Tag Archives: MLS

May Birmingham Residential Real Estate Market A Bit Ahead of Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for May 2016

This year seems to be unfolding almost identically to last as far as sales levels go. Inventories are down, and prices seem to be level with last year as well.  Total Unit sales were up 14% to 1,832 in May from 1,609 in April, an increase of 223. This is up by 207 from last May at 1,625. New sales were up at 162 homes this month, and 140 in April, and off by 16 from 146 last year. The low inventory levels of new homes suggest a good environment for builders even with prices trending steady. Used sales were 1,670 homes in May, up 14% from 1,469 last month, an increase of 201, and up by 191 units  from 1,479 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.  April overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 5% year to date, that is, actuals are running ahead of projections (thru April).

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

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 9,529 vs. last month at 9,117 and less than 10,341 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1,068 in May from 1,055 in April (Sect E p.3). Absorption rate for New homes is at 7 months supply this month, which is even with 7 months last year. (Sect E p.3). The New homes have normal inventory levels in the 4-6 month range depending on area and price range. However, the $700,000-$900,000 range has 13 months of supply (28 houses) (Sect C p.1). The level of inventory, both in months of inventory and housing units has been continuing to improve for the year.

Absorption for Used homes in May shows 6.5 months, which is less than the 8 last year. Used Active listings at 8,461 are up from last month of 8,062, and quite a bit less than 9,327 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 7 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 16 months of inventory (61 homes), with 11 sold in that price range last month. There are a number of MLS areas showing similarly low levels of inventory, including Homewood (only 4 months of inventory).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 203 compared with last month at 211. The Used homes DOM was 111 in May vs 126 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $302,550 from $302,391 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be increasing slowly compared to last year. Average sales price for Sold Used were distorted by the above mentioned erroneous sales in Bessemer . (Sect A p2).

TWB 6/15/2016

May Alabama Coastal Real Estate Back To Record Sales Levels

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

Sales dollars increased a better than expected 14% in May to a new record high of $165,625,265 from April $145,567,700. This is 4% better than  May last year at $158,900,756, which was the prior monthly record. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, which had continued to point up steadily for three years, is flattening. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down very consistently. But, in spite of reducing inventories and generally healthy sales levels, average prices look fairly flat.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement. Inventories are also improving. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high 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 April actual sales are 4% above expectations. 59 more units were sold year to date than projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up at 649 this month vs. last month at 588, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 612. Used Home sales increased 10% to 552 this month vs. 501 last month, which is up 5% from last year’s 527 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 97 this month vs 87 last month and compared with 85 last year. New listings for New homes increased to 177 from 135 in April. Used homes New listings declined to 801 from 843 in April 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 May, there were 3,283 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,929 in April and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in May 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 503.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in May vs. 8 in April. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory in May vs. 9 in April. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in April 2008 to 7 months this May. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes priced $500,000 and over at a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I have been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and we have seen a pick-up in New homes, New listings where sales seem to be keeping up so net inventory of new home remains low in these price ranges.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, price increased to  $254,946 from $235,342 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $255,245 from $249,687 in April. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in May was 161 vs last month of 165. Days On Market for Used was 154 compared to last month 167.
TWB 6/11/2016

Alabama April Coastal Real Estate Sales Even with Last Year

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

Sales dollars increased an expected 6% in April to $144,577,700 from March $136,196,121. This is very close to April last year at $147,406,226. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, which had continued to point up steadily for three years, is flattening. 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. Inventories are also improving. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high at over a year for anything over $500,000.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 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 a projected 2016 = 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Year to date through March actual sales are 3% above expectations. 34 more units sold year to date than projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were even at 586 this month vs. last month at 586, which is practically identical with last year’s healthy level of 582. Used Home sales increased 32% to 499 this month vs. 483 last month, which is off 3% from last year’s 518 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 87 this month vs 103 last month and compared with 64 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 130 from 138 in March. Used homes New listings declined to 798 from 888 in March 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 April, there were 3,243 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,784 in March and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in April 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 448.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 6 months of inventory in April vs. 8 in March. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 7 months of inventory in April vs. 8 in March. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in March 2008 to 7 months this April. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $500,000 at over a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I expect construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, but so far have not seen it.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, price decreased to  $233,618 from $235,768 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $249,004 from $231,702 in March. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in April was 165 vs last month of 146. Days On Market for Used was 167 compared to last month 161.

TWB 5/8/2016

Coastal Alabama Real Estate Continues To Set Records In June

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of June 2015

Sales dollars increased 2% in June to $160,000,716 from May $157,463,856. This is 6% better than June last year at $150,802,530. (Sect A p.2).  The 12 month moving average line of sales which had continued to point up steadily for three years, except for the last part of last year and the first few months of this year, has now gotten a healthy upwards tilt due to the record setting last four months gains. Last year was the best sales year since 2005, and the last four months has been substantially above that level. The lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories continue trending down.

Sales in most price categories have begun to show consistent improvement. Inventories are improving but remain high at over a year for anything over $400,000.

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 located here expects a unit increase of 4.75% over 2014 actual. Through June cumulative sales are running 7% ahead of the projection. For the month of June sales were 9% ahead of the projection.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 5% to 631 this month vs. last month at 602, which is 6% above  last year’s healthy level of 597. There is still substantial inventory available to satisfy demand.

Used Home sales increased 7% to 554 this month vs. 517 last month, which is up 7% from last year’s 519 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 77 this month vs 85 last month and compared with 78 last year.

New listings for New homes decreased to 93 from 109 in May. Used homes New listings decreased to 755 from 840 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 3,694 Active Used homes, a reduction from 4,222 in May. The New home market, which peaked in June 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 425.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in June vs. 9 in May. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 8 months of inventory in 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 May 2008 to 8 months this June. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes over $400,000 at over a year’s supply but even here we are seeing improvement. I would expect to see construction begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, but so far have not seen it.

Average sales price for all homes has been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices increased to  $263,841 from $248,695 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $252,139 from $263,684 in May. The price trend is up for the year. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in June was 178 vs last month of 236. Days On Market for Used was 158 compared to last month 169.

TWB 7/14/2015

Birmingham Area Real Estate Sales Robust in December

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for December 2014

Bham2014YERpt_SCTAoverall_combined

A short sweet summary of the Year and quarter:

Total unit sales year to year: 2013: 15920 2014: 16744  a 5% increase

4th quarter unit sales   2013: 3361    2014: 3479    a 4% increase

Prices: (based on an average of 12 month average prices)

New   2013: $271,813   2014: $284,082   a 5% increase

Used 2013: $171,313   2014: $178,040   a 4% increase

Inventory:

New   2013: 864    2014: 815   a 6% reduction

Used 2013: 8487 2014: 7874 a 7% reduction

Dollar sales in December improved by 23% to $233,754,358 from November’s $190,787,845, up by 11% over last December’s $211,145,543. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is showing a very steady upward trend indicating modest and consistent growth.

Total Unit sales were up 10% to 1,144 in December from 1,039 in November, an increase of 105. This is up 2% from last December at 1,121. New sales increased by 48 units to 171 homes this month from 123 in November and up from 139 last year. Used sales were 973 homes in December, up 6% from 916 last month, an increase of 57, and down by 9 units from 982 last year(Sect E p.3). Note the higher growth in Dollars (11%) compared to Units (2%) year to year, indicating stronger pricing.

Keeping in mind the ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report, From ACRE: ”Forecast: December sales results were 1.1 percent or 11 units below our monthly forecast. The Center projected 12,845 closed transactions for the market in 2014 while the actual sales were 12,539 units, representing a variance of 2.4 percent.” 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. With Acre we will be releasing our forecast for 2015 soon so stay tuned. Based on what I see so far I would expect pretty healthy market gains.

This month total inventory is 12% lower at 8,689 vs. last month at 9,905 and 9,351 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 815 in December from 1,098 in November, a decline of 283 units (Sect E p.3).  

Housing permits were down in Jefferson County to 72 in November from 113 in October. Shelby County went from 20 to 10 in November.

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 December shows 7 months, one month better than 8 months last year. Used Active listings at 7,874 are lower than the 8,487 last year (Sect E p.3). 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 6 months of inventory (32 homes) with five sold in that price range last month . The average days on market for that category is 178. 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 189. The Used homes DOM was 134 in December, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $310,781 from $275,989 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes increased to $185,623 from $171,224 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for all homes has been up steadily for the past year. (Sect A p2).

TWB 1/16/2015

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

Birmingham August Real Estate Sales Up Modestly Over Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for August 2013

Dollar sales in August declined by an expected seasonal 10% to $267,672,127 from July’s $298,747,801, up modestly by 3% from last August’s $259,348,665. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales continues to move up indicating continued improving market conditions. This is encouraging as we head into the slower fall sales season.

Birmingham Aug Projection

Birmingham Aug Projection

Unit sales were off 2% to 1,429 in August from 1,462 in July, a decrease of 33. This is up 1% from August 2012 at 1,418.This number will increase as late sales are reported. Our ABRE/ACRE Projections for 2013 projected 1,402 sales for August. For August, actual sales for the month were .2% higher than projections and 0.8% higher year to date. Please see here for a summary of the projections http://goo.gl/nytW8 and the spreadsheet with details and month by month projections by area http://goo.gl/GEYWa (see the tabs on the bottom). New sales decreased by 9 units to 138 homes this month from 147 in July and are off by 10 from 148 last year. Used sales declined 2% to 1,291 homes in August from 1,315 last month, a decrease of 96, and up by 21 units from 1,270 last year(Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is 10% lower at 9,583 vs. 10,663 last year and 10,426 last month. The drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market shortly. While we are seeing a seasonal uptick in inventory it is still lower than prior years. Although New home inventories are beginning to look a bit high. Active New listings decreased to 824 in August from 1,149 in July, a decline of 325 units (Sect E p.3).  Housing permits went up in Jefferson County to 101 for July from 68 in June. Shelby County permits went down to 32 from 46 (see website for details).

Absorption rate for New homes is edging up. New homes are at 6 months supply this month which is  one month better than 7 last year at this time. Last month though, shows 9 months of supply (Sect E p.3). The New homes for the most part have normal inventory levels in the 4-8 month range. The $400,000- $500,000 is at 9 months and  $700,000- $800,000 new inventory is at 10 months (5 homes). (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in August shows 8 months, two months better than 10 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,759 are lower than the 9,832 last year (Sect E p.3). The number of homes listed in the over $600,000 price range has been climbing somewhat faster than sales, resulting in some upward drift in the months of sales (generally over a year). The market performance is highly area specific, so check the area charts. For instance, Mountain Brook has about four months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category which has 10 months of inventory.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 238 compared to last month at 245.This indicates that some of the older stock of new homes are selling. The Used homes DOM was 126 in August, compared with 130 last month (Sect A p.18). NOTE: DOM for Used homes indicates that well priced homes are moving in about 4  months.

Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $290,677 from $280,227 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales price for Sold Used homes decreased to $176,265 from $195,859 last month (Sect A p2). The moving average price for Used Homes has been up steadily for the last 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).

TWB 9/14/13

Baldwin County Real Estate Sales in August Up 20% Over Last Year

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

Sales dollars improved 8% in July to $124,260,240 from June’s $114,883,928. This is 20% above July last year at $103,293,794. (Sect A p.2). A increase in July sales is somewhat unusual and may be a encouraging sign of a continuing improving market. The 12 month moving average line of sales has continued to point up steadily for three years now. Inventories are steadily trending down.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 1% at 495 this month vs. last month at 489, which is up 29% from last year’s 383. In spite of the substantially improved sales climate, it is important to point out that the inventories of homes over $300,000 while improving from really bad levels, remain at over a 12 month supply.

Used Home sales improved 5% to 451 this month vs. 428 last month, which is up 18% from last year’s 383 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 44 this month vs 61 last month compared with 29 last year. Increasing sales of New Homes is indicative of a recovering market.

New listings for New homes decreased to 74 from 97 in June. Used homes New listings increased to 784 from 776 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 3,597 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,910 in June. The New home market, which peaked in July 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 363.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 9 months of inventory for July vs. 10 in June. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 10 months of inventory for July vs. 11 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 10 months this July. As I observe above though, the inventory for homes remains high.

Average sales price for all homes have been improving modestly for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to $218,380 from $258,086 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $254,216 from $231,637 in June. The price trend is up for the year.

Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in July was 186 this month vs. 90 last month. Days On Market for Used was 154 this month vs. 193 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 particularly in the upper price ranges, sales are continuing to improve. I think the situation on the coast has turned quite positive.

TWB 8/11/2013

Huntsville/North Alabama Sales Remain Robust In June

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

June sales improved by 5% to $161,771,359 vs. May at $154,298,298. This was up 7% from last year’s $150,559,136. The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart is heading up. It is good to see robust sales in the peak selling month.

June Huntsville Projection to Actual

June Huntsville Projection to Actual

Total unit sales improved 2% to 949 in June vs. 928 in May, an increase of 21. This was 6% better than last year at 892.

Our projections for ACRE and Brander Real Estate for 2013 called for 995 sales in June with actual results 5% under that, and year to date volume is 3% 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 increased to 160 this month vs. 121 last month, up 39.

Used sales decreased to 789 this month vs. 807 last month, off 18 (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 $400,000 have more than two years of inventory.

New home absorption is 9 months of inventory overall with last month at 11 months, and this has been climbing)(E-1). The New Home inventory level in the $300,000-$500,000 is approximately 5-6 months. (Not bad!).

There continue to be a large number ofhousing permits issued in Huntsville city given the market conditions. For May there were 113, up from 83 in April (chart on the web site).

Total Active listings decreased this month to 9,100 compared to last month’s 9,563, and below last year at this time at 9,049, 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 9 months; we are however seeing signs of a summer increase.

Active New listings decreased from 1,619 last month to 1,365 in June, down 254. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased from 7,944 last month to 7,735 this month, down 209 and slightly below last year’s amount at this time of 7,795. (Sect E p.3).

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 148 vs. 160 days last month, with Used at 145 in June compared with 166 in May (Sect A p.18).

Average sales price for Sold New homes was $236,566 vs. $241,249 last month. (Sect A p.2)

Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $157,061 vs. $155,027 last month. (Sect A p.2)

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

TWB 7/13/13

Birmingham Spring Real Estate Season Off to Slow Start

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for April 2011

Sales in April declined 5% to $153,269,290 from March’s $161,546,070 down 31% from last April’s $220,966,609.  April historically shows substantial improvement over March. This month to month decline is very disappointing. We are seeing a very slow ramp up in spring sales. The tax credits last year will continue to make comparisons problematic.

Total unit sales were down 7% to 982 in April from 1,056 in March, a decrease of 74. This is a 29% reduction from April 2010 at 1,387. New sales declined 15% to 96 homes this month from 113 in March, a decrease of 17 units. (For what it is worth, this is less than half of last year’s new sales in April which were 202). Used sales declined 6% to 886 homes in April from 943 last month, a decrease of 57 (Sect E p.3).

This month Total Inventory is somewhat lower at 12,366 vs. 13,691 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1,044 in April from 1,266 in March, a decline of 222 units (Sect E p.3).  Housing Permits showed a slight increase in Jefferson County from 51 in February to 62 in March..

Absorption rate for New homes at a 8 months supply and a reduced sales pace, is about the same as 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 months of sales, while those priced from $100,000-$400,000 range from 6 to 9 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 (with a notable exception in the $800,000 to $900,000 range at 8 months) excessive at over a year.

Absorption for Used homes in April 2011 shows 11,322 Used Active listings as a lower number than 12,246 last year, (Sect E p.3) which is still 14 months of supply, a bit worse than 13 last year at this time due to reduced sales levels (Sect E p.3). There are some signs of increased listing activity, and a trend to higher inventories as spring approaches.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 221 compared to last month at 223. The Used homes DOM was 142 in April, compared with 139 last month (Sect A p.18). An interesting side note is that the DOM for used homes under $600,000 is 180 days or less which indicates that well priced homes are moving in less than 6 months. The high months of inventory indicates that sellers, including bank owners, may still be holding out too much for higher prices .

Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $207,022 from $199,758 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes increased to $150,560 from $147,374 last month and decreased from $152,211 last year(Sect A p2). The twelve month moving average price line for Used homes has been quite steady since mid 2009. New homes prices continue to drift downward (Sect A p2).

TWB 5/14/11