Monthly Archives: November 2011

Huntsville Residential Sales Seasonally Slow In October

Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS Observations: Real Estate Market October 2011

October sales declined 25% to $99,006,068 vs. September at $132,619,446. This was 9% worse than last year at $108,938,422 (even with the tax incentive expiration). The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart is still poking up a bit.

Huntsville October Units SoldHuntsville October Units Sold

Total unit sales decreased to 636 in October vs. 831 in September a decrease of 195.

New sales decreased to117 homes this month vs. 164 last month, a decrease of 47.

Used sales decreased to 519 homes this month vs. 667 last month, a decrease of 148 (Sect E p.3).

Used inventory levels remain high this month at 14 months (see the chart Sect C p.1), with the situation particularly challenged in the higher price ranges. Used homes over $100,000 are still over 14 months of inventory and over $400,000 have two or more years of inventory.

New home absorption is 9 months of inventory overall, (with last month at 11 months), (E-1). The New Home inventory level in the $300,000-$500,000 is approximately 6 months.

There continue to be a large number ofhousingpermits issued in Huntsville city, given the market conditions. September increased to 87 (imputed by the Census dept) vs.97 in August (chart on the web site).

Total Active listings decreased this month to 8,711 compared to last month’s 9,408, which is barely below last year at this time at 9,613 (Sect A p.4 and Sect E p.3). Active New listings decreased from 1,552 last month to 1,277 in October, down 275. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased from 7,856 last month to 7,434 this month, down 422 and below last year’s amount at this time of 8,117. (Sect E p.3).

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 160 vs.152 days last month, with Used at 164 in October compared with 152 in September (Sect A p.18). Days on Market at or below 6 months, while the inventory numbers are way higher, indicates well priced homes are selling. Sellers, including bank owners, are not adjusting to the new price reality which contributes to inventory build-up.

Average sales price for Sold New homes was $231,540 vs. $229,595 last month. (Sect A p.2)

Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $138,566 vs. $142,378 last month. (Sect A p.2)

The Average price lines which were on a upwards slope for a while, turned down particularly for Used Homes. The fluctuation is mostly due to a changing mix of home sales with some more higher priced homes beginning to move as a proportion of the total market; prices for individual properties remain under pressure.

We have been doing some work to see how well we can predict overall residential sales as much as a year or two in advance and have some very encouraging results. Call me if you would like to discuss.

TWB 11/12/11

Posted in Building Permit, Huntsville, Monthly comments, North Alabama | Tagged , , , | Leave a reply

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Birmingham Area Sales Better Than Last October

Birmingham AreaMLS* Monthly Observations for October 2011

Sales in October declined 22% to $142,502,706 from September’s $182,338,976, up 14% from last October’s $125,540,265. This month to month fluctuation is a somewhat larger seasonal contraction than normal. Keep the expiration of last year’s tax credit in mind when looking at year ago comparisons. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales remains tilted slightly upward.

The following chart shows how each of the last few years stacks up on a monthly basis.

Birmingham October Monthly Sales
Birmingham October Monthly Sales


Total unit sales were down 16% to 959 in October from 1,137 in September, a decrease of 178. This is a 27% improvement from October 2010 at 753. New sales declined 36% to 92 homes this month from 144 in September, a decrease of 52 units. Used sales declined 13% to 867 homes in October from 993 last month, a decrease of 126 (Sect E p.3).

This month Total Inventory is lower at 10,860 vs. 13,286 last year. Active New listings decreased to 923 in October from 1,162 in September, a decline of 239 units (Sect E p.3).Forthethirdmonth, housingpermits showed a decrease in Jefferson County to 89 in September from 140 in August. Shelby County was up to 21 from 16 (see website for details).

Absorption rate for New and Used homes last month remain high. 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 stable. Under $100,000 New homes are at 13 months supply. (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 October 2011 shows 9,937 Used Active listings as a lower number than 12,036 last year (Sect E p.3), which is 11 months of supply, a bit better than 14 months last year (Sect E p.3).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 207 compared to last month at 206 . The Used homes DOM was 149 in October, compared with 149 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. Newsflash: If the home is not selling, reduce the price, particularly since we are in the slower sales season of the year.

Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $220,857 from $222,602 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes decreased to $140,927 from $151,344 last month (Sect A p2). The twelve month moving average price line for Used Homes has been quite steady since mid 2009. Average Home prices, new and used, have stabilized (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.

By the way we have developed some interesting statistical data that appears to be highly predictive of the overall residential sales level a year or more in advance. Give me a call if you might like to discuss.

TWB 11/12/11

Posted in Birmingham, Building Permit, Jefferson County, MLS, Monthly comments, real estate, Shelby County | Tagged , , , | Leave a reply

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Economist: Housing shortage coming in 2011

He says that if new houses aren’t built soon in the U.S., there won’t be enough next year.

By Alexandra Zendrian of Forbes