Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for May 2017
May saw a substantial increase (23%) in dollar sales from April. Sales were slightly lower in units and slightly higher in dollars than last year, which was very robust. The next few months should show us a more consistent pattern. Prices are modestly increasing. Total dollar sales for May were $421,269,944 up 3% from $409,254,772 last year, and up 23% from last month at $342,710,819.
Total Unit sales were down 4% at 1,857 in May from 1,943 last year and off by 17% compared with 1,585 in April. New sales were down 17 at 163 homes this month, vs. 180 in April, and off by 13 from 176 last year. The low inventory level of new homes suggests a good environment for builders. Used sales were 1,694 homes in May, up 21% from 1,404 last month, and off by 4% from 1,767 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 2% for the year; that is actuals are behind projections of 4,451 through April, at 4,440 actual thru April. Check the link to see when the May numbers are posted.
Total inventory is slightly higher this month at 8,635 vs. last month at 8,126 and less than 9,407 last year. (Sect C p.1). Active New listings decreased to 999 in May from 1,033 in April (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 May shows 5 months, which is less than the 6 last year. Used Active listings at 7,636 are up from last month of 7,093, and less than 8,252 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 3 months of inventory.
Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 205 compared with last month at 198. The Used homes DOM was 107 in May vs 104 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $305,046 from $285,446 last month (Sect A p2). Over a several month period prices seem to be quite unchanged. Average sales price for Sold Used was $219,331 this month compared to $207,297 last month. (Sect A p2). Given the general robustness of sales prices on average seem quite stable, not yet increasing by much.
After a brief pause last month sales seem to be back on the upswing, It will be interesting to see how sales unfold over the next few months..