Monthly Archives: September 2011

Birmingham August Real Estate Sales Encouraging

Posted on September 27, 2011

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for August 2011

Sales in August declined 5% to $196,084,532 from July’s $207,302,877, up 21% from last August’s $161,768,266. This is a normal month to month fluctuation indicating a somewhat healthier market without the distortion caused by the expiration of last year’s tax credit. For the 1st time in two years the 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales is tilted slightly upward.

Total unit sales were down 4% to 1,170 in August from 1,223 in July, a decrease of 53. This is a 22% improvement from August 2010 at 956. New sales declined 22% to 121 homes this month from 156 in July, a decrease of 35 units. Used sales declined 2% to 1,049 homes in August from 1,067 last month, a decrease of 18 (Sect E p.3).

This month Total Inventory is lower at 11,778 vs. 13,959 last year. Active New listings decreased to 947 in August from 1,264 in July, a decline of 317 units (Sect E p.3). Housingpermits showed a big increase in Jefferson County to 117 in July from 18 in June. Shelby County was down to 19 from 25 (see website for details).

Absorption rate for New and Used homes last month remained near record highs of 11 and 14 months respectively. Last month presents a more accurate picture due to late closings and listings that are not yet included in the current month statistics. (See the chart (Sect C p.1).

New homes at 8 months supply this month and a reduced sales pace, is one month worse than last year at this time (Sect E p.3). The situation remains distressed. New home supply seems to be accumulating. Strangely, under $100,000 New homes were at 8 months last month, and 11 this month. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.) New home inventories in higher price ranges (above $400,000), remain excessive at over a year.

Absorption for Used homes in August 2011 shows 10,831 Used Active listings as a lower number than 12,674 last year, (Sect E p.3) which is 13 months of supply, a bit better than 14 months last year (Sect E p.3). The listing activity is somewhat less than last year as is sales activity….

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 199 compared to last month at 222. The Used homes DOM was 149 in August, compared with 145 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, which is unlikely to be successful. Newsflash: If your home is not selling, reduce the price, this advice applies particularly since we are entering the slower sales season of the year.

Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $241,233 from $238,345 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes decreased to $159,100 from $159,439 last month (Sect A p2). The twelve month moving average price line for Used homes has been quite steady since mid 2009 and is now showing an uptrend. Average Home prices, new and used have stabilized and show an upward trend (Sect A p2). This is mostly a reflection in the change of “mix” with more larger homes being sold, but the price of any specific home remains under pressure.

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How Montgomery Real Estate Market Conditions Affect Your Offer Price

There are concerns that are common to everyone in the real estate market, whether first time home buyers, speculators, or other types of seasoned home buyers. Everyone wants to get the best deal possible on a great house. There are a couple of factors that come into play when deciding on placing an offer on a house. Chief among these is your budget range, usually determined by the amount for which you have been approved in your mortgage. You don’t want to go above this amount, and most of the time you will be looking at houses that have listed prices within a few thousand dollars of this figure. There are other factors that determine how effective your offer is in terms of appeal to a home seller, including real estate market conditions in Montgomery.

People who make a living in real estate apply three different terms to market trends. The least common is the seller’s market (truly the least common, even though we have experienced this phenomenon in Montgomery for the past couple of years). In a seller’s market, there are not enough houses on the market to meet the demand of people looking to buy. Houses sell for their asking price, or even higher. In some cases, bidding wars may actually break out right on the driveway!

More common than the seller’s market is the buyer’s market. This condition occurs when there are a good number of homes on the Montgomery market, but not a lot of people looking to move in. It takes a while to sell a house, and there is lots of room for negotiation. Buyers can afford to take their time and make a good deal even when they find the perfect house.

Most of the time, the real estate market is even, or “transition”. There is no pressure to make the best offer right away, but there is no incentive on the part of the seller to jump at any offer either.

When it comes to an offered price on a given home, a seller’s market will always mean that you have to go to the high end of your projected budget. Sellers are aware that their home can fetch a lot of money, so they won’t be tempted to take an offer that they think will get them less than they could receive from someone else. In a buyer’s market, on the other hand, you have some leeway with your offer price. You can shoot low and look to negotiate, or you can stand by your offer. There is added pressure on the buyer to make sure that the house is sold, so you can afford to hold out for a good deal.

When it comes to a transition market, the effects on your offer price are not quite as clear. Some owners, used to a seller’s market, will be reluctant to go for what they see as lower offers, while others, sensing a change in the wind, will snap them up.

The real estate market seems as though it should be guided by definitive principles, but when it comes to market trends, no one has been able to come up with a sure fire formula for success. What is true, though, is that the state of the Montgomery market will affect your offer price, and you need to bid accordingly both to get that perfect home and to make sure that you get a good deal.