Birmingham Residential Year To Date Sales Off 3% From Last Year

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for September 2011

Sales in September declined 12% to $176,754,946 from August’s $200,691,237, up 9% from last September’s $162,426,387. This month to month fluctuation is in line with the normal seasonal contraction without the distortion caused by the expiration of last year’s tax credit. The 12 month moving average line for total dollar sales remains tilted slightly upward. Year to date total $ sales were down 3% to $1,534,598,983 vs $1,580,081,340, and unit sales were off 4% to 9,450 vs 9,869 last year. This is a modest reduction considering the absence of major government actions such as the tax credit.

Total unit sales were down 9% to 1,101 in September from 1,214 in August, a decrease of 113. This is a 13% improvement from September 2010 at 973. New sales improved 6% to 139 homes this month from 131 in August, an increase of 8 units. Used sales declined 11% to 962 homes in September from 1,083 last month, a decrease of 121 (Sect E p.3).

This month Total Inventory is lower at 11,235 vs. 13,612 last year. Active New listings decreased to 925 in September from 1,216 in August, a decline of 291 units (Sect E p.3).For the second month, housing permits showed a big increase in Jefferson County to 140 in August from 117 in July. Shelby County was down to 16 from 19 (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 accumulating. Under $100,000 New homes are at 11 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 September 2011 shows 10,310 Used Active listings as a lower number than 12,365 last year (Sect E p.3), which is 12 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 206 compared to last month at 199 . The Used homes DOM was 149 in September, 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 entering the slower sales season of the year.

Average sales price for Sold New homes decreased to $220,825 from $235,413 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes decreased to $151,830 from $156,835 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.

TWB 10/08/11

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

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Hoover, Alabama Housing Market Trends-October 2010

Recent sales data for the month of October provided by the Birmingham Multiple Listing Service indicates some positive trends in residential home sale prices. Some of the good news includes an increase in the median sales price over this time last year (2009). In October of this year the median sales price was $256,150 compared to $239,035 for last year, for an increase of 7.2%. The chart below shows more statistics for October of 2010.

Hoover Sales Statistics 1024x365 Hoover, Alabama Housing Market Trends October 2010Click to Enlarge

 

This of course includes all homes in the Hoover area. Some areas may be higher and others lower. Real estate is location specific so this is no indication that all homes will show this type of increase, but as a whole it is positive. Other indicators include new listings, which has decreased from last year. This could reflect owners willingness to stay in their existing homes until the market recovers. The overall number of new listings in the past 12 months has exceeded last year by 6.4%. An extension of this statistic would be closed sales, which has also decreased over 2009. The list price to sales price ratio is slightly higher at 93.6% this year, compared to 93% last year. Any increase in this statistic is good because it measures how much the buyer had to come off of their full list price. The average days on market that it takes to sell a home has decreased from 133 days to 72 days, which is a good indicator as well since everyone wants to sell their home as quickly as possible. This is only a brief synopsis of recent sales activity in the Hoover, Alabama area. Are you seeing this type of activity in your market? If not, what is the market like?

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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.

Slow July Sales in the Birmingham Real Estate market

by Tom Brander

Birmingham Area MLS* Monthly Observations for July 2011

Sales in July declined 7% to $202,737,155 from June’s $218,950,156, up 32% from last July’s $153,485,124. 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.

Total unit sales were down 4% to 1,195 in July from 1,245 in June, a decrease of 50. This is a 24% reduction from July 2010 at 962. New sales improved 23% to 148 homes this month from 120 in June, an increase of 28 units. Used sales declined 7% to 1,047 homes in July from 1,125 last month, a decrease of 78 (Sect E p.3).

This month Total Inventory is lower at 12,043 vs. 14,279 last year. Active New listings decreased to 957 in July from 1,295 in June, a decline of 338 units (Sect E p.3). Housing permits showed a increase in Jefferson County from 44 in May to 18 in June. Shelby County was up from 14 to 25 (see web site for details).

Absorption rate for New and Used homes last month reached new record highs of 11.5 and 14.5 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 a 8 months supply and a reduced sales pace, is one month better than last year at this time (Sect E p.3). The situation remains distressed. New home supply seem to be accumulating, and supply again stacking up. Strangely, under $100,000 New homes are at 15 months last month, and 9 this month, and those priced in the $100,000-$400,000 range have been climbing to 7 to 10 months (or more) of inventory, a deterioration from the last few months. (Sect C p.1 and Sect E p.3.) New house inventories in higher price ranges (above $500,000), remain excessive at over a year.

Absorption for Used homes in July 2011 shows 11,086 Used Active listings as a lower number than 12,959 last year, (Sect E p.3) which is still at 13 months of supply, a bit better than 14 months last year (Sect E p.3). There is increased listing activity, and higher inventories as summer continues.

Birmingham area Average Days on Market for New houses was 222 compared to last month at 217. The Used homes DOM was 145 in July, compared with 147 last month (Sect A p.18). An interesting side note is that the DOM for Used Homes, except the $500,000- $600,000 range, is 180 days or less, which 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.

Average sales price for Sold New homes increased to $237,550 from $220,685 last month (Sect A p2). Average sales prices for Sold Used homes decreased to $160,057 from $171,083 last month (Sect A p2). The twelve month moving average price line for Used homes has been quite steady since mid 2009. New home prices have stabilized and show an upward trend (Sect A p2).

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Alabama new home sales in June increase 15.5% from prior month

Published: Thursday, August 04, 2011, 7:00 AM

 

SingleFamilyPermitsIssued_June11.JPG
Trends: Alabama building permits courtesy of ACRE Infographics.

June new home sales in Alabama’s five metro markets that represent approximately seventy percent of all statewide transactions experienced a 15.5 percent increase from the prior month.

The spike in sales was primarily the result transactions associated with relocating displaced homeowners from their destroyed homes and the continuation of delayed closings from late April finally taking place in June as well as the month of May.

These two events are apparent when reviewing sales percent change from prior month in these impacted areas: Tuscaloosa (up 64% from May) and Huntsville (up 31%).

In June, Alabama new home sales outperformed the US market which showed declines of 1.0 percent from the prior month, according to the US Census Bureau & HUD. The release also reported that the South region experienced an increase of 3.5 percent from the prior month.

Demand: June new home sales were 44.0 percent below June 2010 when sales were surging to beat the deadline for the home buyer tax credit, thus skewing this traditional and much followed barometer of new construction activity.

In contrast, US new home sales reflected an increase of 1.6% percent increase from June 2010.

Year-to-date through June, Alabama metro market new home sales are 30.1 percent off last year’s pace.

Montgomery again led metro areas that were not impacted by disaster in sales improvement from the prior month posting a 7.9 percent gain (41 sales vs 38 in May). This figures remains below the 54 sales in June 2010.

Year-to-date, the Huntsville/Madison County area continues to lead the state despite its unfavorable year-over-year sales change of 12.7 percent.

Supply: Statewide new construction inventory has declined by approximately 27 percent from last June. All metro markets have experienced double-digit percent reductions in inventory since June 2010 with Mobile leading the state with an 36 percent decline in supply.

In fact, Alabama’s metro markets in June reflect 5.0 months of new home supply which is a significant move in the right direction. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the US inventory of new homes for sale reached another all-time record low (records go back to 1963) at 164,000 homes or 6.2 months’ supply.

Pricing: Alabama’s metro market’s median price in June was $199,050, an increase of 5.0 percent from May 2011 and an increase of 5.9 percent from June 2010.

New Home Pipeline (see graph): June statewide housing starts retreated by 7.0 percent from the prior month and 25.3 percent below June 2010. Year-to-date through June, housing starts for new homes sales are 25.3 percent off last year’s pace. In contrast and for the 2nd consecutive month, June statewide building permits increased by 20.2 percent from the prior month and only 1.5 percent below June 2010. Year-to-date through June, housing permits for new homes sales are 22.7 percent off last year’s pace.

Residential Contract Values: According to McGraw-Hill, June residential contract values increased by 20.7 percent to $251.2 million, when compared to June 2010 values. This figure represents a pace last experienced in June 2009 ($248.8 million). June’s 10-year contract values average is $326.4 million or 23.1 percent higher than the June 2011.

Residential Construction Employment: According to the Alabama Dept. of Industrial Relations, statewide residential construction employment was up .4 percent (300 jobs) to 70,300 from last month but remains down 4.9 percent or 3,600 workers from June 2010. Moving forward, this figure will improve as reconstruction commences across the State in response to the April 27th disaster.

Local Results: 14 out of the 27 home builder associations (52 percent) reported gains in building permits from the prior month (May ’11) while 12 associations (44% – up from 26%) reported gains in housing starts.

Challenges & Opportunities: Market challenges remain including, elevated level of unemployment, lower consumer sentiment, competition from distressed existing home inventory, tight credit, and the slow growth of economy.

On the other hand, the destruction resulting from the tragic April 27th tornadoes will require a massive response and moving forward will favorably aid the recovery of our statewide construction industry.

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CONDITIONS(TM)
By Local Real Estate Experts

These agents are in the field every day. Who knows the local housing market better than the people who work it on a regular basis? Click on the “MORE” link after each summary to find out more about each agent and their opinion of the Real Estate market for this community. Agents, click here to share your opinions of this market.

Top>Alabama> Huntsville
Monrovia


Market Conditions Summary for Huntsville, Alabama


Reported by

Elaine Erves Simelton
as of 5/18/2011:
GREETING FROM HUNTSVILLE! ~~ The Hottest City in Northern Alabama. A Great Place to Call Home. For Up-to-date Stats on How Many Houses SOLD in This Area go to www.http://ElaineSellHuntsville.com We are currently experiencing a Stable… MORE->
About Elaine Erves Simelton
Watch one of my Television commercials.


Reported by
Oliner M. Bowers
as of 9/22/2010:
The market is good in the Huntsville area, with an average of 500-1000 homes sold… MORE->


Average Current Market Rating: 2 (2 ratings)

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Seller’s Market


Average Current Price Trend: 4.5 (2 ratings)

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Note: A strong Buyer’s Market does not necessarily mean that it is not a good time to sell your home. Likewise, a strong Seller’s Market does not necessarily mean it is a bad time to buy a home. We suggest contacting one of the Real Estate Professionals on this page for advice.

These reports reflect the views and opinions of their authors and are not necessarily the views and opinions of Realty Times.

Homewood is Alabama’s most walkable city

From: Birmingham Business Journal

Homewood is the state’s most walkable city, according to Walk Score‘s 2011 rankings of the nation’s most walkable cities.

The Over-the-Mountain city with its Soho Square development and pedestrian-friendly downtown area had a Walk Score of 53. That classified Homewood as a “somewhat walkable” city.

Birmingham, Selma and Florence were the state’s next most walkable cities. Each had a Walk Score of 40. All of those cities ranked in the upper “car-dependent” category, which means there are a few amenities within walking distance.

The rankings are based on proximity to nearby amenities.

The Magic City did have a higher Walk Score than Charlotte, Louisville, Kansas City, Memphis and Nashville.

New York, Boston and Philadelphia scored the highest among major cities.

You can click here to view the full rankings.

 

Why is this a good thing for investors?

Well, with the expansion of interest in lower costs and living expenses and with the wave of live green acts; it is good to look at places that will have appeal for things that don’t require so much of a commute. A walkable city is near a walkable city is definitely a plus for an investor. You may also want to look at cities that have plans to expand or improve their downtown areas within the next few years. Real estate around these cities will increase once the improvements of the area have taken effect, such as Huntsville.

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What to Do With a Timeshare You No Longer Want

By: Lynnette Khalfani-Cox from Wallet Pop

Buying a timeshare property may have seemed like a good idea when you signed the timeshare contract. But if you’re taking yet another “staycation” this summer – and really haven’t been able to travel as much as you’d like the rest of the year as well – you may have realized that you aren’t truly benefiting from your timeshare purchase.

Some people buy timeshares as potential investments. But that’s often an unwise move, since timeshares aren’t investments in the traditional sense, and they don’t offer the typical benefits that, say, stocks or bonds might, such as price appreciation or dividends.

Many timeshares also don’t function as traditional real estate investments either, since most timeshare buyers only own a specific and limited portion of a property for a specific week or month during the year.

That’s why most people enter into a timeshare agreement simply to enjoy the privilege of having a vacation home at their disposal. Owning a timeshare, however, comes with a lot of inherent financial risks and may not always be your best economic move – especially in a slow economy.

Fortunately, you do have some options if you’ve signed a timeshare agreement and want to get out of it.

Here’s what you can do to get rid of a timeshare you no longer want:

Review your agreement.

You need to determine whether you have a deeded timeshare or a leased timeshare property. A deeded timeshare bounds you to the contract as an exclusive owner, while the leased timeshare means you are only the owner for a set number of years. If you have a deeded timeshare, you have the option to sell it to someone else. If you have a leased timeshare, you may have to keep paying your annual fees until the lease expires.

Consider renting it out.

If you know you aren’t going to be using your timeshare for a certain period of time, consider renting it out to somebody as a vacation rental for extended stays. In some cases, the rental fees you earn will be able to cover the annual maintenance fees you must pay on the timeshare. Just remember that, regardless of whether you use the timeshare or rent it to someone else, you’ll still be responsible for maintenance costs and other fees as outlined in your initial timeshare agreement.

Check in with the company that manages the property.

Some timeshare companies offer services for those who are interested in selling their timeshare, and they may even help to match you up with an interested party. They may charge a fee for this service – which will come out of the final sale price – but this could be an easier way to get that timeshare sold.

With some timeshares, your annual fees may have escalated to the point where you’re not getting much value each year from the timeshare, or you could simply pay to go to another resort and come out cheaper. If high annual fees are the issue, ask your timeshare property management company for permission to deed back your timeshare to the organization. With a “timeshare deedback,” you basically agree to give your timeshare back to the resort.

Advertise your timeshare property for sale.

If you are under a deeded timeshare agreement and decide to sell the timeshare on your own, consider posting your property on reputable site like TUG, the Timeshare Users Group.

TUG offers a wealth of practical, consumer-friendly information for both existing timeshare owners and would-be timeshare buyers. Among the features at TUG are a “Timeshare Marketplace” that lets you sell or rent your timeshare free of charge; a wealth of advice articles about timeshare ownership; and an online forum where you can ask timeshare questions and get answers.

Best of all, TUG provides its members with a sales history database, so you can get the most recent, up-to-date information on timeshare sales and properly assess how much your timeshare is worth.

Aside from TUG, you can also place classified ads for your timeshare on sites like Craigslist and eBay.

Never pay an upfront fee.

Be careful about working with certain companies that offer to “help” you sell your timeshare.
Some of them make lots of upfront promises about getting you fast money for your timeshare, but they may charge high listing and sales fees and really not do much more than post Internet advertisements for your timeshare.

Even worse, many timeshare re-sellers will insist that you pay an upfront fee to unload your timeshare. They may call this a “marketing charge” or a “listing fee;” some may claim it’s a required cost to do an “appraisal,” a “title search” or something else altogether. Whatever the fee is labeled, don’t fall for it.

You should never, ever pay an upfront charge to someone to sell your timeshare. It’s just asking for financial trouble and the potential loss of your money. In fact, some places asking timeshare sellers to pay upfront fees are outright scams.

Still, because a timeshare-reselling agent acts as a third-party between timeshare owners and sellers, some people think that using a re-seller can speed up the sales process. Recognize that any re-seller will charge a fee for his or her services, and this is typically charged as a percentage of the sale.

Also realize that even if you sign over a power of attorney giving someone else the right to sell a timeshare on your behalf, you nonetheless remain the legal owner of the timeshare and are financially responsible for it until the timeshare actually sells.

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