Tag Archives: Sales Forecast

Birmingham Area Real Estate Sales in November Up 30% Over Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for November 2016

November saw a continuation of the pick up in dollar and unit sales over last year. Prices seem to be modestly increasing. Total dollar sales for November were $269,219,038 up 30% from $205,886,919 last year, and down 6% from last month at $287,629,774.

Total Unit sales were off 10% at 1,283 in November from 1,428 in October, a decrease of 145. This is up by 22% and 231 from last November at 1,052. New sales were up to 164 homes this month, and 257 in October, and up by 43 from 121 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 1,119 homes in November, off 12% from 1,271 last month, a decrease of 152, and up by 188 units  from 931 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.  October overperformed the projection. The cumulative error is plus 9% year to date; that is actuals are running ahead of projections (through October).

Housing permits for October are a bit less than last year. For Jefferson County, in October there were 66 permits compared with 101 last year. Shelby County was somewhat higher than last year’s level (see the web site).

Total inventory is slightly lower this month at 8,654 vs. last month at 8,851 and less than 9,740 last year. It is curious that we don’t seem to be seeing the more normal seasonal reduction of inventory which has been remarkably stable since the beginning of the year without the normal uptick we usually see in the summer either (Sect C p.1). I’d guess that it is an indication of market equilibrium, as the months of inventory have stabilized at about the 6 month level. Active New listings decreased to 1,101 in November from 1,158 in October (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 November shows 6 months, which is less than the 7 last year. Used Active listings at 7,553 are down from last month of 7,693, and quite a bit less than 8,725 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 except in the over $900,000 category, which has 9 months of inventory (44 homes), with 4 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 of inventory, including Homewood which has 3 months of inventory.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses is 209 compared with last month at 201. The Used homes DOM was 122 in November vs 112 last month, (Sect A p.18). Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $299,783 from $313,521 last month (Sect A p2), over a several month period though prices seem to be increasing. Average sales price for Sold Used was $196,653 this month compared to $187,574 last month. (Sect A p2).

All in all, the market continues to look quite healthy.
TWB 12/9/2016          

2014 Alabama Residential Real Estate Forecast


Two years ago, ABRE Analytics, a collaborative research partnership consisting of the Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) and Tom Brander, began to attempt to identify correlations with select economic indicators and historical sales data that could possibly shed light and assist with providing future real estate sales projections in selected markets across the State of Alabama.

In 2013, our sales forecast for Alabama fell within the margin of error – just 3.3 percent short of actual closed transactions. These projection results were an improvement from our inaugural 2012 forecast that also underestimated sales by 6.0 percent, but still well within the margin of error. For the first time after two-years of trial and error, we are also providing the 2014 sales forecast for each of the 25 associations that report data to the Center each month.

The projections for 2014 are based on using the last quarter’s actual sales (in 2013) and linear regression against full year sales, with as much history as we have in our database.

We have anywhere from 5 to 10 years of historical data depending on the area. The areas are quite different in total annual volume, ranging from under 100 sales per year to over 40,000 sales per year. Generally, the more annual sales and the greater history we have the greater projection accuracy we expect.

The initial correlations that we have found, supporting the concept used in the projections, range from 93%, best to a low of 33%. To some degree the correlation percentages may be indicative of future forecast accuracy.

In short, the larger the market the more likely the projections will be more accurate. This is due to both the law of large numbers and the momentum of larger markets. Using the last quarter of the prior year, we believe is the most relevant and timely data to project the following year. To the extent that an event happens during the year this approach to forecasting would not project that possibility (up or down).

Some areas and time periods have ”adjustments” applied to history to normalize the numbers. Examples include the tax credit in 2009 that pulled sales into 2009 and out of 2010. We also see limited data in particular for Baldwin county. Certain areas have ”unusual” events, such as plant closing or openings as well as major weather events that may distort historical data and certainly could happen in the future.

We think the projections have value, if for no other reason than to see if the year is unfolding as predicted or if variances emerge that should be investigated. So, please take these projections as our best efforts, but do your own work.

Statewide full year summary:

Statewide projected 2014 = 45,318, 5.0% over 2013 actual of = 43,160
Athens projected 2014 = 854, -2.95% over 2013 actual of = 880
Baldwin projected 2014 = 6,666, 47.74% over 2013 actual of = 4,512
Baldwin Condos projected 2014 = 2,052, 41.52% over 2013 actual of = 1,450
Birmingham projected 2014 = 12,845, 8.17% over 2013 actual of = 11,875
Calhoun County projected 2014 = 1,134, 4.52% over 2013 actual of = 1,085
Cherokee County projected 2014 = 135, -8.16% over 2013 actual of = 147
Covington projected 2014 = 253, 11.45% over 2013 actual of = 227
Cullman projected 2014 = 674, 6.14% over 2013 actual of = 635
Dothan projected 2014 = 1,039, 2.47% over 2013 actual of = 1,014
Gadsden projected 2014 = 681, 5.91% over 2013 actual of = 643
Huntsville projected 2014 = 5,219, 0.87% over 2013 actual of = 5,174
Jackson County projected 2014 = 163, -3.55% over 2013 actual of = 169
Lake Martin projected 2014 = 453, 3.66% over 2013 actual of = 437
Lee County projected 2014 = 1,345, 5.08% over 2013 actual of = 1,280
Marshall County projected 2014 = 773, 5.46% over 2013 actual of = 733
Mobile projected 2014 = 3,937, 2.79% over 2013 actual of = 3,830
Monroe County projected 2014 = 83, 7.79% over 2013 actual of = 77
Montgomery projected 2014 = 3,747, 5.11% over 2013 actual of = 3,565
Morgan County projected 2014 = 1,149, -3.04% over 2013 actual of = 1,185
Muscle Shoals projected 2014 = 1,419, -1.8% over 2013 actual of = 1,445
Phenix City projected 2014 = 951, 2.81% over 2013 actual of = 925
Selma projected 2014 = 143, 4.38% over 2013 actual of = 137
Talladega County projected 2014 = 150, -16.67% over 2013 actual of = 180
Tuscaloosa projected 2014 = 2,001, 4.22% over 2013 actual of = 1,920
Walker County projected 2014 = 335, 15.92% over 2013 actual of = 289
Wiregrass projected 2014 = 839, 5.4% over 2013 actual of = 796

Sample monthly area forecast charts (will have Projection to actual as data becomes available)

Monthly sample charts

Monthly sample charts

Full year projections with history:

This is useful to see how variable the history has been and how the forecasted linear regression tracks.

Group 1 charts

Group 1 charts

Group 2 charts

Group 2 charts

group 3 charts

group 3 charts