Tag Archives: February

Birmingham Real Estate Sales Show Positive Trends in February

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for February 2013

Dollar sales in February improved by 15% to $156,249,103 from January’s $136,050,964, up a healthy 11% from last February’s $141,182,366. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales continues to move up indicating improving market conditions. We are still in the slowest three months of the sales season, so it is best not to try to read too much into these results, although the year over year gains are meaningful.

Unit sales were up 7% to 920 in February from 857 in January, an increase of 139. This is down 2% from February 2012 at 936.BhamFebUnits Our ABRE/ACRE Projections for 2013 projected 1020 sales for February and of course the reported number will increase as late sales are reported. For now, the projections indicated 10% higher than achieved for the month and 6% for the year. Please see here for a summary of the projections http://goo.gl/nytW8 and here is the spreadsheet with details and month by month projections by area http://goo.gl/GEYWa (see the tabs on the bottom).  New sales improved by 8 units to 99 homes this month from 91 in January and are off from 116 last year. Used sales improved 7% to 821 homes in February from 766 last month, an increase of 55,  and up 1 from 820 last year(Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is 14% lower at 9,028 vs. 10,458 last year and 9,410 last month. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market shortly. It is encouraging to see total inventory remaining below 10,000. Active New listings decreased to 765 in February from 1016 in January, a decline of 251 units (Sect E p.3).  Housing permits went way up in Jefferson County to 96 for January from 62 in December. Shelby County permits went down to 16 from 17 (see website for details).

Absorption rate for New and Used homes is fairly steady. New homes are at 6 months supply this month which is  better than last year at this time at 8 months (Sect E p.3). New home supply last month shows 8 months. Under $100,000 New homes is at 11 months supply. The New homes in the $100,000-$700,000 price range have normal inventory levels in the 5-8 month range. Higher price ranges are one to two years of supply, although over $900,000 the new inventory is at 3 months (only one home). (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in February shows 8 months, two months better than the 10 months last year. Used Active listings at 7,999 are lower than the 9,487 last year (Sect E p.3). Interestingly, the under $100,000 market with an average list price of $59,571, which makes up 33% of all listings, is at 7 months of inventory which drags down the overall months of inventory for all homes. The number of homes in the over $900,000 price range is beginning to climb from a low level but the months of inventory is still high  (14 months) due to reduced sales levels.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 197 compared to last month at 201. The Used homes DOM was 147 in February, compared with 146 last month (Sect A p.18). NOTE: DOM for Used homes indicates that well priced homes are moving in less than 6 months.

Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $266,885 from $225,344 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $158,133 from $150,842 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for Used Homes has been moving up steadily since the beginning of the year. The 12 month moving average line for New home prices has also been heading up quite nicely since the beginning of the year. Average Home prices, New and Used, are improving  (Sect A p2). The price of any specific home still remains under pressure.

TWB 3/9/13

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North Alabama February Sales Slightly Ahead of Last Year

Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS Observations: Real Estate Market February 2013

February sales improved by 19% to $103,565,733 vs. January at $87,011,244. This was up 16% from last year’s $89,518,072 The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart is heading up.

Total unit sales improved 16% to 652 in February vs. 564 in January, an increase of 88. This was 5% better than last year at 623. Feb2013HuntsUnitsOur projections for ACRE and Brander Real Estate for 2013 called for 690 sales in February so we are 5% under that, and year to date volume is 4% lower than our projection. See here http://goo.gl/nytW8 for an article sumarizing the projections. Here is the spreadsheet with month by month projections by area http://goo.gl/GEYWa (see the tabs on the bottom).

New sales improved to 121 this month vs. 102 last month, up 20.
Used sales improved to 531 this month vs. 462 last month, up 69 (Sect E  p.3).

Used inventory levels remain high this month at 11 months (see the chart Sect C p.1), with the situation particularly challenged in the higher price ranges. Used homes over $200,000 are still over 12 months of inventory and over $500,000 have more than two years of inventory.

New home absorption is 9 months of inventory overall with last month at 11 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. For January there were 111, (estimate from census dept.), up from 59 in December (chart on the web site).

Total Active listings decreased this month to 8,262 compared to last month’s 8,543, and below last year at this time at 8,389, with the reduction exaggerated due to month-end expirations. (Sect A p.4 and Sect E p.3).  The reduction in inventory is a positive thing. The inventory reduction has been good for the last 8 months; we are however beginning to see some spring increase.

Active New listings decreased from 1,549 last month to 1,337 in February, down 212. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased from 6,994 last month to 6,925 this month, down 69 and slightly below last year’s amount at this time of 7,082. (Sect E p.3).

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 167 vs. 168 days last month, with Used at 163 in February compared with 162 in January (Sect A p.18).

Average sales price for Sold New homes was $253,783 vs. $239,108 last month. (Sect A p.2)
Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $137,209 vs. $135,546 last month. (Sect A p.2)

The average price line for Used homes is going up nicely. New home average prices seems to be showing positive direction as well.

TWB 3/9/13

Alabama Coastal Sales Slightly Ahead of Last Year

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of February 2013

Sales dollars increased 9% in February to $65,936,643 from January’s $60,544,028. This is a modest 2% above February last year at $64,850,320. (Sect A p.2). This is reasonable performance in a slow month. The 12 month moving average line of sales has continued to point up steadily for two years now. Inventories are trending down.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 11% at 341 this month vs. last month at 307, which is up 10% from last year’s 309. BaldwinFeb2013UnitsThe year to year comparison remains encouraging.  At the high end, the $900,000 and over sales were 3 this month compared with 11 last year for the same month. There is a pronounced reduction in sales in the under $100,000 range (see page b-1). Perhaps, this is due to recovering prices and reduced inventory and declining relative values in this price range?

Used Home sales improved 9% to 307 this month vs. 282 last month, which is up 13% from last year’s 272 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 43 this month vs 25 last month compared with 37 last year. Increasing sales of New Homes is indicative of a recovering market.

New listings for New homes increased to 60 from 36 in January. Used homes New listings decreased to 712 from 767 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 3,243 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,534 in January. The New home market, which peaked in February 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 327.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 9 months of inventory for February vs. 10 in January. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 9 months of inventory for February vs. 10 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 February 2008 to 9 months this February.

Average sales price for all homes have been improving modestly for the past year.For New units, prices decreased to $220,295 from $221,042 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $190,380 from $195,099 in January. The price trend is still up for the year.

Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in February was 170 this month vs. 205 last month. Days On Market for Used was 179 this month vs. 171 last month.

We see improvement in the second home market, which is needed for the coastal area to gain strength. While there is still a lot of inventory, I think the situation on the coast has turned quite positive.

TWB 3/9/2013

February Birmingham Real Estate Sales a Good Harbinger For Spring

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for February 2012

It is shaping up to be good spring! Sales in February improved 20% to $136,263,984 from January’s $113,514,352, up 18% from last February’s $115,791,214. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is tilted increasingly upward.

Unit sales were up 18% to 906 in February from 771 in January, an increase of 135. This is a 17% improvement from February 2010 at 773. This is 2.7% unfavorable to our preliminary projection of 930 sales expected for February. Our full year projections will be revised up due to the final January 2012 unemployment rate being better than expected. (I did not want to hold this report up any more to wait on that). New sales improved 29% to 111 homes this month from 86 in January, an increase of 25 units. Used sales improved  16% to 795 homes in February from 685 last month, an increase of 110 (Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is dramatically lower at 9,756 vs. 12,483 last year and 10,519 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 807 in February from 1,076 in January, a decline of 269 units (Sect E p.3).Housingpermits showed an increase in Jefferson County to 79 in January from 64 in December. Shelby County was up to 20 from 6 (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 18 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 February shows 10 months, three months better than 13 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,949 are lower than the 11,320 last year (Sect E p.3), (Sect E p.3).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 208 compared to last month at 215 . The Used homes DOM was 153 in February, compared with 143 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 entering the more active sales season of the year.

Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $240,076 from $242,347 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes increased to $137,881 from $135,288 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 3/16/12

February Real Estate Sales Soft In Huntsville

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

February sales improved 10% to $87,702,197 vs. January at $80,004,946. This was 6% below last year’s $93,076,486. The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart is flat.

Total unit sales increased to 610 in February vs. 536 in January, an increase of 74. This was favorable to last year at 585.

Note that our projection for February was 607 so the actual results were .5% favorable.  This will probably increase as late sales are reported. We will be revising the full year projections now that the final un-employment statistics for January are available, but I did not want to delay this report. But based on the close results I think we are onto something!

New sales remained at 110 this month vs.110 last month.

Used sales increased to 500 this month vs. 426 last month, increasing 74 (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 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 ofhousingpermits issued in Huntsville city, given the market conditions. January increased to 74 vs. 56  in December (chart on the web site).

Total Active listings decreased this month to 7,959 compared to last month’s 8,512, which is below last year at this time at 8,958 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 1,479 last month to 1,216 in February, down 263. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased from 7,033 last month to 6,734 this month, down 299 and below last year’s amount at this time of 7,619. (Sect E p.3)

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 186 vs.163 days last month, with Used at 166 in February compared with 167 in January (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 $208,768 vs. $229,095 last month. (Sect A p.2)

Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $129,475 vs. $128,649 last month. (Sect A p.2)

The Average price lines for Used homes, which was on a 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 3/18/12

Coastal Real Estate Sales Off to A Slow Start in 2012

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of February 2012

Sales Dollars increased 34% in February to $64,295,045 from January’s $48,065,756. This is 7% below February last year at $69,394,255. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales is headed down once again. Inventories are continuing to come down quite dramatically. Sales for the last three months have been disappointingly below the comparable prior year. It is hard to read too much into comparable sales in these slow months, but it is worrisome and a contrast with what we are seeing in other markets.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses improved 11% to 304 this month vs. 273 last month, which is 8% down from last year’s 330.

Used Home sales improved 11% to 268 this month vs. 241 last month, which is down 14% from last year’s 312 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 36 this month vs 32 last month. Low sales of New homes reflects intense competition from existing, and the shutdown of new construction.

New listings for New homes increased to 53 from 48 in January. Used houses New listings decreased to 626 from 700 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 3,528 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,755 in January. The New home market, which peaked in February 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 327.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 12 months of inventory for February vs. 12 in January. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 11 months of inventory for February vs. 12 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 February 2008 to 11 months this February.

Average sales price for all homes has been stable for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to $184,142 from $190,503 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $215,171 from $174,148 in January.

Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in February was 176 this month vs. 229 last month. Days On Market for Used was 196 this month vs.161 last month.

While we have developed some interesting projections for the real estate market in the statewide, Birmingham and Huntsville markets, the numerous events on the coast such as the oil spill and several tropical storms, make the methods we used in the other markets unsuitable for the coast, but we are thinking about the problem!

TWB 3/18/2012

Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS February 2008 Comments

Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLSObservations:

The Huntsville area still appears to be somewhat immune to the malaise in the rest of the country. This month showed a good seasonal increase in sales. This is consistent with what we have seen in each of the areas we cover.  It is too early to declare a bottom, and we don’t know how long a recovery will take but the signs are beginning to be encouraging. However the sales in the last three months have underperformed 2007, exactly tracking 2006 levels. (Section a page 4). Total dollar sales in February were $132,406,315, 18.6% higher than last month’s $111,624,877 and 7% below last years’ level; this now represents three consecutive months of  lower year to year comparisons. But keep in mind that February is typically a slow month. That’s why we do the month over month graph. (Section A page 4).

There are 24% more houses active than in February of 2007 against the lower dollar sales cited above. (Chart section A page 4). Inventory continues to build but mostly in the higher price ranges. The “rolling over ” of the 12 month moving average on the overall sales graph is a concern (section a page 1).

We do see inventory build-up for all price ranges with the situation being quite acute for higher priced houses for new and used houses over $300,000 we see fairly rapidly rising inventory levels of over a year. (Page E-1). This month we began to see a moderation of this trend.

Total active listings decreased from 7,758 in January* to 7,588 in February a decrease of 170 or 2.2%. See page E-3. There were 307 new house new listings (a decrease from 405 last month), while sales of new houses increased to 185 for the month from 158 in January. New houses new listings ran to 1.6 times the rate of sales (section B page 1). The bulk of the increase in new house new listings continued to be in the $100,000 to $300,000 range and fairly widely dispersed geographically (section A page 18).

Active New listings decreased from 2,273 last month to 2,134 this month, a decrease of 139 (page E-3).

Active Used listings increased from 5,485 last month to 5,454 this month, an increase of 31 (page E-3).

Total unit sales improved from 675 in January to 794 in February an increase of 119 units.

New sales improved from 158 homes last month to 185 this month, an increase of 27.

Used sales improved from 517 homes last month to 609 this month, an increase of 92 (sect E page 3).

Absorption for new homes was 9.3 months of inventory in February vs. 9.8 last month. This is still an increase of 1.5 months over last year at this time, see Section E page 8. Absorption for used homes was 6.9 months of inventory in February vs. 6.8 last month. This is a deterioration of 1.9 months from last year’s level at this time see Section E pg 8.

Average Days on Market for sold houses for new houses was 142 days vs. 144 days last month, used was 106 vs. 109 last month. See section A page 18.

Average sales prices for sold new homes were $238,945 vs. $220,669 last month. (Chart sect A p2)

Average sales prices for sold used homes were $139,465 vs. $147,611 last month. (Chart sect A p2)

I continue to be impressed by the dramatic increase in over $500,000 new houses listed. Inventory in all those price categories is over two year’s supply. Used houses show over 1 year of inventory going up to 4 years worth of inventory in the over $900,000 category. New listings have begun to moderate slightly for new houses in the higher price ranges and for the used houses in most price ranges.

TWB 3/16/08

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