023 this month from 7,157 in January, down 134 and slightly below last year’s amount at this time of 7,185. (Sect E p.3).

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 206 vs. 174 days last month, with Used at 175 in February compared with 150 in January (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes was $249,100 vs. $235,258 last month. (Sect A p.2) Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $134,898 vs. $131,333 last month. (Sect A p.2) The average price line for Used homes is headed modestly down. The New home average price seems to be showing positive direction.

TWB 3/9/14

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

January Coastal Alabama Real Estate Starts Off 37% Above Last Year

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of January 2014

Sales dollars declined 35% in January to $83,950,531 from an unusually strong December of $129,540,336. This is 37% above January last year at $60,984,028. (Sect A p.2). This is a good showing for January and the normally slower winter season. The 12 month moving average line of sales has continued to point up steadily for three years now. Inventories are trending down.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 31% at 314 this month vs. last month at 455, which is up 2% from last year’s 309. In spite of the substantially improved sales climate, it is important to point out that the inventory of homes over $400,000 while improving from really bad levels, remains at over a 12 month supply.This suggests that even with the large projections outlined above sufficient inventory is available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales declined 17% to 284 this month vs. 343 last month, which is even with last year’s 284 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 30 this month vs 112 last month compared with 25 last year. Increasing year over year sales of New Homes continues to point to a recovering market.

New listings for New homes decreased to 60 from 105 in December. Used homes New listings increased to 762 from 420 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 once again been improving. In January, there were 3,285 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,465 in December. The New home market, which peaked in January 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 388.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 8 months of inventory in January vs. 9 in December. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory for January vs. 9 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 January 2008 to 7 months this January. As I observe above though, the inventory of homes in higher price ranges remains high.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to  $306,058 from $457,298 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $263,270 from $228,347 in December. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in January was 179 this month vs. 179 last month. Days On Market for Used was 127 this month vs. 162 last month.

TWB 2/9/2014

Birmingham November Home Sales Up 1% over 2012

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for November 2013

Birmingham Nov Projection to Actual

Birmingham Nov Projection to Actual

Dollar sales in November declined by an expected seasonal 12% to $182,673,229 from October’s $206,744,372, up slightly  by 1% from last November’s $181,012,718. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales continues to move up indicating continued improving market conditions. This is reasonable performance in the winter sales season. Early projections for next year are encouraging; sorry I can’t be more specific yet.

Unit sales were off 16% to 995 in November from 1,181 in October, a decrease of 186. This is off 6% from November 2012 at 1,059.This number will increase as late sales are reported. Our ABRE/ACRE Projections for 2013 projected 1,070 sales for November. For November, actual sales for the month were 7% worse than projections and 1% higher than year to date. Please see here for a summary of the projections http://goo.gl/nytW8 and the spreadsheet with details and month by month projections by area http://goo.gl/GEYWa (see the tabs on the bottom). New sales decreased by 27 units to 118 homes this month from 145 in October and are off by 12 from 130 last year. Used sales declined 15% to 877 homes in November from 1,036 last month, a decrease of 159, and up by 52 units from 929 last year(Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is 8% lower than last month at 9,195 vs. 9,951 last year and 10,168 last month. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market shortly. We are seeing a seasonal downtick in inventory and it is slightly lower than prior years, although New home inventories are beginning to look a bit high. Active New listings decreased to 804 in November from 1,072 in October, a decline of 268 units (Sect E p.3).  Housing permits were up in Jefferson County to 122 in October from 86 in September and up from 77 in the year ago period. Shelby County went from 16 to 28 in October. Note that the census dept has caught up to October from the shutdown.

Absorption rate for New homes is edging up. New homes are at 6 months supply this month which is one month better than 7 last year at this time. Last month though, shows 8 months of supply (Sect E p.3). The New homes for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-7 month range. The  $700,000- $800,000 new inventory is at 14 months (7 homes). (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in November shows 8 months,one month better than 9 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,385 are lower than the 9,083 last year (Sect E p.3). The number of homes listed in the over $600,000 price range has been climbing somewhat faster than sales, resulting in some upward drift in the months of sales (generally over a year). The market performance is highly area specific, so check the area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about three months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category which has 8 months of inventory (29 homes) with four sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 240 indicating a some older listings are moving.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 213 compared to last month at 170. The Used homes DOM was 135 in November, compared with 135 last month (Sect A p.18). NOTE: DOM for Used homes indicates that well priced homes are moving in about 4  months.

Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $271,066 from $281,859 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $171,822 from $160,111 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for Used Homes has been up steadily for the last year. The 12 month moving average line for New home prices has also been heading up quite nicely since the beginning of the year. Average Home prices, New and Used, are improving  (Sect A p2).

TWB 12/14/13

Huntsville November Residental Sales Slower Than Last Year

Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS Observations: Real Estate Market November 2013

Huntsville Nov Projection to Actual

Huntsville Nov Projection to Actual

November sales declined by 16% to $106,952,847 vs. October at $127,291,004. This was off 12% from last year’s $121,727,839. The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart is heading up. This month’s results were somewhat lower than expectations ( but, within 6%).

Total unit sales declined 13% to 691 in November vs. 796 in October, a decrease of 105. This was 4% lower than last year at 722.

Our projections for ACRE and Brander Real Estate for 2013 called for 734 sales in November with actual results 6% under that, and year to date volume is 1% lower than our projection. See here http://goo.gl/nytW8 for an article sumarizing the projections. Here is the spreadsheet with month by month projections by area http://goo.gl/GEYWa (see the tabs on the bottom). My preliminary work on next year’s projections is, as yet, indeterminate.

New sales increased to 120 this month vs. 143 last month, off 23.

Used sales decreased to 571 this month vs. 653 last month, off 82 (Sect E  p.3).

Inventory levels remain stubbornly high. Used inventory levels remain high this month at 11 months (see the chart Sect C p.1), with the situation continuing to be particularly challenged in the higher price ranges. Used homes over $400,000 have more than two years of inventory. Looking at the overall absorption chart (Sect C p1) it appears that used home inventories (in units) are approaching historical highs.

New home absorption is 9 months of inventory overall, and this has been climbing)(E-1). The New Home inventory level in the $300,000-$500,000 is approximately 5-6 months. (Not bad!).

August housing permits issued were 85 in October compared with 91 in September (chart on the web site). Note that the census dept has caught up from the shutdown.

Total Active listings decreased this month to 9,185 compared to last month’s 9,371, and above last year at this time at 8,437, with the reduction in the current month exaggerated due to month-end expirations. (Sect A p.4 and Sect E p.3).

Active New listings decreased to 1,359 this month from 1,543 in October, down 184. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased to 7,286 this month from 7,828 in October, down 542 and slightly above last year’s amount at this time of 7,167. (Sect E p.3).

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 157 vs. 155 days last month, with Used at 151 in November compared with 155 in October (Sect A p.18).

Average sales price for Sold New homes was $249,369 vs. $254,401 last month. (Sect A p.2)

Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $134,901 vs. $139,222 last month. (Sect A p.2)

The average price line for Used homes is going up. New home average prices seems to be showing positive direction as well.

TWB 12/14/13

Birmingham October Real Estate Sales Up 12% from last year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for October 2013

Dollar sales in October declined by an expected seasonal 13% to $204,249,088 from September’s $235,332,290, up nicely  by 12% from last October’s $181,933,504. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales continues to move up indicating continued improving market conditions. This is excellent performance in the fall sales season with no signs of weakness or slowdown.

Birmingham October Projection to Actual

Birmingham October Projection to Actual

Unit sales were off 6% to 1,157 in October from 1,231 in September, a decrease of 270. This is up 9% from October 2012 at 1,066.This number will increase as late sales are reported. Our ABRE/ACRE Projections for 2013 projected 1,095 sales for October. For October, actual sales for the month were 6% better than projections and 2% higher year to date. Please see here for a summary of the projections http://goo.gl/nytW8 and the spreadsheet with details and month by month projections by area http://goo.gl/GEYWa (see the tabs on the bottom). New sales decreased by 6 units to 142 homes this month from 148 in September and are up by 16 from 126 last year. Used sales declined 6% to 1,015 homes in October from 1,083 last month, a decrease of 68, and up by 75 units from 940 last year(Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is 8% lower than last month at 9,455 vs. 10,384 last year and 10,237 last month. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market shortly. While we are seeing a seasonal uptick in inventory it is still lower than prior years, although New home inventories are beginning to look a bit high. Active New listings decreased to 804 in October from 1,072 in September, a decline of 268 units (Sect E p.3).  Housing permits were down in Jefferson County to 69 in August from 101 in July. Shelby County went from 32 to 28 in August.

Absorption rate for New homes is edging up. New homes are at 6 months supply this month which is  three months better than 9 last year at this time. Last month though, shows 8 months of supply (Sect E p.3). The New homes for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 4-8 month range. The  $700,000- $800,000 new inventory is at 10 months (5 homes). (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in October shows 8 months, two months better than 10 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,651 are lower than the 9,486 last year (Sect E p.3). The number of homes listed in the over $600,000 price range has been climbing somewhat faster than sales, resulting in some upward drift in the months of sales (generally over a year). The market performance is highly area specific, so check the area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about four months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category which has 9 months of inventory (28 homes) with one sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 98 indicating an aggressive market for properly priced homes..

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 170 compared to last month at 200. The Used homes DOM was 135 in October, compared with 130 last month (Sect A p.18). NOTE: DOM for Used homes indicates that well priced homes are moving in about 4  months.

Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $283,004 from $288,372 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes decreased to $161,638 from $177,889 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for Used Homes has been up steadily for the last year. The 12 month moving average line for New home prices has also been heading up quite nicely since the beginning of the year. Average Home prices, New and Used, are improving  (Sect A p2).

TWB 11/16/13

Baldwin County Real Estate Sales Remain Strong in October

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of October 2013

Sales dollars declined 15% in October to $94,693,836 from September’s $111,182,489. This is 16% above October last year at $81,980,796. (Sect A p.2). This is a strong showing for October, the slower fall season. The 12 month moving average line of sales has continued to point up steadily for three years now. Inventories are slowly trending down.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were down 10% at 415 this month vs. last month at 459, which is up 16% from last year’s 359. In spite of the substantially improved sales climate, it is important to point out that the inventories of homes over $400,000 while improving from really bad levels, remain at over a 12 month supply.

Used Home sales declined 6% to 367 this month vs. 389 last month, which is up 13% from last year’s 326 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 48 this month vs 70 last month compared with 33 last year. Increasing year over year sales of New Homes is indicative of a recovering market.

New listings for New homes decreased to 82 from 94 in September. Used homes New listings decreased to 594 from 606 in September 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 October, there were 3,430 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,910 in September. The New home market, which peaked in October 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 416.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 9 months of inventory for October vs. 10 in September. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 9 months of inventory for October vs. 10 in September. 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 9 months this October. As I observe above though, the inventory of homes remains high.

Average sales price for all homes have been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to $357,428 from $357,864 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $211,273 from $221,419 in September. The price trend is up for the year.

Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in October was 117 this month vs. 161 last month. Days On Market for Used was 172 this month vs. 165 last month.

We see improvement in the second home market, which is needed for the coastal area to gain strength. While there is still a lot of inventory particularly in the upper price ranges, sales are continuing to improve. The situation on the coast remains quite positive.

TWB 11/16/2013

September Birmingham Area Sales, Start Of A Strong Fall Season

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for September 2013

Birmingham September Projection to Acutal

Birmingham September Projection to Acutal

Dollar sales in September declined by an expected seasonal 16% to $230,124,972 from August’s $274,097,612, up nicely  by 24% from last September’s $186,242,556. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales continues to move up indicating continued improving market conditions. This is good performance as the fall sales season begins.

Unit sales were off 2% to 1,200 in September from 1,470 in August, a decrease of 270. This is up 11% from September 2012 at 1,079.This number will increase as late sales are reported. Our ABRE/ACRE Projections for 2013 projected 1,251 sales for September. For September, actual sales for the month were 4% lower than projections and 0.8% higher year to date. Please see here for a summary of the projections http://goo.gl/nytW8 and the spreadsheet with details and month by month projections by area http://goo.gl/GEYWa (see the tabs on the bottom). New sales increased by 2 units to 143 homes this month from 141 in August and are up by 8 from 148 last year. Used sales declined 20% to 1,057 homes in September from 1,329 last month, a decrease of 271, and up by 111 units from 946 last year(Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is 5% lower than last month at 9,694 vs. 10,215 last year and 10,520 last month. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market shortly. While we are seeing a seasonal uptick in inventory it is still lower than prior years, although New home inventories are beginning to look a bit high. Active New listings decreased to 825 in September from 1,122 in August, a decline of 297 units (Sect E p.3).  Housing permits were not available due to the government shutdown (insert the political comment of your choice here).

Absorption rate for New homes is edging up. New homes are at 6 months supply this month which is  one month better than 7 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 4-8 month range. The $400,000- $500,000 is at 9 months (66 homes) and  $700,000- $800,000 new inventory is at 12 months (6 homes). (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in September shows 8 months, two months better than 10 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,759 are lower than the 9,832 last year (Sect E p.3). The number of homes listed in the over $600,000 price range has been climbing somewhat faster than sales, resulting in some upward drift in the months of sales (generally over a year). The market performance is highly area specific, so check the area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about four months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category which has 10 months of inventory(35 homes) . The average days on market for that category is 106 indicating an aggressive market for properly priced homes..

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 200 compared to last month at 238.This indicates that some of the older stock of new homes are selling. The Used homes DOM was 130 in September, compared with 126 last month (Sect A p.18). NOTE: DOM for Used homes indicates that well priced homes are moving in about 4  months.

Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $289,138 from $293,052 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $178,589 from $175,152 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for Used Homes has been up steadily for the last year. The 12 month moving average line for New home prices has also been heading up quite nicely since the beginning of the year. Average Home prices, New and Used, are improving  (Sect A p2).

TWB 10/14/13