Tag Archives: Real Estate Market

Birmingham April Real Estate Sales Moderate Slightly

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for April 2017

April saw a surprising reversal of the dramatic increase we saw last month. We saw a similar increase/decrease pattern on the Alabama coast for the last two months as well. Could it be related to the volatile political situation? Or is it just something random? The next few months should show us.  Prices seem to be modestly increasing. Total dollar sales for April were $332,399,621 off 2% from $339,397,305 last year, and off 5% from last month at $348,804,968.

Total Unit sales were off 7% at 1,524 in April from 1,636 last year and off by 11% compared with 1,709 in March. New sales were up at 164 homes this month, vs. 160 in March, and up by 18 from 146  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 1,360 homes in April, off 12% from 1,549 last month, and off by 9% from 1,490 last year (Sect E p.3).

ACRE numbers are slightly different from those we report. For ACRE, our month by month 2017 forecast can be seen here: ACRE. For Birmingham, the full year projection for 2017 = 15,238, a 3.6% difference from 2016 actual of 14,705. The cumulative error is minus 1% for the year; that is actuals are behind projections of 3,200 through April, at 3,162 actual thru March. Check the link to see when the April numbers are posted.

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 8,484 vs. last month at 7,832 and less than 9,178 last year. (Sect C p.1). Active New listings decreased to 1,000 in April from 1,048 in March (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).

Absorption for Used homes in April shows 5 months, which is less than the 6 last year. Used Active listings at 7,484 are up from last month of 6,784, and less than 8,105 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 6 months of inventory, 4 months overall. There are a number of MLS areas, particularly those known as the “over the mountain” communities, showing similarly low levels, including Homewood, which has 4 months of inventory.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 198 compared with last month at 239. The Used homes DOM was 104 in April vs 115 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $292,961 from $275,131 last month (Sect A p2). Over a several month period prices seem to be quite unchanged. Average sales price for Sold Used was $209,084 this month compared to $196,762 last month. (Sect A p2).

It will be interesting to see how sales unfold over the next few months..

TWB 5/13/2017  

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July Birmingham Real Estate Sales Off Slightly From Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for July 2016

The last few months have seen a dramatic pick up in dollar sales over last year; some of this volume has been recorded well after the month end reports, but since we re-run full history every month it is now apparent. For instance, roughly $15 million dollars of additional sales were recorded for June after our last monthly report. Inventories are down, and prices now seem to be increasing over the last three months. Total dollar sales for July were $353,471,738 down 4% from $368,148,744 last year, and down 14% from last month at $412,631,135. It will be interesting to see how much in late sales reports show up next month.

Total Unit sales were off 9% to 1,627 in July from 1,789 in June, a decrease of 162. This is off by 163 from last July at 1,790. New sales were up at 179 homes this month, and 164 in June, and up by 9 from 170 last year. The low inventory levels of new homes suggest a good environment for builders, and prices have begun to show a more solid uptrend. Used sales were 1,448 homes in July, off 11% from 1,625 last month, a decrease of 177,  off by 172 units  from 1,620 last year (Sect E p.3). Again, late sales reports will improve this result next month.

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.  July over performed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 7.6% year to date, that is actuals are running ahead of projections (through July).

Housing permits,  for June are down from last year . For Jefferson County, in June there were 60 permits compared with 109 last year. Shelby County was slightly ahead of last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 9,545 vs. last month at 9,471 and less than 10,505 last year. Active New listings decreased to 1,060 in July from 1,113 in June (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 4-8 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 July shows 7 months, which is less than the 8 last year. Used Active listings at 8,485 are up from last month of 8,358, and quite a bit less than 9,464 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 5 months of inventory except in the over $900,000 category, which has 14 months of inventory (62 homes), with 9 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 241 compared with last month at 205. The Used homes DOM was 113 in July vs 110 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $339,624 from $304,530 last month (Sect A p2), and prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used were $202,126 this month compared to $223,193 last month. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.
TWB 8/14/2016

Cautious Sentiment Revealed in Real Estate Confidence Survey, According to UA Center

Real estate professionals in Alabama are a bit more favorable about their statewide market conditions when ask to compare versus its national  counterpart, but still show a continued state of caution from the previous quarter, according to the Alabama Real Estate Center at The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce.

The PDF is located here.

Over 500 Real Estate Professionals responded to the third quarterly survey during the last two weeks of June. The survey asked these professionals for their expectations for the third quarter of 2010.

The scale ranges from 0-100 with 0 being much worse, 100 being much better, and 50 indicating no change expected.

The overall (residential & commercial combined) confidence level was not significantly different from the survey results for the last quarter although the overall score has dropped each quarter. The statewide overall score dropped from 47 to 44 indicating a continued deterioration in expectations from the previous quarter. The expectations for the nation are ranked at 45, indicating that respondents expect real estate conditions nationally to continue to deteriorate modestly.

Expectations for Alabama are more positive than the national outlook at 49 which is still a 5 point decline from last quarter. The score indicates “modestly unfavorable expectations” for the overall Alabama Real Estate market.

3rd Quarter overall outlook

3rd Quarter overall outlook

Commercial market participants were also more dour in their outlook this quarter than last with results down 1 point.

Regional Results

North Region

North Alabama continues to have the highest overall scores, but at the same time continues to drift downward. The total score of 47 indicates a consensus for slight deterioration in coming quarter. The outlook for the Alabama market remains comparatively high at 56, but again this is a drop of 4 from the prior quarter, 60. Market participants are more pessimistic on the sales outlook for the 3rd quarter than they were for the 2nd at 53 this quarter vs. 62 last. This is still above the neutral rating of 50.

3rd Quarter Outlook Northern Region

3rd Quarter Outlook Northern Region

Where we do not have sufficient respondents to provide a good sample such as the “commercial categories” we indicate that with na.

North Central Region

The North Central Region is slightly more unfavorable than the North region. The overall score decreased from 48 last quarter to 45 this quarter. Most measures showed unfavorable movement. In particular the rural respondents see the market getting worse with both Residential and Commercial Sales as getting worse. As a consequence they also see pricing pressures at a low 35 for the coming quarter. Additionally the North Central participants see credit availability as being poor, and continuing to get tighter.

3rd Quarter North Central Outlook

3rd Quarter North Central Outlook

South Central Region

The South Central Region participants remain unfavorable regarding the national outlook. While there was a decline in the national outlook it now sits at 51 which is neutral. There was some slight improvement in credit expectations in the rural areas, an improvement of 8 points but still quite unfavorable at 31.

3rd Quarter South Central Outlook

3rd Quarter South Central Outlook

South Region

The Southern Region was more unfavorable in its outlook in most measures, undoubtedly due in large part to the oil spill impact. The overall statistics showed the largest drops of any area -8 for the quarter to 36, representing a quite unfavorable outlook. The respondents rated the national outlook at 43, only one point down from last quarter, but they ranked their own outlook 36 down 14 from last quarter. Sales expectations are down to 34 a 21 point drop from a fairly optimistic score of 55 last quarter. The more urban areas see it even worse at a score of 33 a drop of 24 from last quarter.

3rd Quarter Southern Region Outlook

3rd Quarter Southern Region Outlook

The inaugural ACRE Leadership Council determined the need for a statewide industry confidence index and this was adopted as the Council’s first initiative. Tom Brander, Council Member, was selected by the Council and Grayson Glaze, ACRE Executive Director, to spearhead and work with the Center to conduct and produce its Alabama Real Estate Confidence Index (ARECI). The Council appreciates everyone who participated and is excited to announce that Karen Spann with ReMax First Choice from Pelham is the winner of our drawing for the $200 gas card! Congratulations Karen!
For further information contact Tom Brander at Tombrander@tombrander.com or Grayson Glaze at gglaze@cba.ua.edu

Alabama’s coastal home sales plummet | al.com

I  hate reporting such depressing news. But I hope that the emerging data will help affix some of the liability to BP.. I think this article which I contributed to begins to explore what is going to be a very trying time for homeowners on the coast.Click on the link to read it all on the AL.com site.

Tom

Last month, the dollar value of homes sold in the Baldwin County area totaled $70.6 million, a 17 percent drop from April and an 11 percent drop from May 2009, according to Tom Brander, publisher of the Rudulph/Brander Monthly Birmingham Area Real Estate Report.

via Alabama’s coastal home sales plummet | al.com.

Birmingham January Real Estate Sales Chilled

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for January 2010

January residential sales were down 34% from December, to $106,419,510 in January vs. $161,634,200 in December. That is off 1% from last January ($107,267,676), and is also the lowest dollar sales since 2001. It is the largest percentage decline December to January other than last year. The good news is coming! February has always, for ten years at least, been better than January, so the outlook for sales next month is good. The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart is still trending up slightly.  The upwards slope remains more pronounced on the “Number of Homes Sold” graph. It is still a bit early for outright optimism but…..

Total unit sales declined by 25% to 694 in January from 930 in December, a decrease of 236. This is a 7% reduction from January 2009 (750). New sales declined 33% to 109 homes this month from 162 in December, a deterioration of 53 units. Used sales dropped 23% to 585 homes in January from 768 last month, a decrease of 183 (Sect E p.3).

We saw a disturbing, but somewhat seasonally normal, inventory increase in Used homes reversing the pattern of the last 9 months. For this month total inventory is down 9% from last year at this time at 11,992 vs. 13,173. Active New listings decreased to 1,442 in January from 1,584 in December, a decline of 142 units (Sect E p.3).  New listings for new homes more than doubled over last month to 337 from 154. In December it appears that builders reduced permits. The number of housing permits has decreased slightly in the area (45 in December vs. 55 in the prior month for Jefferson County). Shelby County also declined slightly (See the web site for details). New inventory is now below the 1,800 level which reflects more normal pre-2004 levels, which is still an uncomfortable 7.8 months supply at the reduced sales pace. In light of the heavy Used inventory, and low sales levels, I would not be in a rush to build! (Sect C p.1, (compare it to last month) and Sect E p.3).

For both New and Used homes the months of inventory has showed some signs of stabilizing, but this may just be a seasonal phenomena. Absorption rate for New homes improved to 7.8 months of inventory, and is better than 8.5 months last year at this time (Sect E p.3). New house inventories in the higher price ranges (above $500,000) remain excessive at over a year, and that situation has not improved.

January 2009 shows 10,550 Used Active listings (Sect E p.3). Absorption for Used homes is leveling out now at 11.5 months of supply. This is about the same as last year’s level at this time (Sect E p.3). As with the New home market, the higher price ranges are doing poorly, and deteriorating.

The market for houses requiring “Jumbo” loans remains challenged, and many sellers are removing their homes as Active listings.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses increased to 208 days as compared to 170 days last month. One way to look at DOM is that older inventory is beginning to move, so increases in this number are not all bad! Used houses decreased to 101 from 111 in December (Sect A p.18).

Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $227,548 from $225,143 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes decreased to $139,516 from $162,970 last month (Sect A p2). The twelve month moving average price line for All and Used homes has begun to curve upward, but the New home average prices continue to show a downward slope (Sect A p2). It’s hard to read too much into average prices with the continued absence of higher end sales.

TWB 2/13/10

Alabama Real Estate Confidence Index, (ARECI): Outlook For the 1st Quarter 0f 2010

Recently, I was humbled to be selected to participate on the inaugural  ACRE Leadership Council. The Council determined the need for a statewide industry confidence index and this was adopted as the Council’s first initiative. As a result of my professional background in real estate analysis, I was honored to be selected by the Council and Grayson Glaze, ACRE Executive Director, to spearhead and work with the Center to conduct and produce its Alabama Real Estate Confidence Index (ARECI). I am excited about the opportunity to work with the UA Real Estate Program and present the results of the first survey.

An excellent article appeared in The Birmingham Business Journal, by Lauren Cooper, referencing the study and material from the recent ACRE conference. If you have not signed up to participate, please do so now by filling out this registration. This is the initial report. We have posted a slide-show version with roughly the same content here (and at the end of this post):

Summary:

Over 637 Real Estate Professionals surveyed during the last quarter of 2009 about expectations for the first quarter of 2010 indicated an overall survey score of 49 indicating a slight negative bias for expectations. The expectations for the nation were 48, while expectations for Alabama were much more positive at 57. The scale ranges from 0-100 with 0 being much worse, 100 being much better, and 50 indicating no change expected.

The group was also positive 57 on the outlook for Real Estate Sales in the 1st quarter.

Inventory is expected to remain much the same at 49.

Pricing at 43 was generally expected to be weak due to the economy and the group expects the worsening of credit availability 40.

Respondents in the North Alabama were most optimistic with a score of 65 for an improved Alabama economy. On the low side the biggest divergence was the expectation for tough credit in the South 38 and pressured pricing in the commercial area at 36, which was the most negative sentiment expressed.

A summary of participants and responses:

Number Nat next Q Ala Next Q Next Q Sales Next Q inv Next Q Price Next Q Credit % of total
Residential 535 49.53 58.83 58.50 50.33 44.39 40.33 83.99%
Commercial 102 42.40 46.57 49.51 41.42 36.52 41.18 16.01%
North 116 51.94 65.52 60.78 54.96 49.78 43.75 18.21%
North_Central 224 46.21 53.13 54.35 46.99 40.63 39.40 35.16%
South_Central 117 47.22 56.20 58.33 49.15 42.09 42.31 18.37%
South 180 49.58 56.39 57.22 47.22 42.64 38.47 28.26%
Total 637 48.39 56.87 57.06 48.90 43.13 40.46


As we can see from the data table, at this time there is quite a bit of unanimity of outlook among different geographic regions, and even between the Commercial and Residential sectors. The Commercial sector has a  more negative outlook than the Residential all fronts, except somewhat surprisingly, for credit availability! While both groups were negative in their outlooks on credit availability the Commercial market participants were marginally less negative.

Since we don’t have history for The ARECI yet, a comparison with the business survey conducted of Alabama business leaders by the University Of Alabama School of Business, known as the Alabama Business Confidence Index, ABCI may be useful. It would be expected that the new Real Estate index would closely parallel the old since the initial values are so close.

The initial value for the ARECI index is 49.1.


Methodology:

Survey respondents answered 8 basic questions regarding their outlook for national and local real estate. The survey was open from 10/7/2009 through 1/12/2010. There were 637 Real Estate professionals who responded from all over the state which represents one of the widest surveys of Real Estate Professionals that we know of. The survey was modeled on the Alabama Business Confidence Index survey conducted Quarterly by the Culverhouse Business School at the University of Alabama and a similar monthly Real Estate survey the Federal Reserve conducts in the Southeast.

The questions:Your expectations for change from the current to the upcoming quarter:

General Real Estate Indicators:
  • Conditions in the Nation
  • Conditions in Alabama

Your expectations for change from the current to the upcoming quarter (as applies to your specific market):

  • Sales
  • Inventory (more=worse)
  • Pricing (lower=worse)
  • Credit Availability

All questions were scored  as:

  • Much worse = 0
  • Worse = 25
  • About the Same = 50
  • Better = 75
  • Much Better = 100

The participants were well dispersed throughout the state.
The regions are defined as (with the overall average for the region):

North: Huntsville-Decatur-Florence  (54.4)

North Central: Birmingham-Tuscaloosa-Anniston (46.7)

South Central: Montgomery-Auburn-Wiregrass-Dothan (49.2)

South: Mobile-Baldwin (48.6)

Residential Overall average : 50.3

Commercial Overall average: 42.9

Questions on method:

Several questioned some aspects of the survey methods, such as, no options for multiple association membership, or specific area as separate region (such as Cullman) or providing for a specific sub specialty (such as brokering rural land).

To administer a survey of this type, answers have to “fit”  into the most meaningful categories for overall analysis. Providing too many options for fairly small exceptions would if anything confuse both survey takers and subsequent analysis.

Multiple MLS members should choose the MLS they do the most with and that would most represent their answers, and similarly for others who asked about this category of question. The chosen methodology will yield valid and easily interpreted  answers. Given the fairly large number of respondents, there should be no distortions.

Other comments:

We received about 500 comments, which is outstanding for a survey of this type.

While it is difficult to fully summarize the comments there was a general feeling of unease and frustration expressed. Not surprisingly, this was directed at the government for unease as to both doing too much, and not enough, or not the right things.  There was a general feeling that many more problems remain to be worked through, specifically foreclosures, both residential and commercial. There was of course a general frustration with lack of credit availability, but a recognition that things cannot and should not return to the prior permissive policies that caused this problem.

Slide show:

ACRE, housed within the UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce, collects, maintains and analyzes the state’s real estate statistics, and is a trusted resource for Alabama real estate research, forecasting, and professional development that includes hosting our annual Alabama Commercial Real Estate Conference & Expo (www.acreconference.ua.edu). The relationship between the Center and our industry stakeholders is one of the Center’s greatest strengths. Alabama companies and individuals, partner with the Center bringing a wealth of resources and experiences, becoming, in effect, extensions of the Center, a network through which our outreach to the Alabama real estate industry is enhanced and enriched. The Center, established in 1996, proudly acts as an industry liaison for the benefit of our business school students pursuing a career in real estate and is a catalyst for providing interaction with our 900+ real estate alumni. UA’s real estate program began “touching lives” over 75 years ago and has experienced explosive enrollment growth since 2000. To learn more, please visit www.acre.cba.ua.edu.

Bank Failures and Aquisition, C&D Loans

From Our Friends at Caculated risk, Click to get the whole article and charts. I know many of our clients have C&D loans so I felt you should take a look at this.

 Best, Tom

by CalculatedRisk on 3/11/2009 12:45:00 PM

From James Saft at Reuters: Builder loans are the forgotten land mine in U.S. credit crisis (ht Michael)

Banks in the United States face a new source of write-downs and failures in the coming year, as loans made to developers to finance residential and commercial property development rapidly go bad.

Called acquisition, construction and development, or ADC, loans, they total 8.4 percent of all bank loans, just below a 30-year peak, and are used by developers to buy land, put in infrastructure and construct housing or commercial space.

…..Of particular concern is that ADC loans are concentrated in smaller banks, which tend to have deep ties to local developers. ADC loans account for 47 percent of nonperforming loans at small banks, compared with 14 percent at larger banks.