Monthly Archives: February 2012

Birmingham January Real Estate Sales Better Than Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for January 2012

Sales in January declined 23% to $111,138,976 from December’s $144,973,823, up 7.6% from last January’s $103,296,527. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales remains tilted slightly upward.

Unit sales were down 22% to 753 in January from 963 in December, a decrease of 210. This is a 10% improvement from January 2010 at 684. This is 5% unfavorable to our preliminary projection of 792 sales expected for January. This error will be less as late sales are reported next month. Our full year projections will be revised when the final January 2012 unemployment rate is released in late March. New sales declined 37% to 82 homes this month from 130 in December, a decrease of 48 units. Used salesdeclined 19% to 671 homes in January from 833 last month, a decrease of 162 (Sect E p.3).

This month total inventory is dramatically lower at 9,812 vs. 12,183 last year and 10,414 last month. The significant drop in the current month is caused by month-end expirations which should come back on the market shortly. Active New listingsdecreased to 829 in January from 1,073 in December, a decline of 244 units (Sect E p.3).Housingpermits showed a decrease in Jefferson County to 64 in December from 77 in November. Shelby County was down to 6 from 19 (see website for details).

Absorption rate for New and Used homes is improving. New homes are at 7 months supply this month with a reduced sales pace, and even with last year at this time (Sect E p.3). New home supply seems to be stable. Under $100,000 New homes are at 16 months supply. The New homes in the $100,000-$500,000 price range have an almost normal inventory level in the 6-8 month range. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.)

Absorption for Used homes in January shows 10 months, three months better than 12 months last year. Used Active listings at 8,983 are lower than the 11,038 last year (Sect E p.3), (Sect E p.3).

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 215 compared to last month at 209 . The Used homes DOM was 143 in January, compared with 141 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. Again: 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 increased to $243,501 from $237,784 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes decreased to $135,875 from $136,929 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 for the most part a reflection of the change of “mix” with more larger homes being sold, but the price of any specific home still remains under pressure.

TWB 2/11/12

Posted in Monthly comments, Birmingham, real estate, Alabama, Absorption, MLS, Jefferson County,Building Permit, Home values, Forecast | Tagged , , , , ,, , | Leave a reply

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Huntsville January Real Estate Slow But Slightly Better Than Last Year

Huntsville/North Alabama Area MLS Observations: Real Estate Market January 2012

January sales declined 28% to $79,170,046 vs. December at $110,622,406 This was virtually identical to last year at $79,352,342 The twelve month moving average line on the total dollar sales chart is flat.

Total unit sales decreased to 531 in January vs. 696 in December decreasing 165. This was favorable to last year at 504 sales.

Note that our projection for January was 507 so the actual results were 5% favorable, this will probably increase as late sales are reported. We will be revising the full year projections when the final un-employment statistics for January become available in late March.

New sales decreased to107 this month vs.180 last month, decreasing 73.
Used sales decreased to 424 this month vs. 516 last month, decreasing 92 (Sect E p.3).

Used inventory levels remain high this month at 12 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 12 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 10 months), (E-1). The New Home inventory level in the $300,000-$400,000 is approximately 5 months (not bad).

There continue to be a large number of housing permits issued in Huntsville city, given the market conditions. December decreased to 56 vs. 78 in November (chart on the web site).

Total Active listings decreased this month to 7,878 compared to last month’s 8,478, which is below last year at this time at 8,795 with the reduction exaggerated due to month-end expirations.
(Sect A p.4 and Sect E p.3).

Active New listings decreased from 1,527 last month to 1,271 in January, down 256. (Sect E p.3). Active Used listings decreased from 6,951 last month to 6,607 this month, down 344 and below last year’s amount at this time of 7,464. (Sect E p.3).

Average Days on Market for Sold New homes was 163 vs.177days last month, with Used at 167 in January compared with 142 in December (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, who do not adjust to the new price reality contribute to the buildup of inventory.

Average sales price for Sold New homes was $229,697 vs. $238,973 last month. (Sect A p.2)
Average sales price for Sold Used homes was $128,756 vs. $131,022 last month. (Sect A p.2)

The Average price lines for Used homes, which was on a upwards slope for a while, has turned down. New homes average price seems to be showing some positive direction. Prices for individual properties remain under pressure.

TWB 2/11/12

Posted in Building Permit, Forecast, Home values, Huntsville, Inventory, Monthly comments, real estate |Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a reply

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Baldwin County Slow Real Estate Sales in January

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of January 2012

Sales Dollars decreased 19% in January to $46,905,756 from December’s $57,963,803. This is 14% below January last year at $54,787,622. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales flattened out once again. Inventories are continuing to come down quite dramatically. Unit sales have recovered to normal levels. Dollar sales still lag reflecting fewer high end sales and lower prices. This situation is starting to reverse, with more high end homes selling. Still, it is unlikely that prices will increase for a while.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses declined 11% to 269 this month vs. 303 last month, which is 3% down from last year’s 278.

Used Home sales declined 14% to 238 this month vs. 278 last month, which is down 7% from last year’s 255 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 31 this month vs 25 last month. Low sales of New homes reflects intense competition from existing, and the shutdown of new construction.

New listings for New homes increased to 47 from 34 in December. Used houses New listings increased to 692 from 425 in December with net inventory down.

The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ’09, has once again been improving. In January, there were 3,517 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,755 in December. The New home market, which peaked in January 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sits at 321.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 12 months of inventory for January vs. 13 in December. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 10 months of inventory for January vs. 11 in December. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in January 2008 to 10 months this January.

Average sales price for all homes has been stable for the past year. For New units, prices decreased to $187,616 from $192,034 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices decreased to $172,646 from $191,234 in December.

Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in January was 229 this month vs. 186 last month. Days On Market for Used was 161 this month vs.169 last month.

While we have developed some interesting projections for the real estate market in the statewide, Birmingham and Huntsville markets, the numerous events on the coast such as the oil spill and several tropical storms, make the methods we used in the other markets unsuitable for the coast, but we are thinking about the problem!

TWB 2/11/2012

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More on 2012 Birmingham Area Projections

Here is an interview I did for WERC 105.5 in Birmingham, the local Fox Affiliate, Discussing my outlook for the Birmingham Real Estate Market in 2012.

Click here to listen.

Posted in Birmingham, Forecast, Jefferson County, real estate | Tagged ,, | 1 Reply

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