Category Archives: real estate

November Alabama Coastal Real Estate Sales Slow Slightly

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

Sales dollars decreased 24% in November to $90,943,509 from October $120,159,190. This is 5% under November last year at $95,902,473. (Sect A p.2). This is the 1st month in the last year that sales dollars are slightly lower than the last year. I imagine that late sales reported next month will raise the total above last year’s numbers. Nonetheless, the month was slower than expected. The 12 month moving average line of sales, which had continued to point up steadily for three years, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt. The 12 month average is close to the record levels achieved in 2006 with more homes sold, but at lower average prices. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are trending down.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement. Inventories are improving, but remain high at over a year for anything over $500,000. This month the $400,000-$500,000 inventory dipped to 10 months.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2015. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2015 located here expected a unit increase of 17% over 2014 actual. Through October cumulative sales are running 8% ahead of the projection. For the month of October sales were 5% above the projection.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 19% at 388 this month vs. last month at 481, which is 10% below last year’s healthy level of 429. There is still substantial inventory (used) available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales decreased 17% to 345 this month vs. 414 last month, which is off 6% from last year’s 368 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 43 this month vs 67 last month and compared with 61 last year.

New listings for New homes increased to 133 from 117 in October. Used homes New listings decreased to 518 from 640 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 once again been improving. In November, there were 3,261 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,755 in October and a new multi year low level. The New home market, which peaked in November 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 508.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in November vs. 7 in October. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory in November vs. 8 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 7 months this November. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $500,000 at over a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I would expect to see construction begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, but so far have not seen it.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to  $227,591 from $293,618 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $235,238 from $242,722 in October. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in November was 170 vs last month of 177. Days On Market for Used was 149 compared to last month 143.

TWB 12/13/2015

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Continues To Outperform In October

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

Sales dollars decreased 4% in October to $119,516,690 from September $124,233,462. This is 5% better than October last year at $113,643,200 and the highest September sales total on record. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, which had continued to point up steadily for three years, except for the last part of last year and the first few months of this year, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt. The 12 month average is close to the record levels achieved in 2006 with more homes sold, but at lower average prices. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are trending down.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement. Inventories are improving, but remain high at over a year for anything over $500,000. This month the $400,000-$500,000 inventory dipped to 11 months.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2015. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2015 located here expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual. Through October cumulative sales are running 8% ahead of the projection. For the month of October sales were 5% above the projection.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 12% at 478 this month vs. last month at 543, which is 2% below last year’s healthy level of 487. There is still substantial inventory (used) available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales decreased 11% to 411 this month vs. 461 last month, which is off 6% from last year’s 438 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 67 this month vs 82 last month and compared with 49 last year.

New listings for New homes decreased to 102 from 112 in September. Used homes New listings decreased to 652 from 699 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 3,443 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,018 in September. The New home market, which peaked in October 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 479.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in October vs. 8 in September. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory in October vs. 9 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 September 2008 to 8 months this October. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $500,000 at over a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I would expect to see construction begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, but so far have not seen it.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices increased to  $293,618 from $245,318 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $242,930 from $225,851 in September. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in October was 177 vs last month of 164. Days On Market for Used was 143 compared to last month 147.
TWB 11/17/2015

September Birmingham Area Real Estate Sales Healthy

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for September 2015

In June the Birmingham MLS changed its base system. We have recoded the data to be consistent. Let me know if you see anything strange!

Dollar sales in September experienced a seasonal decline of 4% to $281,294,140 from August $294,134,174, off by 3% over last September’s of $290,074,074. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales has flattened. It seems to me that there has been a somewhat larger number of late reported sales which means that prior month totals are higher than what we showed last month by larger amounts than has historically been the case. It is important to view overall trend and not get hung up on the precision of the latest month’s number.

Total Unit sales were down 3% to 1,451 in September from 1,497 in August, a decrease of 46. This is even  with last September at 1455. New sales were even at 167 homes this month and 168 in August and off from 178 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,284 homes in September, down 3% from 1,329 last month, a decrease of 45, and up by 70 units or .6% from 1,277 last year (Sect E p.3).

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our 2015 forecast which can be seen here: ACRE. For August, the latest available: August sales were 8%  or 62 unit below our forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through August projected 9,211 closed transactions while the actual sales were 9,265 units, a cumulative variance of .6%.

Total inventory is about even this month at 10,216 vs. last month at 10,288 and about even with 10,162 last year. Active New listings decreased to 936 in September from 1,015 in August (Sect E p.3).

Housing permits were off in Jefferson County to 90 in August from 130 in July, which is up from 58 last year. Shelby County went from 65 to 28 in August, off from 31 last year. We are seeing a more significant number of multi-family construction units (which we do not formally track or report), in most markets. I am pleased to see increases in new home building.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month, which is even with 6 months last year. (Sect E p.3). The New homes for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-7 month range depending on area and price range. The $800,000-$900,000 range has 33 months of supply, however (Sect C p.1).

Absorption for Used homes in September shows 8 months which is about even with last year. Used Active listings at 9,021 are even with last month at 9,201 and about the same as 9,157 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has between 1 and 9 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 10 months of inventory (46 homes), with 2 sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 214. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood and Fultondale.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 185 compared with last month at 173. The Used homes DOM was 120 in September vs 113 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $308,505 from $298,566 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes decreased to $178,952 from $183,578 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).
TWB 10/10/2015

September Alabama Coastal Sales Set Another Record

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

Sales dollars decreased 1% in September to $123,571,562 from August $125,052,102. This is 21% better than September last year at $102,211,278 and the highest September Sales total on record. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales which had continued to point up steadily for three years, except for the last part of last year and the first few months of this year, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories continue trending down.

Sales in most price categories have been showing consistent improvement. Inventories are improving but remain high at over a year for anything over $400,000.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2015. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2015 located here expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual. Through September cumulative sales are running 9% ahead of the projection. For the month of September sales were 15% above the projection.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 3% at 540 this month vs. last month at 555, which is 15% above last year’s healthy level of 468. The higher dollar gains over unit increases indicate an improving environment for higher priced properties. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales decreased 6% to 459 this month vs. 487 last month, which is up 13% from last year’s 406 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 81 this month vs 68 last month and compared with 62 last year.

New listings for New homes decreased to 102 from 112 in August. Used homes New listings decreased to 652 from 699 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 once again been improving. In September, there were 3,993 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,541 in August. The New home market, which peaked in September 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 471.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in September vs. 8 in August. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory in September vs. 9 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 8 months this September. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $400,000 at over a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I would expect to see construction begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, but so far have not seen it.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to  $246,373 from $272,307 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $225,742 from $218,758 in August. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in September was 164 vs last month of 172. Days On Market for Used was 147 compared to last month 172.

TWB 10/10/2015

Birmingham Area Real Estate Sales Slower in August

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for August 2015

In June the Birmingham MLS changed its base system. We have recoded the data to be consistent. Let me know if you see anything strange!

Dollar sales in August experienced a seasonal decline of 22% to $282,283,392 from July’s $360,310,522, off by 5% over last August’s of $297,202,353. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales has flattened. It seems to me that there has been a somewhat larger number of late reported sales which means that prior month totals are higher than what we showed last month by larger amounts than has historically been the case. It is important to view overall trend and not get hung up on the precision of the latest month’s number.

Total Unit sales were down 18% to 1,434 in August from 1,748 in July, a decrease of 314. This is off 4% from last August at 1511. New sales were even at 160 homes this month and July and up from 150 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,274 homes in August, down 20% from 1,588 last month, a decrease of 314, and off by 87 units or 6% from 1,445 last year (Sect E p.3).

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our 2015 forecast which can be seen here: ACRE. For August, the latest available: August sales were 8%  or 62 unit below our forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through August projected 9,211 closed transactions while the actual sales were 9,265 units, a cumulative variance of .6%.

Total inventory is about even this month at 10,216 vs. last month at 10,288 and about even with 10,162 last year. Active New listings decreased to 936 in August from 1,015 in July (Sect E p.3).

Housing permits were up in Jefferson County to 130 in July from 109 in June, which is up from 101 last year. Shelby County went from 38 to 65 in July, up from 42 last year. We are seeing a more significant number of multi-family construction units (which we do not formally track or report), in most markets. I am pleased to see increases in new home building.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month, which is even with 6 months last year. (Sect E p.3). The New homes for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-7 month range depending on area and price range. The $800,000-$900,000 range has 22 months of supply, however (Sect C p.1).

Absorption for Used homes in August shows 8 months which is about even with 9 months last year. Used Active listings at 9,280 are even with last month at 9,273 and about the same as 9,291 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has between 3 and 9 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 10 months of inventory (46 homes), with 2 sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 388. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood and Fultondale.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 173 compared with last month at 194. The Used homes DOM was 113 in August vs 117 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $302,850 from $294,625 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes decreased to $183,538 from $197,211 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).
TWB 9/11/2015  

Birmingham Residential Real Estate Sales Strong in May

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for May 2015

Dollar sales in May experienced a seasonal improvement of 6% to $323,274,789 from April’s $305,091,148, up by 12% over last May’s of $289,612,036. The increase over last year confirms a strong spring season. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is continuing to show a very steady upward trend indicating consistent growth.

Total Unit sales were up 3% to 1,551 in May from 1,505 in April, an increase of 46. This is up 4% from last May at 1495. The larger rise in dollar sales than unit sales indicates improving pricing, and suggests the lower inventory levels are making it more of a seller’s market. New sales decreased by 3 units to 140 homes this month from 143 in April and off from 134 last year. The price pressure and low inventory levels of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,411 homes in May, up 4% from 1,362 last month, an increase of 49, and up by 4% or 50 units from 1,361 last year (Sect E p.3).

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. With ACRE, we released our 2015 forecast which can be seen here. ACRE reported: “Forecast: May sales were .8 percent or 1 unit above of our monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through May projected 5,282 closed transactions while the actual sales were 5,260 units, a cumulative variance of .4 percent.” I also expect to see a healthy increase in new construction, which has been quite modest so far..

Total inventory is 1% lower at 10,338 vs. last month at 10,420 and 1% more than the 10,274 last year. Active New listings decreased to 937 in May from 1,274 in April, a decline of 337 units (Sect E p.3).  

Housing permits were down in Jefferson County to 117 in April from 125 in February, which is down from 119 last year. Shelby County went from 50 to 52 in April, up from 45 last year. I expect this pace to pick-up. We are seeing a more significant number of multi-family construction units (which we do not formally track or report) in most markets.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6.6 months supply this month, which is up slightly from 6.0 months 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 1-7 month range depending on area and price range. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in May shows 8 months which is even with 8 months last year. Used Active listings at 9,401 are up slightly from last month at 9,146 but lower than the 9,462 last year (Sect E p.3). Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about 6 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 9 months of inventory (50 homes), with 7 sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 76. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood and Centerpoint.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 194 compared with last month at 198. The Used homes DOM was 114 in May vs 122 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $287,643 from $314,478 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $200,570 from $190,984 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2). 

TWB 6/11/2015

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Market Vigorous in May

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

Sales dollars increased 5% in May to $155,371,956 from April $147,326,266. This is 14% better than May last year at $136,834,816. (Sect A p.2).  The 12 month moving average line of sales which had continued to point up steadily for three years, except for the last part of last year and the first few months of this year, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt due to the record setting last three months gains. Last year was the best sales year since 2005 and the last three months has been substantially above that level. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories continue trending down.

The most notable increases in sales were in the over $900,000 range, going from 12 sales last month to 16 this month.  Interesting however there was only one new home sold over $500,000, and used inventory over $400,000 remain over a year. Essentially, the market has improved on the very high end and the lower end; the middle, not so much.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, has projected expectations for 2015. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. While the projection last year was not very accurate, I believe that this year will be much better as we now have more ”normal “data not distorted by the oil spill and weather. The projection for 2015 located here expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual. Through May cumulative sales are running 7% ahead of the projection. For the month of May sales were 3% ahead of the projection.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 2% to 595 this month vs. last month at 581, which is 5% above  last year’s healthy level of 565. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales decreased 1% to 510 this month vs. 517 last month, which is up 5% from last year’s 487 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 85 this month vs 64 last month and compared with 77 last year.

New listings for New homes decreased to 107 from 115 in April. Used homes New listings decreased to 825 from 857 in April 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 May, there were 3,647 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,174 in April. The New home market, which peaked in May 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 452.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in May vs. 9 in April. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory in May vs. 9 in April. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in April 2008 to 7 months this May. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $400,000 at over a year’s supply. Even here we are seeing improvement, which may set the stage for acceleration in new construction.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to  $248,695 from $253,059 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $263,202 from $253,637 in April. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in May was 236 vs last month of 213. Days On Market for Used was 169 compared to last month 152.

TWB 6/14/2015