Tag Archives: Average Sales Price

Birmingham March Residential Real Estate Sales Soft

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for March 2012

Sales in March improved 17% to $162,227,603 from February’s $139,164,184, down 1% from last March’s $164,121,105. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is tilted upward.

Unit sales were up 15% to 1060 in March from 919 in February, an increase of 141. This is off 1% from March 2011 at 1,076. This is 21% unfavorable to our projection of 1,279 sales expected for March and 15% unfavorable year to date. The complete monthly projections from ABRE (a joint project between ACRE and Brander Real Estate) can be found here http://goo.gl/WFHrO (along with the worksheets that show the methodology). It is likely that the results will close in on projections as the spring unfolds. New sales declined 11% to 102 homes this month from 114 in February, a decrease of 12 units. Used sales improved 19% to 958 homes in March from 805 last month, an increase of 153 (Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is dramatically lower at 10,138 vs. 12,900 last year and 10,720 last month. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market shortly. Active New listings decreased to 834 in March from 1,123 in February, a decline of 289 units (Sect E p.3).Housing permits showed an increase in Jefferson County to 95 in February from 79 in January. Shelby County was down to 15 from 20 (see website for details).

Absorption rate for New and Used homes is improving.New homes are at 7 months supply this month with a reduced sales pace, and about even with last year at this time at 8 months (Sect E p.3). New home supply seems to be stable. Under $100,000 New homes are at 20 months supply. The New homes in the $100,000-$400,000 price range have an almost normal inventory level in the 6-7 month range. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in March shows 10 months, four months better than 14 months last year. Used Active listings at 9,304 are lower than the 11,754 last year (Sect E p.3), (Sect E p.3).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 194 compared to last month at 208 . The Used homes DOM was 146 in March, compared with 153 last month (Sect A p.18). NOTE: DOM for Used Homes indicates that well priced homes are moving in less than 6 months. The high months of inventory indicates that sellers, including bank owners, are still holding out for higher prices. Again: If the home is not selling, reduce the price, particularly since we are in the more active sales season of the year.

Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $237,079 from $237,357 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes increased to $144,098 from $139,262 last month (Sect A p2). The twelve month moving average price line for Used Homes has been quite steady since mid 2009. Average Home prices, new and used, have stabilized  (Sect A p2). The price of any specific home still remains under pressure.

TWB 4/6/12

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Huntsville Alabama March Residential Real Estate Soft

Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS Observations: Real Estate Market March 2012

March sales improved 21% to $107,628,592 vs. February at $88,706,797 This was 1% below last year’s $109,030,802. The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart is flat.

Total unit sales increased 15% to 710 in March vs. 617 in February, an increase of 93. This was 3% favorable to last year at 690.

Note that our projection for March was 763, so the actual results were 7% unfavorable and 4% unfavorable year to date. (Full spreadsheets and projections (a joint project between ACRE and Brander Real Estate) are available at  http://goo.gl/WFHrO) .

New sales were up slightly to 114 this month vs.112 last month.
Used sales increased to 596 this month vs. 505 last month, increasing 91 (Sect E  p.3).

Used inventory levels remain high this month at 12 months (see the chart Sect C p.1), with the situation particularly challenged in the higher price ranges. Used homes over $100,000 are still over 12 months of inventory and over $400,000 have about two or more years of inventory.

New home absorption is 8 months of inventory overall, (with last month at 10 months) (E-1). The New Home inventory level in the $300,000-$400,000 is approximately 5 months (not bad).

There continue to be a large number of housing permits issued in Huntsville city, given the market conditions. February decreased to 65 vs. 74 in January (chart on the web site).

Total Active listings decreased this month to 8,204 compared to last month’s 8,642, which is below last year at this time at 9,188, with the reduction exaggerated due to month-end expirations.
(Sect A p.4 and Sect E p.3).  The reduction, even if due to discouraged sellers, is a good thing.

Active New listings decreased from 1,466 last month to 1,217 in March, down 249. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased from 7,176 last month to 6,987 this month, down 189 and below last year’s amount at this time of 7,865. (Sect E p.3).

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 167 vs.186 days last month, with Used at 165 in March compared with 166 in February (Sect A p.18). Days on Market at or below 6 months, while the inventory numbers are way higher, indicates well priced homes are selling. Sellers, including bank owners, who do not adjust to the new price reality contribute to the buildup of inventory.

Average sales price for Sold New homes was $235,115 vs. $207,692 last month. (Sect A p.2)
Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $135,613 vs. $129,595 last month. (Sect A p.2)

The Average price lines for Used homes, which was on an upwards slope for a while, is now on a downward trend. New homes average price seems to be showing some positive direction. Prices for individual properties remain under pressure.

TWB 4/06/12

Birmingham Real Estate Sales Off To Slow Start In The New Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for January 2011

Sales in January declined 25% to $96,431,926 from December’s $128,898,461, down 13% from last January’s $110,758,827.  This was the worst monthly showing that we have on record. But then, January has always been the weakest month of the year. So, I would not read too much into any of the numbers this month.

Total unit sales were down 26% to 636 in January from 856 in December, a decrease of 220. This is a 12% reduction from January 2010 at 723. New sales declined 30% to 78 homes this month from 112 in December, a decrease of 34 units. Used sales declined 25% to 558 homes in January from 744 last month, a decrease of 186 (Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is virtually the same at 11,636  vs. 11,926 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1,087 in January from 1,205 in December, a decline of 118 units (Sect E p.3). The number of housing permits this month was unchanged at 35 in December for Jefferson County. Shelby County was up from 3 to 19. (See the website for details).

Absorption rate for New homes at a 7 months supply and a reduced sales pace, is better than the 8 months last year at this time (Sect E p.3). While the situation is still  distressed, New homes seem to be selling, and supply is keeping in balance. Strangely, under $100,000 New homes are at 16.8 months of sales, while those priced from $200,000-$500,000 range from 5.3 to 6.3 months of inventory, a pretty “normal” situation in such abnormal times.. (Sect C p.1 compare to last month and Sect E p.3.) New house inventories in higher price ranges (above $500,000) remain excessive at over a year.

Inventory shows a modest continuing seasonal decline for Used homes. Absorption for Used homes in January 2010 shows 10,549 Used Active listings (Sect E p.3) and 12 months of supply, the same as last year at this time (Sect E p.3). Since May 2010 the number of Used Active listings has dropped by almost 2,000! Unfortunately, the drop has been due more to cancellations than sales, but it is still positive news. It is also important to note that much of the decline is seasonal as sellers wait out the slow winter months. The higher price ranges are troubled, but hopefully showing some signs of stability as New listings moderate.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 228 compared to last month at 194. The Used homes DOM was 152 in January, compared with 143 last month (Sect A p.18).

Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $200,759 from $205,493 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes increased to $144,754 from $142,316 last month (Sect A p2). The twelve month moving average price line for both New and Used homes has been trending up, but now has a downward hook at the end. (Sect A p2).

TWB 2/13/11

January 2009 Birmingham Residential Market Sales Drop Dramatically

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for January 2008

January is normally the weakest sales month of the year. The pick up in sales we saw in December reversed with a vengeance in January. Dollar sales were down 37% to $101,439,487 in January vs. $161,717,665 in December. This is a 47% decline from January 2008 ($191,889,454).

Total unit sales declined 27% to 707 in January from 973 in December, a decrease of 266, this is a 33% decline from January 2008 (1,052). New sales slid 42% to 120 homes this month from 207 in December; a reduction of 87 units. Used sales dove 23% to 587 homes in January from 766 last month, a reduction of 179 (sect E page 3).

February normally starts the seasonal uptrend. I hope that spring does arrive this year and I suspect it will.

Good news is that the absolute inventory of active New listings decreased to 2,197 in January from 2,578 in December, a decline of 318 units (E-3). This is down 43% from a peak of 3,822 in September 2007*. In addition, the low number of housing starts in the area (36 in December for Jefferson County) is also a very positive sign.  Inventory still has to contract to 1,800 or to reach more normal pre 2004 levels (See the chart on page C.1, and table on page E-3).

Absorption rates for New homes improved to 8 months from 9 months of inventory last month, about even with 7.9 months last year at this time (Section E page 3). New house inventories in the higher price ranges (above $600,000) are excessive at over a year. Larger developers in lower price ranges are almost sold out (0 to 5 months of supply).

June 2008 set a record of 12,528 Used homes for sale, and January 2009 shows 10,090 Used active listings (page E-3). Absorption for Used homes had been holding steady at 11.8 months of supply, level from June to August of 2008 but has begun to show a modest but consistent reduction to 10.4 months of inventory in January. This is a 1.2 month increase from last year’s level at this time (See section E page 3).

We believe that there is an increasing amount of “shadow inventory” in both the New and Used market places i.e.; houses held off the market for various reasons, but that really are for sale. I am concerned that spring could see a rush to market for homes, overwhelming the demand.

Total inventory is down 15% from last year at this time 12,287 vs.14,439.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses declined to 147 days as compared to 165 days last month. Used houses declined to 104 from 117 in December (sec A page 18).  This reduction in DOM along side the dismal sales figures tends to reinforce that buyers are snapping up bargains, and overpriced homes are sitting.

The market for houses requiring “Jumbo” loans remains challenged. While foreclosures have an impact on average prices, I believe that a bigger impact has been the dramatic reduction of sales in the higher price ranges.

Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $230,577 from $247,151 (Chart sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes decreased to $126,911 from $144,331 (Chart sect A p2). Note that the twelve month moving average line on all categories of houses, New, Used, and total is now showing a very substantial downward slope (chart section a-2) indicating that sellers are at last showing flexibility on pricing. Used house average prices are now at 1999 levels, reflecting the more active market for bargains, lower priced homes as well as the dramatic decrease in new home sales.

TWB 2/14/09

*Caution!: All references to last month (and earlier) numbers show revisions. Each month we pick up late entries (i.e. ones made after our prior publication date) to the MLS system.

Modest Sales Increases Huntsville Real Estate December 2008

Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS Observations Huntsville, Alabama Residential Real Estate Market December 2008:

After a string of awful monthly sales declines the Huntsville /North Alabama area had a very modest increase in sales for December. This is good news as the real estate market seems to be reacting to the perception (and reality) of mortgage availability and declining rates. Given the continuing focus by the administration and monetary authorities on these issues, the outlook is somewhat brighter.

December total dollar sales in the Huntsville, Alabama area were $81,117,618, 2%, higher than last month’s $79,731,099, and 40% below last year’s level ($134,782,311) (Section A Page 4). It looks like the gross sales which dipped to the 2002 levels last month, are now back between 2004 and 2006 levels (an improvement from last month).

Sections C and D of the main report present Active and Absorption data historically by price range and by area.  There is a large disparity in performance and trends in different price ranges and areas. For instance; only 13 houses total, New and Used Sold over $400,000 out of 807 listings. Please see sections C and D. Virtually all sales activity is in homes that fall into the “conforming loan limits under $417,000. For the time being homes requiring Jumbo loans are not selling. At this time there does not seem to be any political enthusiasm to address this issue with all attention being placed on the conforming market. Of course fixing that will eventually help the upper end as well, finally allowing trade-up consumers to sell the lower priced property.

We do see continuing inventory build-up. The Used market has shown a persistent increase in months of inventory and now is at 9.1 months in all price ranges. The situation is acute for a broadening price range of houses; Used homes over $200,000 now are over 12 months of inventory and in some price ranges as much as 4 years of inventory. New houses over $300,000 are over a year and in some price ranges over three years of inventory. (Page E-1). Absolute numbers of Active listings have been moderating slightly for a few months, (see below). There still remains 1,868 New homes for sale, about double what would have been normal prior to 2006 See chart Page C-1. There are 1.3% fewer houses Active this month (7,734) than in December of 2007, (7,636) against the lower dollar sales cited above. (Chart section A page 4).

We believe that there is an increasing amount of “shadow inventory” in both the New and Used market places i.e.; houses held off the market for various reasons, but that really are for sale.

The builders in the Huntsville area are facing the challenge of reacting to market conditions and constraining supply. In Huntsville city we see at least a year’s worth of inventory of New homes and yet, we continue to see fairly high numbers of building permits issued. In November, for instance there were 48 single family permits issued in Huntsville city alone, compared with 90 for the same period last year. We provide a link to this free census department data on our Blog site under data sources in the right column. It is unusual to see months of supply for New houses exceeding Used house months of supply. The chart on page B-1 shows New listings as compared with sales for New houses only. Sellers of existing houses are having a harder time as the supply increases. The build up of existing housing supply will continue to impact the New housing market.

Total Active listings decreased from 8,602 in November* to 7,734 in December, a reduction of 868. (See Page E-3). There were 262 New house New listings (a decrease from 304 last month), while sales of New houses increased to 105 for the month from 104 in November. A substantial reason for the inventory reduction was “Failures” (952 for the month) most of which will probably come back to the market. New houses New listings ran 2.5 times the rate of sales (Section B Page 1).

Active New listings decreased from 2,132 last month to 1,868 this month, a decrease of 264 (Page E-3).

Active Used listings decreased from 6,470 last month to 5,866 this month, a decrease of 604 (Page E-3).

Total unit sales improved from 470 in November to 528 in December an increase of 58 units.

New sales improved from 104 homes last month to 105 this month an increase of 1.

Used sales improved from 366 homes last month to 423 this month, an increase of 57 (Sect E Page 3).

Absorption for New homes was 11.0 months of inventory in December vs. 11.9 last month. This is a deterioration of 1.3 months from last year at this time. See Section E page 8. Absorption for Used homes was 9.1 months of inventory in December vs. 9.8 last month. This is a deterioration of 3.2 months from last year’s level at this time see Section E pg 8.

Average Days on Market for Sold New houses was  102 days vs. 92 days last month, with Used at 102 vs. 104 last month. (See Section A Page 18).

Average sales price for Sold New homes was $229,733 vs. $249,373 last month. (Chart Sect A Page 2)

Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $128,322 vs. $140,833 last month. (Chart Sect A Page 2)

For the record average Used prices were $136,670 last year at this time which indicates a 6% reduction. Much is due to no higher priced houses selling however, so it’s hard to read too much into either this figure or even a median figure, since the mix is swinging quite a bit.

The average prices are beginning to come down as it appears that sellers are becoming more flexible on pricing. Given market conditions I expect to see more downward price adjustment.

TWB 1/10/08

*All references to last month numbers are revised, to pick up late entries (made after our prior publication date) to the MLS system.

Birmingham Home Sales up 22% in December 2008 from November 2008

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for December 2008

Good news for the New Year! While consumers were staying away from the shopping malls during the holiday season, they were busy buying homes in the Birmingham area. Total dollar sales were up 22% from the abysmal November level of $156,937,684 in December vs. $128,494,806 in November. Lest we get too overjoyed, this is still a reduction of 35% from last December ($243,122,274).

See here for the presentation I made to the Greater Birmingham Home builders Association, January 9, 2009. Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4

December is usually even with November so the increase for the month was a pleasant surprise. (page A-4). The gross dollar sales were about even with the 2002 levels, which could imply a recovery like what occurred after the 9/11/01 attacks if we are very lucky.

Continuing good news is that the absolute inventory of houses available for sale has been trending down for several months, which will eventually bring demand into balance with supply. The New home inventory is approaching more normal historical levels now at 2,335 Active, down 38% from a peak of 3,790 in October 2007**. There is still some distance to go to the 1800 or so that we used to regard as normal before 2004 (See the chart on page C.1, and table on page E-3). Unfortunately, for Used homes, the decline in inventory is not nearly as constructive, and is due as much to people withdrawing houses from the market (“failures”) as to sales. In spite of the decrease in the number of Active houses, the 12 month Absorption rate did not change materially for New or Used homes.

Sections C and D of the main report present Active and Absorption data historically by Price Range and by Area.  There is a large disparity in performance and trends in different price ranges and Areas. For instance Used houses over $900,000 had 19 New listings against 8 sales (a better ratio than last month).  Out of 865 Active New and Used houses over $500,000, only 23 sold. The market for houses requiring “Jumbo” loans is challenged. Please look at sections C and D.

Absorption rates for New homes improved to 8.2 months from 9.1 months of inventory last month, somewhat worse than 7.9 last year at this time (Section E page 3). We continue to see large retroactive changes in available in inventory**. The “failure rate” (expired listings, particularly at year end, which is a natural contract expiration time), has been higher, and sellers and agents have not been renewing expired listings promptly. Don’t read too much into lower inventory figures and lower Absorption as the discouraged sellers do generally renew listings, (many retroactively) just not quickly. New house inventories are excessive at over a year and concentrated in the higher price ranges (above $600,000). Larger developers in lower price ranges are almost sold out (0 to 5 months of supply) with remaining inventory held in the smaller and higher priced developments. Builders have been steadily reducing inventory since October 2007, which was the peak.

Total unit sales improved by 20% to 938 in December from 784 in November, an increase of 154 units. This is a decline of 27% from December 2007 (1,285). New sales improved 31% to 203 homes this month from 155 in November; an improvement of 48 units, with the improvement concentrated in the $200,000-$500,000 range. Used sales also improved 17% to 731 homes in December from 624 last month, an improvement of 107 (sect E page 3).

The number of months of supply “Absorption” for Used homes has been generally increasing over the last 9 months with a slight drop in December to 10.2 months of inventory. This is a 1.3 month increase from last year’s level at this time (See section E page 3). Overall, New listings for New houses were up this month, while New listing for Used home declined somewhat. Birmingham area builders are constraining New construction supply, but consumers who are the sellers of existing houses are having a harder time as the supply of Used homes for sale is generally climbing. Sales have dropped faster than the supply drop, resulting in generally increased number of months of inventory. The absolute number of Used homes for sale has actually decreased each month since June of 2008. The build up of existing housing supply will continue to impact the New housing market. We believe that there is an increasing amount of “shadow inventory” in both the New and Used market places i.e.; houses held off the market for various reasons, but that really are for sale. It seems to me that the For Sale by Owners (FSBO’s) are on the rise also, but that many will revert to realtor listings as they discover just how tough the market is.

Active New listings decreased to 2,335 in December from 2,751 in November, a decline of 416 units (E-3). There were 203 New houses sold in the month, so the rest of the reduction is partially due to the higher failure rate, (the number of houses whose listings have expired or canceled without a sale), partially offset by a higher number of New listings. Active Used Listings June set  a record of 12,516 Used homes were for sale, and December now shows at 10,003, but will probably show as a larger number next month as explained above (page E-3). Total inventory is down 12% from last year at this time 12,338 vs.14,075.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses went up to 165 days as compared to 160 days last month. Used houses went up to 117 from 94 in November (sec A page 18).  Birmingham area Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $247,733 from $222,911 (Chart sect A p2). Average sales prices for sold Used homes decreased to $145,099 from $149,354 (Chart sect A p2). Note that the twelve month moving average line on all categories of houses, New, Used, and total are all now showing a very substantial downward slope (chart section a-2) indicating that sellers are at last showing flexibility on pricing. Used house average prices are now at early 2005 levels.

TWB 1/10/09

Note: In past years I have included something of a year-end summary. This is the presentation that I prepare for the Greater Birmingham Homebuilders Association and is now located on the web. There are 4 sections, see https://tbrander.wordpress.com.

*Caution!: All references to last month (and earlier) numbers show revisions. Each month we pick up late entries (i.e. ones made after our prior publication date) to the MLS system.

**As noted in prior months we continue to see a number of expired listings being renewed retroactively which is slightly distorting the current month numbers which is why we wait as long as we do before getting the report to you, last month for instance there now appears to be 263 more Active New homes than we reported in the last report, and why the months of inventory for November is up somewhat this month vs. what was reported in November. That is why we restate the history every month.

Average Prices Drop And So Does The Supply of New Homes

12 month Average sales prices in the Birmingham market are holding fairly well but I’m not sure that is good news. New and Used prices peaked in Dec ’06 at $192,000 but are now at $180,000 about a 6% drop. Used prices peaked in the same time period at $175,000 and now is at $165,000 a 6% drop. New prices peaked in May ’08 at $250,000 and is now at $245,000 a 2% drop. These numbers are based on 12 month moving averages so it is highly likely that the trend will be resulting in steeper drops as we go forward.

Peak to trough prices are much worse. But one should use caution with these figures since they can be very volatile for a host of reasons. Used Home prices, for instance peaked at $215,000 in about May 2007 and now sits at about $150,000 a 30% drop!! A lot of this however has to do with the complete absence of sales in the higher end. New Home prices peaked in November ’06 at $260,000 and now sits at $220,000, a 15% reduction. All of the above calculations use approximate figures from the chart, and approximate time frames rounded.

Birmingham '08 Average Sales Prices

Birmingham '08 Average Sales Prices

Inventory Used houses coming on the market are the “real” competition for new…The normal level of “active listings used to be about 6,000 and is now pushing 12,000, up to 11 Months of supply, and two to three years in the higher price ranges. New Home Active listings are somewhat better. The normal level previously about 2000 (in the ’02-’04 time frame),and now is about 2,488 which is 8-9 months of supply. New inventory peaked at 3,834 in Sept ’07. Total number of Active listings, is down about 11% from last year at this time. Some good news is that the Housing permit numbers for Jefferson County are down 66%, with only 36 issued in November 2008 as compared with 106 in November 2007. This would indicate that the New Home inventory should continue to come down. See the Census bureau link on my blog site.

November 2008 Birmingham Inventory

November 2008 Birmingham Inventory