Category Archives: real estate

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

Alabama Coastal March Sales Reach Record Levels

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

Mar17BALDWINSales dollars increased a remarkable 82% in March to $205,223,539 from February $112,736,967. This is up 49% from last year’s record of $137,834,831. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, has been heading up substantially. When I saw the outstanding results I immediately went to look for problems in the data. The increase was, however, across a number of areas and price ranges and I found no obvious problems.

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 $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 expected projected home sales in 2017 of 6,276, which is a 12.65% difference from 2016 actual of  5,571. This year through March actual sales are 4% above expectations. 1,415 sales were recorded so far this year which is ahead of the projection of 1,359.  

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up at 763 this month vs. last month at 438, which is well above 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 592 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 150 this month vs 77 last month and compared with 105 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 185 from 184 in February. Used homes New listings decreased to 874 from 720 in February 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 March, there were 2,719 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,309 in February and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in March 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 697.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in March vs. 9 in February. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 6 months of inventory in March vs. 7 in February. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in February 2008 to 6 months this March. I had 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 decreased to  $247,000 from $268,697 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices were up this month, to $274,345 from $254,979 in February. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in March was 176 vs last month of 196. Days On Market for Used was 144 vs. last month 162. With this very impressive month, it will be interesting to see if the momentum continues through the peak summer selling season.
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

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          

Birmingham Residential Sales Healthy in October

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for October 2016

October saw a continuation of the pick up in dollar and unit sales over last year. Prices seem to be increasing. Total dollar sales for October were $280,111,936 up 13% from $247,969,228 last year, and down 17% from last month at $337,315,042.

Total Unit sales were off 12% to 1,383 in October from 1,577 in September, a decrease of 194. This is up  by 6% and 76 from last October at 1,307. New sales were down to 148 homes this month, and 235 in September, and up by 34 from 114 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 1,235 homes in October, off 8% from 1,342 last month, a decrease of 107, and up by 42 units  from 1,193 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.  September overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 9% year to date; that is actuals are running ahead of projections (through September).

Housing permits for September are a bit less than last year. For Jefferson County, in September there were 90 permits compared with 83 last year. Shelby County was somewhat lower than last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 8,865 vs. last month at 8,948 and less than 9,955 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 1,102 in October from 1,127 in September (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 October shows 6 months, which is less than the 7 last year. Used Active listings at 7,763 are down from last month of 7,825, and quite a bit less than 8,908 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 (46 homes), with 7 sold in that price range last month. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood which has 3 months of inventory.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 201 compared with last month at 190. The Used homes DOM was 112 in October vs 109 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $316,624 from $286,455 last month (Sect A p2), over a several month period though prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used was $188,868 this month compared to $201,192 last month. (Sect A p2).

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

TWB 11/12/2016

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