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Birmingham January Real Estate Sales Robust

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for January 2017

January saw a continuation of the pick up in dollar sales over last year, while unit sales also increased from last years’ level. Prices seem to be modestly increasing. Total dollar sales for January were $206,912,455 up 13% from $183,327,923 last year, and down 24% from last month at $272,571,925.

Total Unit sales were off 22% at 1,020 in January from 1,312 in December, a decrease of 292. This is up by 3% and 22 from last January at 987. New sales were off to 120 homes this month, and 210 in December, and up by 16 from 104 last year. The low inventory level of new homes suggests a good environment for builders, and prices have begun to show a more solid uptrend. Used sales were 900 homes in January, off 18% from 1,102 last month, a decrease of 202, up by 17 units  from 883 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. The cumulative error is plus 9% for the year; that is actuals are ahead of projections of 14,705 through year end, an increase of 11% over 2015. The forecast for 2017 should be out shortly.

Housing permits are no longer available in the same format from the Census bureau. I may be able to resume reporting once I can find a new method of sourcing the data, but at this point I do not know if that will be possible.

Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 7,838 vs. last month at 7,968 and less than 9,123 last year. (Sect C p.1). Active New listings decreased to 968 in January from 1,100 in December (Sect E p.3). Absorption rate for New homes is at 6 months supply this month, which is less than 7 months last year. (Sect E p.3). The New homes have normal inventory levels in the 4-8 month range depending on area and price range. (Sect C p.1). 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 January shows 5 months, which is less than the 6 last year. Used Active listings at 6,870 are down from last month of 6.868, and quite a bit less than 8,053 last year (Sect E p.3). Inventory levels have continued to trend down from prior years. Market performance is highly area specific, so check the individual area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has between 1 and 4 months of inventory, 3 months overall, except in the over $900,000 category, which has 6 months of inventory (35 homes), with 5 sold in that price range last month. There are a number of MLS areas, particularly those known as the “over the mountain” communities, showing similarly low levels, including Homewood, which has 3 months of inventory.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 180 compared with last month at 271. The Used homes DOM was 126 in January vs 119 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $309,844 from $312,947 last month (Sect A p2). Over a several month period prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used was $188,590 this month compared to $187,707 last month. (Sect A p2).

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

TWB 2/13/2017  

January Coastal Alabama Real Estate Off To A Robust Start

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

Sales dollars decreased 27% in January to $113,455,164 from December $155,649,713. This is up 24% from last year’s record level of $91,143,759. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause during the summer months, has been heading up substantially.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement as do inventories. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high, but improving, for anything over $500,000. Note that price ranges in inventories over a year are fewer, for instance, the price ranges of $600,000-$800,000 are at just 10-11 months, with the $500,000-$600,000 at 13 months. Amazingly, the over $900,000 category is now at 27 months with 158 active and 6 sold this month.

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 expected projected home sales in 2016 of 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Full year actual sales are 8% above expectations. 5571 sales were recorded for the year which is 432 more than projected and 341 more than 2015.  New projections for 2017 will be out once all the January results are available statewide.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 116 at 444 this month vs. last month at 560, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 380. Used Home sales decreased to 361 this month vs. 458 last month, which is up from last year’s 321 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 83 this month vs 102 last month and compared with 59 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 136 from 132 in December. Used homes New listings increased to 759 from 347 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 2,688 Active Used homes, a reduction from 2,995 in December and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in January 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 597.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 6 months of inventory in January vs. 7 in December. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 6 months of inventory in January vs. 6 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 6 months this January. I have been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and this has happened. Sales have been keeping up, so we have not seen an increase in inventory.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price decreased to  $244,689 from $268,115 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices were off this month, to $258,022 from $280,135 in December. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in January was 201 vs last month of 183. Days On Market for Used was 158 vs. last month 156. In my opinion, the results point to a strong upcoming year.        
TWB 2/13/2017

Coastal Alabama Wraps Up 2016 In Great Style

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

Sales dollars increased 21% in December to $155,437,713 from November $128,478,837. This is up 23% from last year’s record level of $126,001,010. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause during the summer months, has been heading substantially up.

Full Year summary:

All units New units Used Units Avg New Price Avg Used Price Avg All price Total dollars
2016 6723 1124 5598 $249,357 $255,065 $254,160 $1,712,999,817
2015 6324 823 5501 $250,329 $242,023 $243,098 $1,542,057,978
% ∆ 6.31% 36.57% 1.76% -0.39% 5.39% 4.55% 11.09%

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement as do inventories. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high, but improving, for anything over $500,000. Note that price ranges with inventories over a year are fewer, for instance, the price ranges of $600,000-$800,000 are at just 10-11 months. With the $500,000-$600,000 at 14 months. Amazingly, the over $900,000 category is now at 23 months with 156 active and 9 sold this month.

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 expected projected home sales in 2016 of 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Full year actual sales are 8% above expectations. 5571 sales were recorded for the year which is 432 more than projected and 341 more than 2015.  New projections for 2017 will be out once all the December results are available (statewide).

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 72 at 559 this month vs. last month at 487, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 491. Used Home sales increased to 457 this month vs. 409 last month, which is up from last year’s 423 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 102 this month vs 78 last month and compared with 68 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 130 from 137 in November. Used homes New listings decreased to 338 from 530 in November 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 December, there were 2,676 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,403 in November and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in December 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 609.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in December vs. 8 in November. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 6 months of inventory in December vs. 7 in November. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in November 2008 to 6 months this December. I have been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and this has happened. Sales have been keeping up, so we have not seen an increase in inventory.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price increased to  $268,115 from $258,127 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices were up this month, to $280,284 from $264,902 in November. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in December was 183 vs last month of 172. Days On Market for Used was 156 vs. last month 166. In my opinion, the results point to a strong upcoming year.         

TWB 1/15/2017

September Yet Another Record Sales Month On The Alabama Coast

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

Sales dollars decreased 18% in September to $140,078,483 from August $171,124,577. This is up 12% from September last year’s record level of $124,652,462. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause during the summer months, appears to have resumed its upward trend. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down very consistently.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement as do inventories. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. 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 September actual sales are 6% above expectations. 233 more units were sold through September than the 3,981 projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were off 63 at 566 this month vs. last month at 629, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 545. Used Home sales decreased to 469 this month vs. 528 last month, which is up from last year’s 463 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 97 this month vs 101 last month and compared with 82 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 119 from 143 in August. Used homes New listings decreased to 588 from 778 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 been consistently improving. In September, there were 3,127 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,728 in August and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in September 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 576.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in September vs. 8 in August. The Absorption rate for Used homes was also 7 months of inventory in September vs. 8 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 7 months this September. 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 this has happened. Sales have been keeping up, so we have not seen an increase in inventory.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price decreased to  $235,747 from $253,920 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $249,917 from $275,528 in August. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in September was 159 vs last month of 161. Days On Market for Used was 158 the same as last month 158.

It seems to be shaping up as a strong fall season.

TWB 10/12/2016

Real Estate Conference to Focus on ‘Refining Your Competitive Advantage’

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — This year’s gathering of more than 400 real estate and business leaders at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center in Birmingham on Jan. 28 will benefit from dialogue, panel discussions and networking activities surrounding the topic of “your competitive advantage.”

“In this ever-changing economy, differentiating your property, service, product or company from every possible competitor requires close study and creative attention on a well-defined competitive advantage,” according to Grayson Glaze, executive director of the Alabama Center for Real Estate, known as ACRE,  at The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce.

Legendary investor Warren Buffet has often said that his success has been primarily focused on the number one attribute he looks for in a company – “a sustainable competitive advantage.” Glaze said conference participants will consider throughout the day, “if Buffet examined your company, would he find what he is looking for in a sustainable advantage?”

General Electric’s celebrated former CEO, Jack Welch, once said, “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.” ACRE’s agenda is built around assisting conference participants in beginning the process of fine-tuning a competitive advantage.

Glaze defined a competitive advantage as a proposition that the competition cannot duplicate. “It is the single selling advantage that is to be used in every strategic decision regarding marketing, selling, communicating and interacting with your customer as well as your employees,” he said.

Yet, according to research, Glaze said, most companies today are in need of clarity.

“Current reports show that 95 percent of all companies have neither a competitive advantage nor strategy for how to communicate their single compelling reason to choose their company, properties, products or services,” Glaze said. “Thus, the day-long conference will focus on assisting participants in thinking and talking about developing a message that resonates with their target audiences.”

The conference agenda will begin at 8 a.m. with a session, “Refining Your Competitive Advantage,” by Cort Harwood of Harwood Consulting and a Vistage Executive Chair. The 2011 Alabama Economic Outlook, presented by Dr. Sam Addy, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at The University of Alabama, will include an economic development forum featuring top economic development executives from across the state.

The forum participants will be Rick Davis, director, Cummings Research Park; Patrick Murphy, senior vice president of economic development, Birmingham Business Alliance; Connie Bainbridge, Central Alabama Electric Cooperative; Troy Wayman, vice president of economic development, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce; and Wiley Lott, economic development, Alabama Power.

After a mid-morning break for networking and visiting over expo exhibitors, Jim Andrews, president of Commercial Property Directory, will moderate a panel of top statewide commercial real estate executives in a thought leadership session regarding best practices, including the creation of memorable competitive advantages and their market outlook.

Panel members will include Rance Sanders, president/CEO, The Sanders Trust, Birmingham; Will Wilson, President, Jim Wilson Associates, Montgomery; Robert Simon, CEO, Corporate Realty, Birmingham; Jerome Moore, president, Coldwell Banker Commercial Realty, Montgomery, and Matt White, president, White-Spunner & Associates, Mobile.

Randall M. Griffin, CEO of Corporate Office Properties Trust, known as COPT, will provide the keynote address at lunch. In March 2010, COPT formed a joint venture to develop Redstone Gateway Business Park at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville.

Griffin’s work experience includes 37 years in the creation of real estate value through direct responsibilities in management, development, acquisitions, marketing and finance. He directed development for more than $5 billion of real estate assets, representing more than 12 million square feet of office, retail and industrial/design build space, 5,600 hotel rooms and more than 4,000 housing units. He has also been responsible for more than $2 billion of acquisitions, including land, retail, office and industrial buildings.

Afternoon sessions include “Disposition of Troubled Assets,” “Best Uses of Social Media in Real Estate” and a wrap-up session on “Your Competitive Advantage.”

“Not only is it important to begin with your own perspective regarding the single competitive advantage, it is critical to carefully evaluate the thoughts and perceptions of your employees and customers regarding the strongest and most compelling opportunity for a sustainable competitive advantage,” Glaze said. “Yet, the perspective of the customer is the key to answering the simple and core question, “why us?’”

“Once identified and quantified, the competitive advantage must be woven into the fabric of every detail of a marketing and communication plan,” according to David Lobaugh, president of August Partners Inc. of Atlanta, a strategic research and consulting firm focused on shopping center, mixed-use and retail properties.

Six hours of continuing education credit with the Alabama Real Estate Commission will be awarded to licensees for attendance and participation in this Conference.

Additional conference information and online registration is available on the conference website, www.acreconference.ua.edu.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state’s economy, is in keeping with UA’s vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state’s flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

CONTACT: Grayson Glaze, executive director, ACRE, gglaze@cba.ua.edu,205/348-7714; Bill Gerdes, UA media relations,bgerdes@cba.ua.edu, 205/348-8318

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Finishes The Year On A Positive Note

Baldwin County MLS* & Alabama Coastal Areas: Observations for the month of December 2010


December was surprisingly strong with dollar sales improving 21% to $62,276,731 from November’s $51,587,206. This is 1% above December last year at $61,435,554 (Sect A p.2). As a result, the 12 month moving average line of sales is still trending down, but not by much. I suspect the sales increase was motivated by people on both sides anxious to get transactions done by the tax year-end. The sales results varied widely by area with several coastal areas showing some improvement.

Baldwin Total Dollar Sales

Baldwin Total Dollar Sales


Our chart in Section A p.18 shows the historical trends for absolute units of inventory and months of inventory for New and Used units. This chart has been showing substantial inventory reduction for six months which is not so much from sales as people simply not putting properties on the market. The abnormally large drop in inventory at year end is due to expirations that have not been renewed. Inventories remain very high. Used inventory is now at 4,000, a full 2,000 below August 2008. The number of Active listings is at the lowest level since early 2006, which is positive. (more below)


The 12 month moving average line of unit sales for Used homes had a pronounced upward slope through six months ago. But with the spill, it now shows a slight downward trend due to the size and counter cyclical nature of the sales drop. On a unit basis, sales of all houses went up, in line with the dollar sales, to 301 this month vs. 268 last month, which is also better than last year’s 295

.

Used house unit sales were up to 285 from 244 last month. New home unit sales improved to 25 from 24 last month (Sect A p.18). The low number of sales of new homes reflects the intense competition from existing, and an extended slowdown of new construction.

Baldwin Absorption And Inventory

Baldwin Absorption And Inventory

New listings for New homes fell to 9 in December from 35 in November. Used houses New listings decreased to 131 this month from 499 in November.


The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has once again started to decline slightly. In December, there were 3,992 Active Used homes, a 15% reduction from 4,713 in November. The New home market, which peaked in December 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 354.


The Absorption rate for New homes was 12 months of inventory for December vs. 13 in November. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 14 months of inventory for December vs. 17 in November. (Sect A p.17).


Average sales price for all homes has been trending down. But, the New home average spiked again this month. Since there are so few new homes sold lately the average prices can be quite volatile. For New units prices increased to $234,752 from $231,344 last month. Life is still very difficult for those trying to sell higher priced homes, and while there is some reduction in absolute numbers of listings, the months of inventory continues to climb. (Sect A p.14).

 

Average Used home price increased to $197,922 from $188,667 in November.

Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in December was 238 this month vs. 234 last month. Days On Market for Used was 183 this month vs. 191 last month.

 

TWB 1/10/2011

Birmingham Area Home Sales Slow in October

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for October 2010

Taken from the Innovation Depot's rooftop terr...

Image via Wikipedia

Sales in October dropped 25% to $120,783,955 from September’s $160,333,587. This is a decline of 32% from last October’s $178,100,683. An increasing percentage of sales are being reported after the 10th of the month when we get the data, so the comparisons to prior periods seem somewhat overstated; that is, next month we are likely to see more sales reported for the October time frame ,making the comparisons seem somewhat better. The housing situation is still pretty distressing with the twelve month moving average of total dollar sales chart continuing to show a downward slope.

Total unit sales were down 25% at 714 in October from 953 in September, a decrease of 239. This is a 39% reduction from October 2009 at 1,177 (for those who follow, this is almost identical to the % drop reported by the MLS). New sales declined 30% to 111 homes this month from 159 in September, a decrease of 48 units. Used sales deteriorated 24% to 603 homes in October from 794 last month, a decrease of 191 (Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is virtually the same as last year at 12,764 vs. 12,808. Active New listings decreased to 1,152 in October from 1,327 in September, a decline of 175 units (Sect E p.3). The number of housing permits this month has decreased to 23 in September vs. 44 in the prior month for Jefferson County. Shelby County showed a slight increase. (See the website for details).

Absorption rate for New homes at a  6.8 months supply and a reduced sales pace, is better than the 8.9 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 17.7 months of sales, while those priced from $100,000-$500,000 range from 5.4 to 6.6 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. This situation has been grim for some time.

Inventory shows a modest decline for Used homes. Absorption for Used homes in October 2010 shows 11,612 Used Active listings (Sect E p.3) and 13.2 months of supply. This is slightly worse than the 12.4 months of supply last year at this time (Sect E p.3). Since May the number of Used Active listings has dropped by more that 1,000! Unfortunately, the drop has been due more to cancellations than sales, but it is still somewhat positive news. The higher price ranges are doing poorly, but hopefully showing some signs of stability as New listings moderate. The market for houses requiring “Jumbo” loans remains stagnant.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 237 compared to last month at 182. The Used homes DOM was 137 in October, compared with 134 last month (Sect A p.18).
Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $223,528 from $229.998 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes increased to $159,158 from $155,874 last month (Sect A p2).

The twelve month moving average price line for both New and Used homes is heading up! This reflects a normalizing mix of home prices, with the elimination of the distortion due to sales of the lower-end being inflated by the tax incentives.  (Sect A p2).

TWB 11/13/10