Category Archives: real estate

Coastal Alabama Real Estate Sales Improve In March

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

April Sales

April Sales

Sales dollars increased 29% in March to $133,160,474 from February of $103,171,501. This is 17% better than March last year at $113,720,479. (Sect A p.2). This is the 1st month of the year with a substantial increase year over year and could be an indicator for a robust sales season.  The 12 month moving average line of sales which had continued to point up steadily for three years is still best described as “squiggly”. Last year was the best sales year since 2005 so this monthly performance stands out. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories continue trending down.

The biggest increases in sales were in the lower price ranges (below $300,000 ) and in the Daphne/Montrose area, which saw sales go from 43 last month to 80 this month (Sec D P4). Looking in section E pages 2-5 one can see the subdivisions accounting for the largest gains, among others, Lake Forest and Oldfield show large gains.

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 expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 36% to 574 this month vs. last month at 422, which is 25% above  last year’s healthy level of 459. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales increased 34% to 489 this month vs. 364 last month, which is up 24% from last year’s 394 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 85 this month vs 58 last month and compared with 65 last year.

New listings for New homes increased to 142 from 68 in February. Used homes New listings increased to 944 from 835 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 once again been improving. In March, there were 3,528 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,021 in February. The New home market, which peaked in March 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 419.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in March vs. 9 in February. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory for March vs. 10 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 7 months this March. 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 some acceleration in new construction.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices increased to  $240,859 from $233,054 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $230,445 from $24,303 in February. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in March was 186 vs last month of 209. Days On Market for Used was 162 compared with last month of 162.

TWB 4/12/2015

Alabama Coastal Sales About Even With Last Year

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

Baldwin February Sales

Baldwin February Sales

Sales dollars increased 19% in February to $101,572,601 from January of $85,561,282. This is about even with February last year at $102,008,927. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales which had continued to point up steadily for three years can now best be described as “squiggly.” I would characterize the market activity as flat. The monthly sales total in dollars was almost the same as last year and last year was the best sales year since 2005. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories continue trending down.

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 oil spill and weather. The projection for 2015 expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual, which is close to the 6.6% increase we see year to date.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 10% to 413 this month vs. last month at 374, which is about even with last year’s 411. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales increased 5% to 355 this month vs. 337 last month, which is down 5% from last year’s 375 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 58 this month vs 37 last month and compared with 36 last year. Interestingly, there was a big drop in sales of under $100,000 properties from a monthly average of between 60 and 80 down to 45 this month.

New listings for New homes decreased to 66 from 83 in January. Used homes New listings decreased to 776 from 790 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 once again been improving. In February, there were 3,440 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,686 in January. The New home market, which peaked in February 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 400.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in February vs. 9 in January. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory for February vs. 9 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. 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 some acceleration in new construction.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to  $233,054 from $240,688 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $248,048 from $227,465 in January. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in February was 209 vs last month of 202. Days On Market for Used was 162 compared with last month of 160.

TWB 3/8/2015

Birmingham September Sales up 18% From Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for September 2014

Dollar sales in September declined by 4% to $282,951,372 from August’s $294,526,435, up by 18% over last September’s $238,693,635. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales has flattened but still showing an upward trend indicating modest slowing from last years’ rapid growth.

Total Unit sales were down 6% to 1,404 in September from 1,493 in August, a decrease of 89. This is up 12% from last September at 1,254. New sales increased by 25 units to 173 homes this month from 148 in August and even with 152 last year. Used sales were 1,231 homes in September, down 8% from 1,345 last month, a decrease of 114, and up by 128 units from 1,103 last year(Sect E p.3)

Using the ACRE data and results for forecasting, which are derived in a slightly different method than this report, we forecasted a full year gain of 8% for the full year. As of August the cumulative increase in units is 5%. We determined that the Birmingham MLS is assigning some sales to the Talladega market which were previously reported as part of Birmingham, thus reducing the reported sales in Birmingham, so the forecast is probably a bit more accurate than it appears on a “comparable” basis.

This month total inventory is 6% lower at 9,214 vs. last month at 9,847 and 10,519 last year. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market. Active New listings decreased to 771 in September from 1,048 in August (the highest level of new homes active since September 2011), a decline of 277 units (Sect E p.3).  

Housing permits were down in Jefferson County to 58 in August from 101 in July. Shelby County went from 42 to 31 in August.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month which is one month better than 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. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in September shows 7 months, two months better than 9 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,443 are lower than the 9,601 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 two months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 7 months of inventory (37 homes) with two sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 120. 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 197, compared with 183 last month. The Used homes DOM was 127 in September, compared with 131 last month (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $288,825 from $272,128 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $189,265 from $189,035 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 10/11/2014  

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Sales Slower in July

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

Sales dollars declined 27% in July to $107,815,755 from June of $148,329,630. This is 14% off July last year at $125,659,355. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales had continued to point up steadily for three years has can best be described as “squiggly.” I would characterize the market activity as “unusual.” Inventories continue trending down.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we did projections for 2014 full year sales. We used the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. We projected unit sales for Baldwin county increasing by 47.7% over 2013 levels. We have examined our methodology and removed 65 sales from the last quarter  of 2013 which were caused by a major condo project closing. This reduces the expected 2014 gain to 32% over 2013 and the projected condo increase of  8% over 2013  As of June, the cumulative year over year change in units is up 7%, far short of the adjusted forecast. The condo actuals are cumulatively about 4% below the forecast.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 3% at 472 this month vs. last month at 590, which is up 17% from last year’s 502. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales declined 16% to 431 this month vs. 512 last month, which is off 6% from last year’s 459 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 41 this month vs 78 last month and compared with 43 last year.

New listings for New homes increased to 129 from 108 in June. Used homes New listings decreased to 719 from 787 in June 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 July, there were 3,739 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,220 in June. The New home market, which peaked in July 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 442.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in July vs. 7 in June. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 9 months of inventory for July vs. 10 in June. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in July 2008 to 9 months this July. The inventory of homes in the higher price ranges remains high, homes over $400,000 have over a years supply.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices increased to  $263,042 from $246,896 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $225,130 from $252,093 in June. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in July was 202 this month vs. 203 last month. Days On Market for Used was 148 this month vs. 144 last month. Hopefully this month is not a harbinger of a slow fall sales season.

TWB 8/9/2014

1st Half Birmingham Real Estate Sales Up 6% From Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for June 2014

As expected, June was stronger than May. Dollar sales in June improved by 9% to $313,709,561 from May’s $287,922,936, up by 5% from last June’s $297,471,361. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales has flattened indicating uncertain market conditions. For the 1st six months of 2014,  sales were up 6% to $1,397,869,781 compared to $1,314,060,637 for the same period last year.

Unit sales were up 2% to 1,517 in June from 1,482 in May, an increase of 35. This is up 19% from last June at 1,268. The greater percentage increase, month to month, in dollars rather than units, indicates an increase in average prices, while the greater percentage gain year to year indicates a reduction in average prices. For the 1st 6 months total unit sales were up by 2% to 7,503 compared with 7,358 last year.

Using the ACRE data and results for forecasting, which are derived in a slightly different method than this report, we forecasted a full year gain of 8% for the full year. As of June the cumulative increase in units is 4%. We determined that the Birmingham MLS is assigning some sales to the Talladega market which were previously reported as part of Birmingham, thus reducing the reported sales in Birmingham, so the forecast is probably a bit more accurate than it appears on a “comparable” basis.

New sales improved by 4 units to 138 homes this month from 134 in May and about even with 139 last year. Used sales were 1,379 homes in June up 2% from 1,348 last month, an increase of 31, and up by 111 units from 1,268 last year(Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is 4% lower at 9,545 vs. last month at 9,908 and 10,619 last year. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market. Active New listings decreased to 699 in June from 1,012 in May (the highest level of new homes active since September 2011), a decline of 313 units (Sect E p.3).  Housing permits were down in Jefferson County to 105 in May from 119 in April. Shelby County went from 45 to 49 in May. It appears that builders are trimming their activity.

Absorption rate for New homes is at 5 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 June shows 8 months, one month better than 9 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,846 are lower than the 9,681 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 four months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 9 months of inventory (41 homes) with nine sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 166 indicating older inventory is moving.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 201, compared with 216 last month. The Used homes DOM was 131 in June, compared with 132 last month (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $302,064 from $292,819 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $197,262 from $184,485 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the last year. (Sect A p2).

Note the MLS has added 20 new areas #320-570, which seem to be placeholders for each county in the state. I have combined these into a single “other” area.

TWB 7/12/2014

Huntsville 1st Half Real Estate Sales Off 1% From Last Year

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

June sales improved by 5% to $162,481,363 vs. May at $154,481,617. This was off 2% from last year’s $165,588,332. This is a disappointing loss of upward momentum. The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart is roughly flat. Total unit sales were unchanged at 927 in June vs. 927 in May. This was down 4% from last year at 966. For the 1st 6 months unit sales were off 1% at 4,724 vs. last year of 4,773.

This year we are using the ACRE  data for forecasting which differs slightly from the data in this report. Our projections for the Huntsville market for 2014 are for an increase of 0.9% over the 2013 level, essentially flat with 2013. As of June, sales are down 1% from 2013.

New sales decreased at 123 this month vs. 129 last month, down 6 and compared with 168 last year.

Used sales increased to 804 this month vs. 798 last month, up 6, and compared with 798 last year (Sect E  p.3).

Inventory levels remain stubbornly high. Used inventory levels remain high this monthat12 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 has been climbing with 10 months last month. (E-1). The New Home inventory level in the $300,000-$500,000 is approximately 5-6 months (Not bad!).

May housing permits issued were 91 compared with 60 in April so it would appear that the builders are staying optimistic (chart on the web site).

Total Active listings decreased this month to 9,130 compared to last month’s 9,471, and lower than last year at this time at 9,509, 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 1,182 this month from 1,392 in May, down 210. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased to 7,948 this month from 8,079 in May, off 131 and slightly below last year’s amount at this time of 8,076. (Sect E p.3).

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 179 vs. 236 days last month (indicates older inventory moving), with Used at 155 in June compared with 158 in May (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes was $250,038 vs. $240,334 last month. (Sect A p.2) Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $163,839 vs. $154,735 last month. (Sect A p.2)  The average prices seems to be have leveled out.

TWB 7/12/14

June Alabama Coastal Real Estate Sales Jump 25% From Last Year

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

Sales dollars gained 7% in June to $144,578,430 from May of $135,528,316. This is 25% better than June last year at $115,598,828. (Sect A p.2). Major flooding caused by rain storms on May 29 has done considerable damage in the area and has no doubt, had a negative impact on the housing market. The 12 month moving average line of sales had continued to point up steadily for three years has resumed its upward direction, after being flat last month.  Inventories continue trending down.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we did projections for 2014 full year sales. We used the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. We projected unit sales for Baldwin county increasing by 47.7% over 2013 levels. We have examined our methodology and removed 65 sales from the last quarter  of 2013 which were caused by a major condo project closing. This reduces the expected 2014 gain to 32% over 2013 and the projected condo increase of  8% over 2013  As of June, the cumulative year over year change in units is up 7%, far short of the adjusted forecast. The condo actuals are cumulatively about 4% below the forecast, although this month the units were 142 actual vs 150 projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 3% at 578 this month vs. last month at 561, which is up 17% from last year’s 492. It is very hard to envision what will happen as the market adjusts to yet one more major storm shock.There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales improved 4% to 500 this month vs. 483 last month, which is up 16% from last year’s 431 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 78 this month vs 77 last month and compared with 61 last year.

New listings for New homes increased to 104 from 59 in May. Used homes New listings decreased to 767 from 831 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 once again been improving. In June, there were 3,791 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,325 in May. The New home market, which peaked in June 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 396.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 6 months of inventory in June vs. 7 in May. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 9 months of inventory for June vs. 10 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 June 2008 to 9 months this June. The inventory of homes in the higher price ranges remains high, homes over $400,000 have over a years supply.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year.For New units, prices increased to  $246,896 from $220,415 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $250,641 from $245,120 in May. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in June was 203 this month vs. 211 last month. Days On Market for Used was 144 this month vs. 142 last month. The market seems to be recovering somewhat from the latest storm.
TWB 7/12/2014