Category Archives: real estate

June Birmingham Residential Real Estate Market Robust

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for June 2016

This year seems to be unfolding almost identically to last as far as sales levels go. Inventories are down, and prices seem to be level with last year as well.This report has corrected the historical data for last month. Total dollar sales for June were $396,590,711 up 3% from $386,637,588 last year, and down slightly (.3%) from last month at $397,646,781.

Total Unit sales were off 9% to 1,706 in June from 1,884 in May, a decrease of 178. This is off by 80 from last June at 1,786. New sales were off at 155 homes this month, and 169 in May, and off by 35 from 190 last year. The low inventory levels of new homes suggest a good environment for builders, even with prices trending steady. Used sales were 1,551 homes in June, off 10% from 1,715 last month, a decrease of 164, and off by 45 units  from 1,596 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.  May overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 8.6% year to date, that is, actuals are running ahead of projections (through May).

Housing permits, the census bureau section, that supplies this data has been restored. Based on the new data, housing permits are up modestly, as I would expect. For Jefferson County, in May there were 123 permits compared with 108 last year. Similarly, Shelby County has been running about double last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 9,818 vs. last month at 9,400 and less than 10,617 last year. Active New listings increased to 1,154 in June from 1,052 in May (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 4-6 month range depending on area and price range. However, the $700,000-$800,000 range has 13 months of supply (94 houses) (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 June shows 7 months, which is less than the 8 last year. Used Active listings at 8,764 are up from last month of 8,284, and quite a bit less than 9,588 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 16 months of inventory (61 homes), with 10 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 205 compared with last month at 203. The Used homes DOM was 110 in June vs 111 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $304,770 from $299,472 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be increasing slowly compared to last year. Average sales price for Sold Used were $225,243 this month compared to $202,353 last year. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market looks quite healthy.
TWB 7/9/2016

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Sales Continue To Set New Records

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

Sales dollars increased a better than expected 4% in June to a new record high of $172,625,514 from May $166,243,265. This is 5% better than June last year at $164,150,466. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause of three months, appears to be resuming its upward trend. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down very consistently. But, in spite of reducing inventories and generally healthy sales levels, average prices look fairly flat.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement. Inventories are also improving. 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 May actual sales are 1% above expectations. 26 more units were sold year to date than projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up at 649 this month vs. last month at 651, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 646. Used Home sales decreased 4% to 533 this month vs. 553 last month, which is off 6% from last year’s 565 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 116 this month vs 98 last month and compared with 81 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 144 from 170 in May. Used homes New listings declined to 733 from 803 in May 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 June, there were 3,249 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,834 in May and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in June 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 530.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in June vs. 8 in May. The Absorption rate for Used homes was also 7 months of inventory in June vs. 8 in May. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in May 2008 to 7 months this June. 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 we have seen a pick-up in New homes, New listings where sales seem to be keeping up so net inventory of new home remains low in these price ranges.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price increased to  $271,548 from $255,080 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $264,777 from $255,417 in May. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in June was 167 vs last month of 161. Days On Market for Used was 141 compared to last month 154.

TWB 7/9/2016

April Birmingham Real Estate Market Continues To Look Like Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for April 2016

This year seems to be unfolding almost identically to last as far as sales levels go. Inventories are down, and prices seem to be level with last year as well. Dollar sales in April experienced an expected increase of 12% to $319,627,228 from March at $285,245,363, a bit more than last April’s  $308,690,507 (up 4%). The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales over the last six months has flattened.

Total Unit sales were up 1% to 1,508 in April from 1,488 in March, an increase of 20. This is down by 19 from last April at 1,527. New sales were down at 134 homes this month, and 171 in March and off by 13 from 147 last year. The low inventory levels of new homes suggest a good environment for builders, although prices seem to be steady. Used sales were 1,374 homes in April, up 3% from 1,317 last month, an increase of 57, and off by 6 units  from 1,380 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.  March overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 2.71% year to date (thru March).

Housing permits, the census bureau section that supplies this data, has been down for three months now. They have made data available in a different format and I’m not entirely sure that the data is comparable, but it seems to be. Based on the new data, housing permits are up as I would expect . For Jefferson County, in February and March there were 128 and 156 permits respectively compared with 98 and 125 last year. Similarly, Shelby County has been running about double last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 9,599 vs. last month at 8,924 and less than 9,833 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1021 in April from 1,077 in March (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 for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 1-9 month range depending on area and price range. However, the $800,000-$900,000 range has 18 months of supply (12 houses) (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 April shows 7 months, which is the same as 7 last year. Used Active listings at 8,654 are up from last month at 8,223, and a bit less than 9,125 last year (Sect E p.3). Inventory levels have continued to trend down from prior years. Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has between 1 and 6 months of inventory except in the $6-700,000 range (9 months of inventory), and the over $900,000 category, which has 16 months of inventory (59 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 (only 4 months of inventory).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 211 compared with last month at 202. The Used homes DOM was 126 in April vs 128 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $305,698 from $279,918 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be flat over the last year. Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $202,812 from $180,242 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has flattened for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 5/8/2016

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Sales Have A Healthy Start In January

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

Sales dollars decreased an expected 27% in January to $90,529,509 from December $124,697,839. This is 4% above January last year at $86,783,782. (Sect A p.2). 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. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement. Inventories are improving. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high at over a year for anything over $500,000.

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 expected a unit increase of 6% over 2014 actual, for the full year we got an increase of 9%. For 2016 we expect a very slightly slower market than 2015, details to follow.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 22% at 377 this month vs. last month at 487, which is identical with last year’s healthy level of 377. Used Home sales decreased 24% to 318 this month vs. 420 last month, which is off 6% from last year’s 340 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 59 this month vs 67 last month and compared with 37 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 118 from 103 in December. Used homes New listings almost doubled to 804 from 415 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 3,133 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,450 in December and a new multi year low level. New homes, which peaked in January 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 474.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in January vs. 8 in December. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory in January vs. 8 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 7 months this January. 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 construction to 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, price increased to  $248,944 from $242,552 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $238,496 from $258,207 in December. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in January was 175 vs last month of 161. Days On Market for Used was 175 compared to last month 160.

TWB 2/16/2016

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